How can you still count yourself a knight, when you have forsaken every vow you ever swore? - Catelyn Stark, A Clash of Kings
I've been waiting for the return of the epic TV show, Game of Thrones to crack this one open. Bearing the same name as one of the the show's titular characters; Jamie Lannister, Kingslayer is a 8% ABV New England style DIPA.
Buxton are usually purveyors of the highest quality of beer - so a New England style DIPA from them can only be a good thing...
Popping open the bottle (complete with dragon!) you are greeted with sweet, tropical fruity aromas with a backbone of pine. It pours a golden amber, with a thin white head and little to no carbonation.
Those smooth, sweet tropical flavours show themselves again on taste; pineapple, mango & grapefruit are combined with some slight piney bitterness that gives this beer the all familiar awesome taste that we are so used to with a New England style IPA. This is such a smooth and sweet beer, it is incredibly easy to drink and the 8% ABV is well hidden by the fruit flavours.
Overall this was an extremely enjoyable beer - one that is certainly worthy of a king.
4 out of 5 hops from me. Valar Morghulis 🍻
Beavertown x Lervig
Gods of beer Beavertown & Norwegian brewery Lervig; the brains behind the wonderful Tasty Juice have come together to produce M.A.D, or Mutually Assured Destruction - a 9.5% ABV DIPA.
Here's the official rundown from Beavertown:
"In a world full of crazy, only one thing keeps us sane. The cold comfort blanket that is “Mutually Assured Destruction”.
Brewed in collaboration with insane Norwegian beer despots, Lervig, this hop bomb is the “gift” that keeps on giving. Pure mango juice in the glass it packs a hefty payload of tinned mangos and pineapple on the nose with just the faintest hint of pine-y menthol. On the palate it’s banging fresh, targeting your taste receptors with juicy peach, passionfruit and a lick of zesty lime, then, just when you thought the bombardment was over, a wave of punchy black pepper & liquorice bitterness reinforcements arrive that keep on going, and going, and going until your taste buds are so battle-weary you can’t remember a time before this flavour.
Beavertown can do no wrong in my eyes, and I absolutely loved Tasty Juice, so I can only assume we're onto a winner here...
Before cracking it open, take a minute to admire the outrageous can art on display here...seriously epic stuff!
The flavours that we have come to know and expect from a beer like this are all present here; gorgeous tropical fruit aromas fill your nose as you crack the can and pour into a glass, backed by a healthy amount of piney bitterness. The beer pours an extremely hazy amber with a thin beige head that disappears quickly.
On your first sip you are hit with a huge bitter hop bomb, however it doesn't last too long as the fruit soon comes into play; orange, pineapple and mango overcome the bitterness to round this beer off with a perfect sweet mouthfeel.
For a 9.5% ABV DIPA, the alcohol is hidden extremely well by the flavours...dangerous stuff!
I really enjoyed this beer - it's not quite Humuloid, but still very enjoyable nonetheless. Beavertown knock it out the park yet again.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
The kings of beer, my favourite brewery; Beavertown are back with what they claim to be the "natural extension of Lupuloid". Humuloid is a 8% ABV Vermont style DIPA that comes with yet more INSANE can art from these Gods of beer.
"This is a powerhouse of a beer. Dense like cloudy apple juice you know this is going to smack you hard with massive slugs of rich, ripe mango and pineapple on the nose and maybe just a hint of shortcrust swaggering around in the background. It weighs in heavy on the palate courtesy of plenty of wheat and oats. Stacks more sticky mango then orchard fruits, apple and crunchy pear finishing with a builders tea like bitterness to pick you up, dust you off and get you ready for another round.
Humuloid is the natural extension of Lupuloid, a double IPA with plenty of wheat and oats for a rich body, and fermented with Vermont yeast to lend it some fruitiness. Low bitterness in the boil, but then dry hopped with 18 g/l of Citra and Azacca for huge hoppy aromatics balancing out the sweetness of the finishing gravity."
I probably could just stop this review right here. I'm going to love this beer. It's going to be a 5/5, I know it.
Well, Humuloid does not disappoint in the slightest. It is damn incredible.
