Bunker Brew Co

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Mikkeller – 19 American Style IPA – 6.9%

Brewed by De Proefbrouwerij in conjunction with Mikkeller, ’19’ is an American Style IPA. This is a beer brewed by Belgian hands. What cannot be better? De-capping gives a floral punch of citrus aroma hops. The pour is superb, generating a thick lively white head, clearly a Belgian style ale with a superb head generation and retention. The body of the beer is smooth and full, with a compact carbonation. Overall, the bitterness is pleasant, and moderately high and as expected, the hop sweetness pokes through and reinforces it all right at the end. The sweet malt backbone develops hand in hand with the hop intensity to make a superb European translation of an American IPA style.

Mikkeller 19 American Style IPA

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Magic Rock Brewing – Telepathy IPA – 7.2%

From Magic Rock Brewing comes Telepathy IPA at 7.2%. De-canning gives super fresh hop aroma of dank citrus, grass, mango and papaya. A tropical hop bomb aroma of epic proportions. The pour is super hazy, New England IPA style, haziness is intermingled with a luminance of glowing orange effect. Reading the can this one has a massive oaty presence. You can tell partially by the thick mouthfeel and body of the beer. Head existence is minimal and drops to nothing, probably due to the oil from the oatiness. The beer is fairly sweet with a chalkiness in the aftertaste, finished off with a deep rich bitterness that lingers and conflicts slightly with the sweetness and massive aroma hoppiness. The aftertaste literally costs the inside of your mouth with an oddly pleasant chalkiness. Cascade, Mosaic, Simcoe and Denali all feature wonderfully in a dance of hoppiness.

Magic Rock Brewing Telepathy IPA

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Lervig Aktiebryggeri – 3 Bean Stout – 13.0%

From Lervig Aktiebryggeri comes their 3 Bean Stout at 13.0%. De-capping gives an intense aroma of chocolate and wintery spice. A subtle presence of cloves emerges towards the end, but not intensely or unpleasantly so. This is a really odd beer profile for me. The carbonation is bare bones minimum, the head drops off instantly from the pour and there is an oily presence of cocoa in the taste. To say how strong the ABV is, the beer hides it very well. I didn’t initially like this beer on de-capping, but I slowly warmed to it. The taste of the beer is intense and cloyingly sweet. Bitterness is moderate and confused slightly by the high sweetness. Oddly but moderately pleasant, with hints of coffee chocolate emerging towards the end. This is a really difficult marmite beer. Probably the most challenging beer so far. Overall, do I like it? I’m not sure entirely.

Lervig 3 Bean Stout

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Crazy Mountain – Hookiebobb IPA – 6.7%

From Crazy Mountain Brewing comes Hookiebobb IPA at 6.7%. De-canning gives an intense and creamy fresh citrus aroma that is very well received. The appearance is light orange and moderately carbonated. Head generation is initially large and retention is very kept, leaving a thick white head throughout. Amazingly, the beer is super fresh with little maltinesses coming through. I’d describe this as fruity with a pithy intense bitter aftertaste to destroy your taste buds. The sweet citrus aroma develops becoming more intense as the beer warms. I’ve not found a beer as complex in quite a long time. Somehow the light fruity flavours descend slowly in your mouth, hitting each set of taste buds to a crescendo bitterness that just sits mellowing on either side of the tongue. The mouthfeel is thick and full bodied and altogether this is a sensational American IPA. Top marks!

Hookiebobb IPA

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Arbor Ales – Shangri-La Session IPA – 4.2%

From Arbor Ales comes the delicious Shangri-La Session IPA at 4.2%. De-capping gives a mellow yet complex spiced fruity aroma, suggesting stone fruits and mild grassiness. The pour is spot on, with a hazy amber orange appearance, leaving a thick white creamy lingering head (reminiscent of Mr whippy ice cream in texture and appearance). Head retention is surprisingly good, absolutely perfect and doesn’t diminish at all. The body of this beer is fruity and full for the low ABV. The carbonation is moderate and pairs brilliantly with the Mosaic and Citra hop presence. The beer is mildly sweet with complex fruity undertones with a mild chalkiness. I cannot emphasise how amazingly good this beer is. I love a good hoppy ale with a high ABV but this is something really special. Without a doubt, the best all round beer I’ve had this year. Arbor deserves a gold medal for this stupendously epic ale. Absolutely f*****g perfection. Mosaic hops are clearly the most dominant in this brew, and it reinforces why Mosaic is my favourite hop variety of all time.

Arbor Ales Shangri La IPA

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The Kernel – Vic Secret & Mosaic Pale Ale – 5.3%

From The Kernel Brewery in London comes Vic Secret & Mosaic Pale Ale at 5.3%.  De-capping releases rich aromas of tangerine and orange mingled in with a hint of spice and lemon citrus. Surprisingly,  quite wonderfully aromatic and floral. The appearance is deep amber and slightly clouded. The body of this beer is juicy and full for the low ABV with a great mouthfeel. A fruity bittering hop presence comes through towards the end and lingers to finish off the beer well. The beer has an average to high carbonation for the style. A very refreshing American Pale Ale style and yet another top beer from The Kernel. Recommended!

The Kernel Brewery Vic Secret Mosaic Pale Ale