Tropigamma by Beavertown

Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Tropigamma by Beavertown
Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Beer Name: Tropigamma Tropical IPA

Brewer: Beavertown Brewery, London, UK

Date Sampled:  29th November 2016

ABV: 7%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Hulk has a love-hate relationship with gamma-rays, especially tropical ones!

This is my third Beavertown review in two weeks, following the fruit-tastic Bloody Notorious and the awesome Spresso Stout.

Tropigamma has been getting a lot of coverage across twitter and instagram and as the original Gamma Ray is one of my absolute favourites, I knew I had to give this one a go.

Described by Beavertown as "a fruit explosion in a can" I was expecting big things and they have delivered.

On pouring it looks like a tropical fruit juice, hazy rich orange with a small head that goes quickly. It looks more like Umbungo than beer!

It's probably the fruitiest smelling beer I've tried, with mango, pineapple and citrus all clearly evident amongst the tropical aroma.

In the mouth it has a light carbonation, with the lactose helping to beef up the body.

Beavertown have certainly produced a fruity tasting beer, with everything from the nose carrying through strongly. The finish has some bitterness, but its a citrus bite rather than a hoppy one, the sort you get after drinking a glass of OJ.

I'm actually a little confused by Tropigamma; I mean it has got hops in but at what point does a beer stop being a beer?

Do you know what, I don't think it really matters. Tropigamma tastes amazing and on a hot summer's day I'd happily hulk-smash it down!






Pogo by Wild Beer

Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Pogo by Wild Beer
Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Beer Name: Pogo

Brewer: The Wild Beer Co, Somerset, England

Date Sampled:  9th November 2016

ABV: 4.1%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Damn it! I said to myself right at the start of this blogging process that I would be honest in my reviews... so here it is. Pogo from Wild Beer was a disappointment.

In the glass it looks enticing enough, with a hazy burnt orange colour and a lively amount of carbonation.

But then when you stick your nose in and expect a hit of the passion fruit, guava and orange that is advertised on the can it's all a little underwhelming. You can pick up traces of sweet tropical juice, but unexpectedly there's also a peppery aroma floating around.

The taste is.... well it's just a bit 'meh.'

Any initial fruit tang goes quickly, leaving a dry, slightly tart citrusy finish.

Everything else I've had from Wild Beer so far has been good so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt here. If Pogo were to deliver what the brewer promised then this would be a great summer beer so when the sun is out I'll get myself a fresh can and give it another go.









Dark Arches by Northern Monk

Friday, 25 November 2016
Dark Arches by Northern Monk
Friday, 25 November 2016

Beer Name: Dark Arches Black IPA

Brewer: Northern Monk Brew Co., Leeds, UK

Date Sampled:  25th November 2016

ABV:6.7%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Well I commemorated Thanksgiving with an American brew so I could hardly let Black Friday pass without beer!

So welcome to South Coast Barbells and Beer's "Black Fr-IPA-day!"

I've got a lot of time for Northern Monk at the moment, especially Double Heathen which was very good.

Dark Arches is their Black IPA, a style which I've only started enjoying in the last few months. It's part of Northern Monk's seasonal range and they describe it as having "the colour of a rich porter but the punch of hops associated with an IPA."

It pours jet black, with a very pale brown head that does a decent job of hanging around. If you didn't smell or taste it, it definitely looks like a porter. But the second you move your nose towards it the hops are unmistakable. It has a citrusy grapefruit aroma with hints of pine that scream IPA.

It has a medium body with a nice level of carbonation, giving it a lovely mouth feel.

The taste is great, with the pine and citrus in the nose still evident, along with some roasted malts, a slight smokiness and then a slightly bitter finish.

Dark Arches is one of the better Black IPAs and, despite the relatively high ABV of 6.7%, is very easy drinking.

Northern Monk have done it again!





Lomaland by Modern Times

Thursday, 24 November 2016
Lomaland by Modern Times
Thursday, 24 November 2016
Beer Name: Lomaland

Brewer: Modern Times Beer, San Diego, California, USA

Date Sampled:  24th November 2016

ABV: 5.5%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Happy Thanksgiving! With the United States playing such a role in the world craft beer movement right now it didn't seem right not to post something tonight. So even though I'm a little short of time, I've grabbed an American beer off of my shelf so that I can raise a glass to those state side!

This is the first Modern Times beer that I've drunk and I only really got this one by chance, spotting it whilst placing a recent order with Beer Merchants. Lomaland is described as a "Rustic Belgian-style farmhouse ale." It's not the sort of beer that I'd normally gravitate to but it was the only Modern Times beer in stock when I placed my order so seemed like an ideal time to broaden my horizons.