Opening up this insanely designed can by the God of can art Nick Dwyer, you are greeted by the some incredible aromas; pineapple, mango, orange & citrus are backed with the slightest hint of pine. It's basically juice. It pours a thick, murky dark yellow leaving little to no head or carbonation.
I don't even know where to start with the taste. Wow. It is the perfect Vermont style DIPA. Those fruits are at the forefront of the flavour; pineapple, mango & citrus with just a hint of bitterness rounding it all off. And this beer is THICK! I repeat; it's basically juice.
Humuloid is up there with Tropigamma, New England IPA and the best that Cloudwater has to offer as one of my favourite beers in recent memory. It is simply incredible. Trust me, you will love it.
I'll be reviewing Beavertown's other new DIPA - M.A.D, their collaboration with Lervig very soon. So be sure to come back and see how it compares with this.
Humuloid is a perfect beer, 5/5 hops from me 🍻
Magic Rock x Other Half
Earlier this year when I was researching breweries for our trip to New York City, one brewery that caught my eye was Other Half Brewing; they seemed to be extremely highly rated & had plenty of cool looking cans on their Instagram page. Now, unfortunately I did not get to sample any of their beers when I was there...however it now seems that they have come to me.
Half Cut is a collaboration between Huddersfield based Magic Rock & Other Half Brewing out of Brooklyn, NYC. Sold in 500ml cans, Half Cut is a 8% ABV DIPA that currently has a 99% overall rating on RateBeer. Here's what Magic Rock have to say about it:
"A DIPA collaboration with our friends from Brooklyn, Other Half Brewing. Along with our pale malt Golden Promise, the beer uses a reasonably large percentage of oats in the mash for a creamy body and soft mouthfeel.
A low bitterness target (for a DIPA) of around 60IBU was aimed for and Citra, Mosaic & Denali hops added to the whirlpool for loads of tropical/citrus flavour. We went heavy on the dry hopping with lots more Citra and Mosaic as well as some Simcoe, Amarillo & HBC 438. The finished beer has a really punchy aroma as well as a super juicy fruit like flavour and soft mouthfeel."
My ever dependable bottleshop Westhill Service Station managed to get some of these in, and I was delighted to get my hands on one.
Well this one is a bit special.
Opening the wonderfully designed can instantly releases big hoppy aromas, fused with loads of tropical fruits; mango, pineapple, passion fruit & some citrus orange.
It fills the glass a wonderful hazy, murky golden orange with a big foamy beige head.
The taste is incredible. Quite bitter on the first sip, with big hoppy, piney flavours but that soon relaxes to make way for the fruit. Again, tropical fruits combined with citrus orange give this beer an excellent mouthfeel that balances the bitterness perfectly.
I've raved about Magic Rock in the past. They make excellent beer. Teaming up with these heavy hitters from NYC has resulted in an outstanding beer. I can't recommend this one enough.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Well this is it. This is v end. After 13 iterations, Cloudwater have announced that v13 will be the last in the DIPA series. During my review of v12 (my first Cloudwater DIPA), I stated that I hoped to try many more editions of this DIPA series. How wrong was I?!
Safe to say that I was a little disappointed, yet also excited to try out the swansong in the DIPA series. Again, I was able to count on Westhill Service Station to come up with the goods; I was told they sold out of this in 10 minutes!
DIPA v13 is the 13th entry in Cloudwater's highly acclaimed DIPA series, coming in at 9% ABV. Here's what Cloudwater have to say:
"A revision of our Birthday DIPA recipe, v13 is similarly made up of 14% oats in the grist and a 25g/l dry hop. The combination of Citra BBC and mixed fermentation of a 50/50 pitch of WLP4000 and 4786th generation of JW Lees yeast, make v13 our boldest and fruitiest DIPA yet."
The good news is that Couldwater have announced a new range of three stronger IPA's that they are going to be rolling out in the future, including a New England Style DIPA. Now this has me excited...their collaboration with Brewdog; New England IPA is one of the best beers I've ever had. Here's a little excerpt from their blog:
We’re far from done with our love affair with New England style DIPAs. So from time to time we’ll rotate into our production plan the softest, juiciest DIPAs we can make featuring complex malt bills (designed for maximum mouthfeel), WLP4000 or 095 with all their stone fruit flavours, and the freshest new season hops too."
