Leeds Lurking by Northern Monk and Other Half

Thursday, 14 September 2017
Leeds Lurking by Northern Monk and Other Half
Thursday, 14 September 2017

Beer Name: Patrons Project 1.04 - Leeds Lurking

Brewer: Northern Monk Brew Co., Leeds, UK & Other Half Brewing, New York, USA

Date Sampled:  4th September 2017

ABV: 10%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

The Northern Monk Patrons Project has to be one of the most exciting but also consistent series in British craft brewing. Blending innovative modern beer with world class artists is the sort of multi media experience you'd only normally expect from Prestige World Wide but Northern Monk just keep knocking out top brews wrapped up in the most beautiful packaging. Amongst them are Fire and Passion (a coffee porter brewed with chocolate and orange) and their Passion Fruit Lassi IPA which has one of the most stunning beer labels I've seen.

This latest effort has been put together with New York's Other Half Brewing and is an Imperial Coffee Porter made with morello cherry.

Before we get to the beer however, lets take a moment to appreciate the image that adorns this can. Tom Joy, a Leeds based photographer originally from Aberdeen, has produced the kind of picture that reminds you that spotless streets and flawless historic architecture are not essential for urban landscape photography. The use of harsh lighting, emphasised by the metallic finish on the wrap around label, gives this very industrial image an ethereal feel and works brilliantly with the name of this beer; Leeds Lurking.

So does the beer inside live up to the design on the outside? You bet it does!

It pours a glossy jet black with a lovely hazelnut coloured head that does a decent job of hanging around.

The nose is pretty punchy, with fresh coffee and tobacco giving it a luxurious aroma, whilst the morello cherry is pleasingly also very obvious.

When you sip it (and this is a sipper) there is sweet cherry up front, followed by rich dark chocolate and coffee, but then the cherry comes back at the end, but this time with a sharpness to it.

As you'd expect in an imperial porter, there is a warming amount of alcohol which along with all of the other flavours present, gives you the feeling of drinking a boozy black forest gateaux.

This is another stunning entry into the Patrons Project and one that is definitely worth seeking out.





Chubbles by Cloudwater and The Veil

Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Chubbles by Cloudwater and The Veil
Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Beer Name: Chubbles

Brewer: Cloudwater Brew Co., Manchester, England & The Veil Brewing Co., Richmond, Virginia, USA

Date Sampled: 4th September 2017

ABV: 10%

Serving Type: Can

Location Sampled: Home

As an avid follower of many stateside craft beer instagram accounts there are a number of American breweries that I'm just itching to try. Trillium, Treehouse, Nightshift and Other Half are just a handful of producers that are consistently pumping out can after can of hop forward juice bombs. The Veil Brewing Co, based in Richmond Virginia are a relative newcomer to the scene (the brewery opened in April 2016) but they have quickly established themselves as one of the best and most highly sought of in the business.

So when it was announced that they would be collaborating with Cloudwater, arguably the hottest brewery in the UK right now, it caused a fair amount of interest!

As I understand, the recipe for this triple IPA was a joint effort between the two breweries with the first iteration of Chubbles being produced and distributed by The Veil in May of this year. It garnered rave reviews and instagram was awash with the striking space themed can design and glasses of bright orange haze.

This meant that when Cloudwater announced the online release of the UK version there were beer nerds (including me) up and down the country frantically hitting refresh to make sure that they didn't miss out. And boy am I glad that I made the effort!

Filling the glass like freshly squeezed orange juice, this beer looks every part the archetypal hazy juice bomb.

It has one of the punchiest aromas I've ever had the pleasure of inhaling, with a mix of mango, apricot and pineapple mixing wonderfully with a melon like freshness. But underneath that there's also a sharp onion savoury element that helps to stop the nose being too sweet.

When you taste Chubbles all of those fruit flavours come to the fore, with sweet citrus up front which moves towards something more akin to an over ripe fermented melon or mango. There's a bitterness to the finish and just enough alcohol present to give a warmth on the back end, with a candied orange peel after taste.

With so much flavour coupled with a smooth luxurious mouth feel I'd almost describe this as chewy, but that's definitely meant as a compliment.

All of the excitement around Chubbles was more than justified; I've not tried many beers that are as full of flavour but also so well balanced.

Don't be surprised to see this featuring strongly in my end of year review of the best beers of 2017....





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