I've been waiting for this.
Ever since the news of their partnership with Heineken was announced, I've been waiting for Beavertown to release a beer to remind everyone just how good they are. As I said in my blog post, as long as they continue to make the same great beer that we've come to expect from them, then I'll be happy to keep drinking it. Sapling is a 7.1% ABV IPA and here's the official description from Beavertown:
"Mellow Raspberry, ripe nectarine and white peach. Super soft mouthfeel masks the 68 IBU’s with a lingering malt sweetness. A heavily dry hopped IPA showcasing two of our favourite Australian hop varieties: Enigma & Galaxy. Fermented with London Fog for fruity yeast notes and gentle sweetness."
Ever since this beer was announced, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, and Hop Shop Aberdeen as always, came up with the goods.
First off - I can't talk about a Beavertown beer without talking about the can art. Kudos to Nick Dwyer, who really is at the top of his game with this one - check out how cool it looks?!
Sapling pours from the can a HAZY, pulpy, dark golden yellow colour, leaving a big foamy off-white head. This beer looks incredible! Aromas are fantastic - loads of sweet juicy fruits; mango, pineapple, peach and orange combine with some slight piney bitterness to leave your mouth watering. Taste wise, everything is quite similar to the aromas with loads of juicy fruits up front, then there's some slight bitterness and lingering bread/biscuit aftertaste that I wasn't overly sold on - but it wasn't in anyway off-putting. I enjoyed drinking this beer, it tastes great and it has a nice, full mouthfeel.
Overall, I highly enjoyed Sapling and whilst it's not quite up their with their best, it's another fine example of just how good a Beavertown IPA can be. If you had any doubt in your mind about the quality of their beer dropping - then I urge you to get out and try this one to put your mind at ease.
Sapling gets 4 out of 5 from me 🍻
Fierce Beer have been doing some awesome things this summer - most notably with their "scream" series. Next up we have PBJ (Peanut Butter & Jelly) Riot - a twist on their classic beer 'Peanut Riot' but with added raspberry jam. PBJ Riot is a 6.5% ABV peanut butter & jelly porter, and here's the official description from Fierce Beer:
"Our 'Peanut Riot' is an awesome beer; you’re immediately transported to the confectionery counter after one sip. But we wondered how it would taste as a classic PBJ, with raspberry jam - so we added some in. Try it with toast if you dare!"
Peanut Riot is a pretty damn good beer so the addition of some big raspberry flavours is surely going to make for an interesting beer.
PBJ Riot pours from the can a deep black with a very lively foamy beige head that took quite some time to settle. There's loads of sweet raspberry in the aroma with a slight sourness and some roasted nuts and a hint of chocolate. You get huge sharp, tangy raspberry flavours up front - so much you that you think you're drinking a sour and not a porter. You are then subtly reminded you are indeed drinking a porter with a combination of some roasted peanut flavours combined with a touch of bitter dark chocolate. It all comes together quite well, albeit maybe ever so slightly too sour for a dark beer in my opinion - but that doesn't stop it being enjoyable. There was also quite a bit of sediment in this beer, it didn't bother me too much - but it may bother some people.
Overall this was another pretty awesome beer from Fierce - the mixture of porter and sour certainly turned out to be an interesting one. Whilst it is maybe just slightly too sour for my liking, you can't deny that this beer is jam packed full of flavour. I'd certainly recommend giving it a go while it is still around.
PBJ gets 3.75 out of 5 from me 🍻
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 🍻