I already know I'm going to love this beer.
Straight from opening this wonderfully packaged can, I know that we are on to a winner. Juicy fruit smells fill your nose; pineapple, mango & grapefruit, followed by the familiar hoppy piney aroma.
It pours a beautiful murky dark orange with a thin foamy beige head, releasing more of the intoxicating fruity aromas as it fills the glass.
This beer tastes incredible. The sweet fruit flavours fill your mouth, almost reminiscent of a juicy fruit salad. The fruit flavours are so powerful, it makes this beer incredibly drinkable for one coming in at 9%. It's all rounded off perfectly by that familiar hoppy bitterness...safe to say I was gutted when I emptied my glass.
I can't fault this beer at all, and I can't recommend it highly enough. If you can get your hands on this beer then buy it, drink it and enjoy it.
This is up there with the best; standing tall alongside v12, New England IPA, Bloody Notorious & Tropigamma. It may be v end for now, however I have a feeling Cloudwatwer will come out swinging.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Happy (belated) birthday Beavertown! It's been a few weeks now since Double Chin was re-released to celebrate Beavertown's 5th birthday, and I have finally got my hands on it thanks to Westhill Service Station and their newsletter.
Orginally brewed to celebrate their 4th birthday, Double Chin was brewed again to mark their 5th. Double Chin is a DIPA, coming in at 8.5% ABV. Here's the official blurb by Beavertown:
"A double version of our first ever beer, "Neck Oil," brewed to celebrate our Fourth Birthday, everybody who has helped us over the years and all those around us who make great beer!
Resinous and hoppy, but oh so dangerously drinkable. You will have cake coming out of your eyes."
Beavertown rarely disappoint. Time to find out...
Well...where do we start with this one? The can I guess. Look at it! How cool is it? Some seriously awesome can art going on there!
Cracking the can and having a whiff, you are met with big piney smells, followed up with sweet citrus fruit. It pours a golden yellow, leaving a foamy white head.
Right off the bat sweet tropical fruits and orange lead the way to give a great initial flavour. Your are then met with the familiar piney, hoppy bitterness that you are used to in a classic DIPA. Again, this is another case of a DIPA that is way too easy to drinks (which is not a bad thing).
Overall, another top quality beer from Beavertown that is up there with the best of the best DIPA's that I've had.
4.5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
I've been drinking craft beer for what seems like forever now, and in that time I've only had one beer made by Cloudwater...two if you include Big Dipper; their collaboration with Magic Rock. Neither of these beers have been any version of their DIPA series, and for a brewery that's considered as one of the best in the UK - that is shocking on my part!
So when Westhill Service Station's weekly craft beer newsletter was sent out the day before I flew to New York, and the headline beer for the week was DIPA v12 - I immediately emailed and asked them to reserve a can for me on my return. Chris who works there was more than happy to so for me and after a brief mix up when trying to collect it...I was finally ready for my first taste of a Cloudwater DIPA.
DIPA v12 is the 12th beer in Cloudwater's highly revelled, and now monthly, DIPA series. Coming in at a hefty 9% ABV, Mosaic hops take the lead here, backed up by a combination of Nelson Sauvin, Chinook & Citra. WLP095 Burlington Ale Yeast is used with a small addition of Caramalt to give some fruitiness.
Well, I don't know what to say, apart from that I'm blown away. This is one of the best DIPA's I've ever had - it's certainly up their with Bloody Notorious & Big Dipper.
Opening the can, you are greeted with big fruity aromas - pineapple and mango especially. These flavours follow through into the flavour, with mango in particular at the forefront of the flavour bomb. Rounding these flavours off, is just the right amount of bitterness that makes this DIPA very drinkable - it is everything you look for in a DIPA.
v12 has also looks great, pouring a nice hazy golden colour, that is topped off with a nice white head.
Now I know what everyone has been raving about for so long! I wont be leaving it so long to have my next Cloudwater beer after this. On the basis of this beer, I can certainly see why the are gathering such an impeccable reputation. I'm not sure how long they're planning on keeping up this DIPA series, but I will definitely be keeping tabs on the next release.