I think it looks great in the glass, with a lovely hazy light amber colour, a small white head and a nice level of carbonation. There is something so appealing about seeing those tiny bubbles racing up towards the surface.

The aroma is good, although very different to what I'm used to. There's pepper, a small amount of citrus and an earthy yeastiness; trust me it's better than it sounds!

In the mouth Lomaland initially feels light bodied but the carbonation helps to give it a satisfying creaminess.

On tasting the light citrus and pepper follows through, before leaving a dry, almost tart like finish.

It's not the most complex of beers, but it's crisp, light and very refreshing.

I really enjoyed it and will definitely be willing to try some more Saisons.







Spresso Stout by Beavertown

Monday, 21 November 2016
Spresso Stout by Beavertown
Monday, 21 November 2016


 Beer Name: Spresso Imperial Espresso Stout

Brewer: Beavertown Brewery, London, UK

Date Sampled:  20th November 2016

ABV: 9.5%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

Yes it's another coffee stout.... well shoot me! I can't help it that it's become one of my favourite styles of beer!

Spresso Stout is a seasonal collaboration between Beavertown and Caravan Coffee Roasters, both of London. According to the Beavertown website, over 40kg of roasted coffee beans goes into each brew of Spresso. 

That coffee is very evident in the nose; in fact of all of the coffee stouts I've had this year, Spresso is probably the one with the strongest coffee aroma. It's almost like putting your head into a glass of cold brew coffee, rather than beer. There's also some vanilla and brown sugar swirling around in the mix.

It looks lovely in the glass, thick and black with a mocha coloured head.

As expected from a beer called Spresso, the coffee flavour is bold and powerful, but rounded off beautifully by the vanilla that follows through from the nose. Then the finish becomes slightly bitter, with the thick unctuous consistency ensuring that the flavours hang around for a while.

Spresso is a cracking coffee stout and is great drinking on a cold winters afternoon.






Yellow Belly by Buxton & Omnipollo

Sunday, 20 November 2016
Yellow Belly by Buxton & Omnipollo
Sunday, 20 November 2016


Beer Name: Yellow Belly

Brewer: Buxton Brewery, Derbyshire, UK in collaboration with Omnipollo, Stockholm, Sweden

Date Sampled:  20th November 2016

ABV: 11%

Serving Type: Bottle

Location Sampled: Home

It was way back in 1988 when Public Enemy first implored us not to believe the hype; well if they were talking about Yellow Belly they were very wrong.

I first heard about Yellow Belly in early October. I had just posted a review of a peanut butter stout that had failed to live up to my expectation and Instagram user formerginge1 mentioned that he hoped to see some Yellow Belly around soon. I'd never seen, tasted or heard of this Yellow Belly! Unfortunately I soon discovered that whilst it had a great reputation, it was seasonal and there were no bottles to be found.

Then around ten days ago Buxton announced that it was back and scheduled for initial release from the Buxton Tap House. I frantically searched for friends or family who might be able to pick me up some bottles and got very lucky when a mate revealed that he would be in Buxton last weekend. So off he went with my shopping list in hand and happily, he was successful!

Based in the heart of the Peak District, Buxton are a hugely popular brewery with a great reputation. I've liked everything I've had from them so far, especially the Guatemalan Coffee Extra Porter.

Their collaborators here, Omnipollo, are one of the hottest European breweries around at the moment. Based out of Stockholm, they work with breweries around the globe to bring their recipes to life. Priding themselves on unusual taste combinations, Omnipollo's list of flavours across their eclectic range reads like a stockroom from Willy Wonka's factory.

Yellow Belly is a peanut butter biscuit stout that Omnipollo and Buxton say is designed to be open minded and progressive. The symbolism in the packaging is completely deliberate; the name Yellow Belly being used as a metaphor for the cowardly nature of racism and prejudice. Deep stuff.

Well I'm not going to get into a socio-political commentary on this blog, but I have no problem with breweries using their products to spread a message, especially one as important as battling prejudice.

So what about the beer?

In the glass it appears jet black, with a small caramel head which does not last long.

The aroma is amazing, full of biscuit sweetness reminiscent of a jar of Biscoff Spread, along with peanut butter, vanilla, toffee and a hint of dark chocolate.

It has a smooth, creamy luxurious mouth feel.

