From the Brouwerij Anders comes Broeder Jacob Double Port at 9.0%. De-capping gives a nice choco coffee lasting aroma. Massive heady off white generation on the pour. An aura of headiness, with buckets of dark sugar and molasses coming though with a superb Belgian yeast tang. Almost pitch black in appearance, strong ruby colours coming through when holding up to the light. The strong phenol alcohol flavours come through in the aftertaste, with bitter-sweet dark toasty notes as the most prominent. A bit of a dark flavour bomb! Dead heady and aromatic. Head retention is also pretty darn good. Initial carbonation on the pour dies out to give a semi to low carbonated beer fully supporting the full bodied and decadent nature of the beer. Overall a bloody good ale! Wine Like phenols come through with a hint of noble hops to make this a great dark Belgian beer.
From Magic Rock Brewing & Cloudwater comes Big Dipper Double IPA at 8.3%. A special Cloudwater & Magic Rock Brewing collaboration. De-canning pops a grenade punch of sweet resinous citrus and marmalade aromatics from the hop & malt presence. The pour is New England IPA haze with concentrated visible hop particulate like a beery snow globe. The appearance is wonderful golden orange. The taste is overwhelmingly resinous and hoppy with subtle aroma and orange pith bitterness punching through, supporting the underwhelming malt backbone. Head generation is low and only a very thin skim appears on top. No yeast presence is evident (or makes it through the hop wading). This is ultra hoptastic intense ale. An IPA to end all IPA. On a par with Magic Rock’s Human Cannonball from 2016. intense and juicy hopstrocity and the alcohol is completely hidden. Very well done!
A farmhouse beer Saison at 6.0% from the chaps at Bad seed. Decapping gives a sweet yet fresh perfumed grassy aroma. The pour is good, average carbonation supporting an amber, yet moderately hazed appearance. Head generation is also good, forming a thin white skin. The mouthfeel is soft and medium, with a hint of mead on the aftertaste with minimal bitterness. The yeast presence is understated, perhaps contributing a note of pepper or spice, completed with a moderately dry finish. A nice example of the style.
From the Pressure Drop Brewery comes Domino Topple IPA at 7.2%. De-capping gives a blast of aromatic grassy citrus hops, complementing the pour, which floods the glass and immediate area with a rich & resinous pungent hop bouquet. The pour is perhaps the best I’ve seen on an ale in a long time. A hazed golden orange beer in appearance with a superb head generation and an equally superb retention, presenting a thick creamy head throughout the life of the beer. Mouthfeel is just about right, presenting a medium to thick presence with a smooth texture and a simple malt base that accentuates the complex and fruity hop presence. Bitterness is there, but not overbearing or affecting the aroma. A lip smacking tropical sticky fruity aftertaste complements this marvel of a brew. This beer reinforces Mosaic as my favourite hop out there at the moment.
Leffe – Biere de Noel kerstbier at 6.6%. De-capping gives a pleasant aroma of noble hops and plums. A thick gratuitous head appears on the pour. Mouthfeel is slightly watery and the beer comes across quite fruity. The mouthfeel really let’s this ale down somewhat and I can detect a warm alcohol aftertaste for a relatively low ABV Belgian ale. Christmas ale spices of cinnamon and misc stuff poke through. Quite smooth and sweet, yet not bitter A shot at a Dubbel that doesn’t quite hit right for me. Avoid.
A fragrant and hazy brew from The Bronx Brewery. A Rye Ale at 6.3%. A great amber appearance leaving a thin skin of a head. Quite a fruity aroma with a hint of spice. Citrus aroma hops dance on the nose and complement a delicate sweetness. An excellent smooth body combines well with a thick mouthfeel, finished off by the citrus presence of the juicy hops. Not at all bitter, the rye flavour does seems like a nice substitute for crystal malt in adding a bit of sweetness and complexity. Featuring Chinook & Crystal hops. Excellent!