5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
The Kings In The North
Lately, I have been enjoying lots of awesome beer from Magic Rock Brewing. They make some seriously awesome beer. Beer that rival some of my favourites by Beavertown & Brewdog. I'm gonna give you a little rundown of some of the beers I have tried.
They first came to my attention by seeing some of their cans in Brewdog's bottleshop. Thinking they looked quite cool, I decided to pick a few of them up. Cannonball & Inhaler were the first two I tried, and as my taste expanded, I tried more and more. They definitely provide some of the more interesting beers on the market, with High Wire, and Salty Kiss being prime examples. Magic Rock have a core range of 9 different beers, as well as a HUGE back catalogue of limited releases and collaborations.
My local bottleshop, Westhill Service Station do a great job of stocking the core line of beers, and have also managed to get in some of the limited runs & collaborations. So far, I have tried the following beers by Magic Rock:
Without doubt my absolute favourite is High Wire Grapefruit, followed closely by Big Dipper. High Wire is awesome. Grapefruit works excellently in a Pale Ale, with another awesome example being Elvis Juice by Brewdog. High Wire, however, takes the crown for me.
If you have never tried a beer by Magic Rock, I would recommend at least trying High Wire Grapefruit, and Salty Kiss...they are both packed full of awesome flavours, and I can guarantee, that will not be the only can of High Wire Grapefruit that you ever have. I have never had a bad beer from them yet.
They have also today, announced their first collaboration of 2017 - with The Wild Beer Co. These guys have been doing awesome things lately, and I cannot wait to see what they can do together.
Magic Rock were formed in 2011 by two brothers; Richard and Jonny Burhouse and their head brewer Stuart Ross. Within six months, they had built up and excellent reputation and were named 2nd best new brewery in the world, 2012.
In 2015 the brewery moved to a new Brewery in Birkby, Huddersfield, which increased their capacity to 10,000hl PA. Since then, The Magic Rock Tap launched and they did their first run of cans. In early 2016, their capacity increased by a further 100% to a total fermentation capacity of 70,000 litres.
You can find out more about Magic Rock in the following places:
I can't wait to see what they do next 🍻
Magic Rock x Cloudwater
Happy New Year beer drinkers! For my first post of 2017, I’m going to be reviewing the collaboration between Magic Rock & Cloudwater – Big Dipper.
Big Dipper is a 8.3% ABV Double IPA, that is a new recipe that is loosely based on the ‘Three’s Company’ collaboration they brewed together for Manchester Beer Week last Summer. This is the third Magic Rock beer to be packed in labelled 500ml cans that feature Rich Norgate’s awesome artwork and one of the first beers to be put through their new centrifuge.
Described by Magic Rock as: “A collaborative Double IPA brew with our friends from over t’hills Cloudwater Brew Co. Golden Promise, Wheat, Oat and Crystal Malt were used for a smooth, golden, malty body. A combination of Magnum, Citra, Simcoe, Eureka and Mosaic T90 hops were used in the whirlpool and dry hopping, with additional Citra – ‘Cryo Hops™ Lupulin Powder’ added in the dry hop. Fermented with US ‘Double IPA’ yeast the result is a massively fruit-filled DIPA with loads of Mango and Peach aroma & flavour and gravity-defying drinkability. Strap yourself in!”
Again picked up from Westhill Service Station, I was certainly looking forward to trying this beer...
Cracking the awesomely designed can, you are greeted with a big whiff of mixed citrus fruit...good start. The beer pours a light hazy orange with a small foamy white head. On taste you get dry, citrus orange flavours backed up by huge bitter hops. I think that DIPA's excel with a good amount of bitterness from hops (Looking at you Bloody Notorious!) so this beer was definitely too my taste. One thing for sure, this beer is FAR too drinkable for a DIPA at 8.3% ABV. Dangerous stuff!
You can buy Big Dipper online at:
Overall, I loved this beer, and it carries on the excellent experience I've had with any Magic Rock beer I've tried - I will definitely be doing a blog post about them as a brewery in the future.
Big Dipper gets a solid 4.5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
An enthusiastic lover of all things craft beer from Aberdeen, Scotland.