From The Dolle Brouwers in Belgium comes Arabier at 8.0%. De-capping gives a pleasant aroma of grassy hops and grape. Hoppy & herbal notes also strikethrough. The pour is deep golden and the head is something to behold! white, thick and frothy. WOW. As you would expect, carbonation is fairly high, which lends to the great fruity citrus mouthfeel and body of this superb beer. The finish is crisp and dry, sweetened by the flavour of caramel.
From the Brasserie Lefèbvre in Belgium comes Hopus at 8.3%. De-capping gives a hoppy grassy herbal aroma with hints of creaminess and sweetness. The pour is alive with a good sparkle and great head generation, leaving a frothy white head. The body is thick and sparkling with a pleasant tongue prickle and herby hoppy bitterness. A slightly amber cloudy appearance finished off with a nice, bitter sweet aftertaste.
From the Hawkshead Brewery in the Lake District comes NZPA at 6.0%. You may have guessed from the name, that it is a New Zealand Pale Ale. Occasionally, I am utterly surprised and literally bowled over by the flavours, aromas and characteristics of a new beer. This is one such beer. The aroma is utterly flabbergasting. Imagine what a gooey gloopy melted mess of boiled sweets would smell like. Now imagine that multiplied by 10! That should give you some idea as to what this excellent beer smells like….. The pour is deep orange with a thin white skin on top, moderate to high carbonation in the body of the beer with a taste of boiled sweets, melon, orange, tangerine and citrus, but not a super intense fruit bomb. Bitterness slowly builds and supports the wonderful New Zealand hoppy presence, the beer itself has a slight hint of maltiness that supports the mingle of sugary fruity flavours and aromas. What a superb ale! such a interesting contrast to the U.S hops that we all love and adore.
From the Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield, together with Magic Rock Brewing, the Northern Monk Brew Co and Siren Craft Brew Co comes an IPA named 4 Degrees of Separation at 7.0%. De-canning gives a grassy super fruity hop aroma with a zing of spice. Perhaps a little cattiness and spice emerging?. Certainly Cascade hops poke through here. The pour is ultra pale with little a moderate level of carbonation that leaves a thin skin of white head. The mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth and hides the ABV well, backed up by a spiced hop bitterness that lingers well on the back of the tongue. Super Fruity citrus tones also poke through at the end, with a nice influence of sweetness from the malt. This all comes together well and complements the bitterness very well. A quality IPA!
“A collaboration and a reunion rolled into one! Three guys who were here at Abbeydale Brewery in the early days of their career have returned for one day only from their current posts at Magic Rock Brewing, Siren Craft Brew and Northern Monk Brew Co. Taking advantage of our massive hopstore, this beer combines Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade and Galaxy hops to create this big, bold and oh so juicy IPA.”
From The Cloudwater Brewery in Manchester comes a Ekuanot hopped IPA at 6.5%. The initial Pour is hazed orange, cloudy to the extreme. Strong pungent aromas emerge profiling orange, melon and that of peach stone fruit. An average carbonation is present for the IPA style with a thin foamy white head that remains. A smooth body features that hides the ABV quite well. Interestingly, a distinctive double bitterness features in this beer: fruity hoppy bitterness contrasts nicely with a chalky yeast bitterness from the WLP001 yeast strain. This IPA is certainly reminiscent of a New England IPA style. The beer texture is not too dissimilar to super hopped bucks fizz without the massive carbonation. The relatively strong ABV starts to emerge in the aftertaste with a little heat coming through. Overall, huge citrus flavours of tangerine, orange and a hint of dank spice come through from the presence of the Simcoe hops. A marvelous beer that sings a song of ‘Yin Yang’ bitter sweet. An interesting hop variety that I’ve never heard of or tried before. Superb stuff!
From the guys at Magic Rock Brewing comes Tap Type American Pale Ale at 6.5%. A superb little American Pale Ale. The pour is ultra hazy, light bright and inviting. A thin white uneven skin dances on the beer top. The aroma is complex citrus, mango and peach. I’m so pleased about the mosaic hop presence in this beer, it really strikes through the flavours. There is little maltiness, and a moderate bitterness that builds as the brew goes on. Spicy citrus fruitiness is apparent with some sweetness that reinforces the base malt to produce something that is simply stunning. Light and breezy refreshing yet strong and punchy. Experimental and forward thinking as always from Magic Rock. I detect hints of chalky yeasty bitterness emerging at the end, a taste not too similar to drinking the bottle conditioned yeast from the dregs of the bottle. In my eyes. Excellent stuff.