The flavour is immense. The biscuit follows through from the nose, there is an element of natural tasting peanut butter, then it all smooths away into a satisfying boozy bitterness.

It is an incredibly enjoyable mouthful of beer which, whilst being incredibly well balanced, packs one hell of a punch.

Sometimes these limited edition seasonal beers generate so much buzz that the drink itself can never live up to the expectation. Yellow Belly is not that beer.

I'll cherish and savour the bottles I have left and will count the weeks until it's with us again. Believe the hype.





Even More Jesus by Evil Twin

Thursday, 17 November 2016
Even More Jesus by Evil Twin
Thursday, 17 November 2016

Beer Name: Even More Jesus

Brewer: Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Date Sampled:  14th November 2016

ABV: 12%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

After three consecutive fruity IPAs/DIPAs it was time to enjoy something a little more apt for the seasons.

Around a month ago I had my first exposure to an Evil Twin beer, when I tried and was blown away by their Imperial Biscotti Break. Since then I've been on the look out for more of their beers and was overjoyed when I spied this can on my last trip to Bitter Virtue (I picked up one other Evil Twin beer but that's being saved for another day). I'd seen a few a Instagram reviews of Even More Jesus Imperial Stout and had a fair idea that it was a beer that I'd enjoy.

I was not wrong!

From the moment you start to pour it you know it's not to be trifled with; jet black with a thick consistency that is close as a beer is ever going to get to being 'gloopy.' It has a rich caramel coloured head although this doesn't hang around long.

The nose is bursting with wintery flavours; black treacle, dark chocolate, caramel and dates, with just a hint of floral hoppiness at the edge.

As it hits your tongue there is an initial spark of digestive biscuit (Graham Cracker) sweetness, but that does not last long. From here it is all thick black treacle, a slight hint of vanilla and a lovely bitterness that, because of the crude oil consistency, coats your taste buds and hangs around for a long time. As I'm sipping it and the beer warms up it is starting to open up slightly and the further I get into it, the more of the original aromas in the nose follow through into the taste.

Even More Jesus is not subtle; it is a boozy masterpiece that tastes all of it's 12% ABV and I love it.



Bloody Notorious by Beavertown

Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Bloody Notorious by Beavertown
Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Beer Name: Bloody Notorious Blood Orange DIPA

Brewer: Beavertown Brewery, London, UK

Date Sampled:  14th November 2016

ABV: 9.1%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

So the third and final instalment in my group review of fruity British IPAs and DIPAs brings us to Beavertown's Bloody Notorious. This Blood Orange DIPA is brewed in conjunction with Boneyard Beer from Oregon in the USA and it's another can full of refreshing wonderment.

In the glass it is a beautiful light golden colour, with a small white head which does a decent job at sticking around.

The nose is just as good, with the sweet orange juice aroma dominating and just a hint of hops bubbling away beneath.

Bloody Notorious has a brilliant balance to it's flavour, starting from sweet summertime fresh orange juice through to a lovely citrus bitter finish.

It's incredibly easy drinking and tastes a fraction of its 9.1% ABV.

This is another top beer and an example of what Britain's best breweries can do.

Click the following to see my reviews of Northern Monk's Double Heathen and Fourpure's Juice Box.







Juice Box by Fourpure

Monday, 14 November 2016
Juice Box by Fourpure
Monday, 14 November 2016

Beer Name: Juice Box Citrus IPA

Brewer: Fourpure Brewing Co., London, UK

Date Sampled:  13th November 2016

ABV: 5.9%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

So following on from yesterday's review of the amazing Double Heathen by Northern Monk, the second instalment in my fruity DIPA/IPA trifecta is Juice Box by Fourpure.

This is a beer that I've been looking to try for a while and comes with a pretty big reputation. After drinking it I'd say that the reputation is well deserved.

It's very attractive in the glass, with a slight haze to the golden colour and a small white head.

It's nose is an absolute fruit salad, with mango, grapefruit, tangerine and orange tingling your scent glands.

It has a smooth light body with a pleasing level of carbonation.

On tasting it's lighter than Double Heathen, with the initial hit of sweet fruit fading quickly, leaving you with a grapefruit pithiness and bitter orange that gives it a lovely refreshing feel. In terms of flavour and balance it reminded me a little of Brewdog's Elvis Juice; it has that sort of pithy tartness.

Juicebox isn't as spectacular as Double Heathen, but then not many beers this year have been. But, even at 5.9%, Juicebox is incredibly easy drinking and next summer I have no doubt that it will be a permanent fixture in my fridge.








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