Sometimes it’s all in the name. Peach Slush IPA. Think about that for a minute. It sounds wonderful right? So when I saw those exact words on a recent issue of the Hop Shop Aberdeen newsletter – I bought the beer in question immediately. Did I forget to mention that is also from Omnipollo? Yep, I know…
Officially named Shoutao, this beer is exactly what it says on the can - a 7% ABV peach slush IPA. Here's the official description from Omnipollo:
"A peach slush IPA brewed with wheat, oats, peach, lactose sugar and our favourite hops. Full bodies yet refreshing."
There's times when I review certain beers that I just know it's going to be positive before I've even opened it. This was one of those times. The combination of it being brewed by Omnipollo and the name - Peach Slush IPA. I knew it was going to be good.
Let's start off with the can. Just look at it. How freaking cool is it?! It is easily one of my favourite can designs of late and only adds to the awesomeness of this beer. Shoutao pours a bright yellow colour, leaving a small foamy white head - it actually looks eerily like a lager! Before I've even finished pouring the beer in to the glass, the aroma is incredible! LOADS of juicy peach, mango and vanilla - you could actually smell it from across the room! Now this is where things start to get a little weird...and this beer starts to morph in to a sort of sour IPA. You instantly get loads of sweet, juicy peach and mango up front but there is a sharp sourness to it. This is then rounded off by creamy vanilla flavours and a splash of bitter resin. It all works really well - albeit maybe slightly too sour for my liking although it is incredibly smooth and easy drinking for the 7% ABV.
Overall this was a REALLY awesome beer from Omnipollo. Although I must admit, it was a bit of a weird one; sort of a mash up between an IPA and a sour - but it was pretty great. I can't recommend trying it enough! If you've never tried a beer from Omnipollo, then this is the perfect place to start.
Shoutao gets 4.5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Tiny Rebel Brew Co.
If i'm not drinking beer, then the chances are that I may well be drinking gin. So when I stumbled across a beer named Gin & Juice, I was understandable curious. From the minds of Welsh brewing wizards Tiny Rebel and inspired by the classic Snoop Dog track of the same name, Gin & Juice is a 4.5% ABV botanical pale ale. Here's the official description from Tiny Rebel:
"The hip hop world has given us loads of ideas, so we thought it was only right we beerify the most famous cocktail rap has given the world. Gin & Juice is a beer that combines the classic pale ale style, the rich, aromatic notes of gin botanicals and sweet fruit flavours that provide the juice for this party. Bucket loads of juniper berries, citrus peel and aromatic spices give the beer a delicious, dry note, which is balanced out by the juicy fruit flavours from some punchy hops. It's like an afterparty in your mouth! Laid back!"
Tiny Rebel are no stranger to making interesting beers with a twist. So I was looking forward to seeing how this one turned out.
Starting off with the bottle art - seriously, how cool is it?! It is unmistakably Tiny Rebel, with their signature graffiti style artwork.
Gin & Juice pours from the bottle a ever so slightly hazy golden amber colour, leaving a thin while head that quickly disappears. This beer is called Gin & Juice for a reason - there is loads of juniper in the aroma giving it that unmistakable gin smell. This is backed up with plenty of citrus lemon, orange and a pinch of spice. Flavour wise, you again get the juniper up front along with some coriander, a bit of spice combined with the citrus lemon and orange. It all works quite well, and it's pretty crisp and refreshing to drink. It didn't quite blow me away, but the mixture of flavours certainly made it stand out.
Overall, I found Gin & Juice to be a really flavoursome beer with loads of interesting flavours. It's definitely something different and worth checking out if you are a gin drinker as well as a beer drinker. Tiny Rebel come up with the goods yet again.
Gin & juice gets 4 out of 5 from me 🍻
The Garden Brewery
Every so often a beer will come along from a brewery I know little about and blow me away. That's exactly what's happened here with The Garden Brewery and their Milkshake IPA. I'd seen this beer on the shelves in Hop Shop Aberdeen previously, but I didn't know anything about it so when I saw it on the shelves again last week, curiosity got the better of me and I picked up a can. From the look of the can, I thought the Garden Brewery were a small brewery in England somewhere and to my surprise...they turned out to be from Croatia!
