They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A Week on the Unknown

This week has been mainly dominated by drinking 90% new beers, and 10% favorites. These have largely come from the shop, but some have come from colleagues in the form of "Biere a la maison" and others from online breweries. I started Monday off with a bang; consuming a 10.4% beast from the ever inspiring Sierra Nevada brewery.
     Hoptimum is a new beer to the shop, and one we have been looking forward to in anticipation for many many weeks! It wasn't surprising when it came in then, when 2/3rds of the case was allocated to orders even before the cardboard was torn open. With this observed we thought it best to procure another case for Wednesday. (which could be all gone by now too!)

My musings on this beverage; This Imperial IPA comes across the nose with piney resin and some grapefruit. It's aroma's not as massive as I'd expect from a 100ibu beer, but the treasure is in the drink itself. The mouth feel is quite thick, and as you might think, hugely bitter from start to finish. All the classics are there - grapefruit, orange rind, some caramel mixed in with a hint of honeycomb, and a nice rich smooth malty-ness leaving the beer quite well balanced. I've heard a few bad comments about this beer, but it was no disappointment. Fulfilling my expectations is always a win for beer, and this one may have invented a new style; a sipping IPA. (my mate called it a quad IPA)

Tuesday brought on a homebrew from the Zak man himself, his Citra Pale Ale. I didn't write many notes at the time, mainly because Zak seems to have found himself to be a bit of a brewing fiend as of late. He seems to be churning out the homebrews on an industrial scale, and with great success. I remember the flavour of this one was light but prominent. There were notes of lemon-grass and a, sort of, sweet melon flavoured Starburst sweets (or Opal Fruits depending how old your are.)

Wednesday was accompanied by two new but familiar faces to our shop shelves. Williams Brothers Good Times & Thornbridge Wild Swan were two beers which have not graced our shop doors before, but come from very respectable breweries. These two light ales were just what the doctor ordered after 60 mins of 5-aside at the end of the day, refreshment incarnate!

Thursday had to be a light one with a early morning on Friday, so I opted for a new to the shop, but familiar favorite of mine; Sharp's Atlantic IPA. Some may not share my enthusiasm for this beer, some think it's a little too sweet, others dislike the clear glass look (myself included a little). But this was one of the first IPA's I had when I was first getting into "good beer" and I've really enjoyed it ever since, and will continue to do so in the future.

Friday night was a bit of a mish-mash of beers, as I spent a good part of the evening in Arcadia, my 'local' as I like call it. It was a fun and rambunctious night of drinking Ilkley Best, beers from Elland and Durham breweries, and generally having a good time in a pub/bar. We won't talk about Saturday morning though.

Saturday night came around again, and after serving great beers all day I was ready for some more. I began round at a friends with some more homebrew, from my colleague Tom; his much talked about Baby Faced Assassin. I told him I'd tell him what I thought *truthfully* so here goes: The pour is good, a lasting rocky head from a nice level of carbonation. You are approached with a waft of lemons and sherbet, with some more melon sweets, but thats come to be expected from a beer made with half a kilo of 100% citra hops! There's a faint aroma of the peppery yeasty zest that you get in Delirium Tremens hiding in there as-well amongst some candy apples. Flavour-wise it's an intensely bitter beer. Huge juicy fruits and a long moorish finish, and a certain dryness which coats the mouth and throat. The aroma is much bigger than the flavour, which drops away a little, but the bitterness stays. My mate tried some, then went onto drinking some Rogue Dead Guy ale, and said he couldn't really taste it after the baba! 6.4% I don't think so, think 2% and then it's gone! (he says he's making it again though :D)

The second beer of the night was the much anticipated AB:05 from Brewdog's Abstrakt range. A Belgian Imperial Stout aged on toasted coconut and cacao, and at 12.5% it's no slouch. "Brewdog's best beer to date?" maybe. But I'm not sure it was as good as AB:04 or Tokyo*

I got rich plummy aromas, with burnt coffee and a slight silky oakyness around the aromas. It's very thick and light on the carbonation, but it's not flat, quite zesty infact. It was very sweet, but that was a good thing for me. After the initial swallow you thought "mmm tasty" then you get a huge backlash of flavour clawing its way back up your throat, which makes you really take note! It's creamy and slightly chocolatey, lots of sugars and a hint of liqourice. It's woody as-well which leaves a good drying quality to the finish. My mate said "I'm not a big beer drinker, but that's incredible!"

The only thing that could suffice after the mental break down of our taste buds from those 2 beers was some Bruichladdich Rocks to whisk us away into the wee hours of the morning. Bliss.

Sunday, as with all things brings, a day of rest from the booze, in anticipation of a new week ahead and new beers to try, my mouth is watering already!


  1. Dude! I've literally just posted my musings on the good ship Hoptimum!

  2. I saw just after I put mine up! I agree with what you say about the finish, it was hard to pick it apart, but I like a bit of challenge. Was good to see our tasting note were slightly similar. Proves I haven't lost my taste buds completely yet :)

  3. Having read this and then seen the early reactions, I'm both jealous and envious (apparently these two are subtly different) of you all!

    The Hoptimum certainly sounds like one to be exploring!