Milkshake IPA is a 6.7% ABV well, Milkshake IPA. Here's the official description from The Garden Brewery:
"Sweet creamy and juicy IPA. Super Milky - With 3 times more lactose than we have ever used! Subtle sweet notes of passion-fruit, mango, strawberry, and vanilla. Fermented out with unique White Labs London Fog yeast WLP066."
I'd read nothing but good things about this beer on Instagram, so it's safe to say I had quite high hopes for it.
Milkshake IPA pours from the can a rather hazy golden orange colour, leaving decent sized foamy white head. It just looks like it's going to be great and things continue to get better from there - sweet, juicy mango, strawberry, pineapple and passion fruit aromas fill your nose. It all smells a little bit like an alcoholic fruit smoothie. You realise just how good this beer is after your first sip - those same fruits from the aromas combine with the lactose to create a sweet, juicy and creamy flavour sensation. The lactose does wonders for the mouthfeel of this beer, it is so smooth and creamy that it really is reminiscent of a milkshake. There is a warmth at the end of it all from the alcohol to remind you that you are actually still drinking a beer.
I can't state enough how much I enjoyed this beer. The moment I finished it, I immediately wanted more of it. The can states that this is part of the "experimental series" from The Garden Brewery...well, the experiment has certainly worked on me!
This beer is stunning, and frankly it's one of the best beers that I have drank this year. Do yourself a favour and get your hands on some - you will not regret it. In the meantime, I'm off to find some more beer by my favourite Croatian brewery...
Milkshake IPA gets 5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Aberdeen's Fierce Beer blew my mind earlier this year with the release of their first two ice cream ale's - Orange Scream & Melba Scream. They were seriously phenomenal beers. So when the latest in this series was announced as Pina Colada Scream...I was extremely excited (who doesn't love a Pina Colada?!). Kudos again to Hop Shop Aberdeen to getting this beer on the shelves super pronto.
Pina Colada Scream is a 6.55 ABV ice cream pale ale. Here's the official description from Fierce themselves:
"Pina Colada Scream is the third in our series of Ice Cream beers. This one is jammed with pineapple and coconut, heavily influenced by the cocktail-making antics of the Caribbean. Best served with a cherry, a paper umbrella and a crooning Mr. Manilow..."
So yeah...this sounds awesome, right?
Pina Colada Scream pours from the can a HAZY dark orange colour with a big foamy beige head. There's loads of pineapple in the nose, along with some coconut, peach and a creamy lactose aroma. Flavours are unsurprisingly similar to the aromas - sweet juicy pineapple, and loads of vanilla creaminess but for me the coconut seemed to be slightly lacking. Don't get me wrong, the beer still tastes great - it's so quirky and unusual and the creamy pineapple flavours make it extremely drinkable.
Overall, this was another excellent beer from Fierce. These guys seriously know what they are doing when it comes to summer beers! Whilst it didn't quite top the other two for me - it was still very enjoyable to drink, and a Pina Colada inspired beer is something that must be tried to be believed. If you liked either of the other two, then you will 100% like this.
Pina Colada Scream gets 4.25 out of 5 from me 🍻
Beer Story Brewing
Wimbledon starts today and local brewery Beer Story Brewing are back with what very well could be one of the beers of the summer. I remember when they first told me about the plans for this this beer at #NorthHopABZ earlier this year, and I was understandably excited about it. It was also due to be one of their first canned beers - and we all know canned beers are best, right?
The beer in question is Strawberries & Cream - a 4.5% ABV cream ale, that has intentionally been brewed with hot summer days in mind. Ice cream/cream ales are becoming quite popular this year, and it's understandable why - they are perfect for drinking in this kind of weather.
Let's see what this one is all about.
Strawberries & Cream pours a dark golden orange colour, leaving a thin, foamy, off white head. One sniff of this beer and you are reminded of one thing - those strawberry & cream Campino sweets from when you were a kid. Glorious! On your first sip, you are instantly greeted with loads of sweet, juicy strawberry flavours, and you also get a lovely creamy texture from the lactose too. There's low bitterness, but there's also a slight wheat flavour to it too. This beer really is what it says on the can - it didn't quite blow me away, but it was very drinkable.
Overall, this was a pretty damn good beer, and whilst I never drank it in the glorious sunshine - I am keen to get more of it and experience it that way. It's another solid beer for Beer Story, who have a pretty good track record with their beer now. Now I need to get my hands on their Lemon Wheat...
Strawberries & Cream gets 4 out of 5 from me 🍻