Buxton x Omnipollo
Yellow Belly. Potentially the daddy of all beers, it's most certainly considered the daddy of imperial stouts. This beer has been around for years, and yet it's taken me until now to get round to trying it. Why? I'm not sure really. I think when I first started my craft beer journey, it was partly the price that put me off - paying the guts of £10 for a beer seemed outrageous to me. But as I grew to appreciate beer more, and just how complex and incredible the flavours could be, I realised that it might actually be worth it.
Yellow Belly is a collaboration between Buxton Brewery and Swedish giants Omnipollo and is a 11% ABV imperial peanut butter biscuit stout (yes, you read that right). Here's the official description from the breweries:
“Yellow belly” — a person who is without courage, fortitude, or nerve; a coward. To us, one of the most cowardly deeds is to act anonymously, hiding behind a group. A signifying trait of institutionalised racism. This beer is brewed to celebrate all things new, open minded and progressive. A peanut butter biscuit stout with no biscuits, butter or nuts. Taste, enjoy, and don’t be prejudiced."
You may have seen this beer in the press lately regarding an ongoing legal situation regarding the name, and as a result it is actually being discontinued in its current form. You can read the full story behind this beer here. I picked this beer up from Hop Shop Aberdeen, as usual, as part of my Christmas stash, and Christmas Day seemed as good a time as ever to enjoy this beer.
We can't talk about this beer before talking about the presentation. It is striking, potentially unlike anything else on the shelves, and to anyone who doesn't know the full story behind the beer - possibly quite confusing. But when you unwrap the bottle from it's white hood, and read the message on the bottle , then you realise exactly what this beer is all about.
Yellow Belly pours from the bottle a dark brown, almost oil black, leaving a thin tan coloured head. The initial aromas are loads of peanut butter, roasted malts, hazelnut and sweet buttery biscuit. It really does smell incredible! After one sip of this beer then you know you are in good hands; big roasted malts up front combine with peanut butter, some bitter chocolate, butter biscuit and a hint of vanilla. This beer is incredibly full bodied, nice and creamy, with low carbonation. The flavours are faultless, and come together wonderfully to make this everything a great stout should be.
Was this beer worth the wait? Absolutely. Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely. I'm just regretting the fact I left it so long to try it out, as I would have loved to have experienced it evolve over the years. I am, however, glad I tried it while I still had the chance - and if like me, you have left it this late to try it, then I urge you to do so before it's gone forever, in its current form at least.
Yellow Belly gets 5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Buxton, a brewery renowned for making some incredible beer including some world class collaborations with Swedish brewing giants Omnipollo, have just released their latest core beer, which is also their first ever canned beer.
Axe^X is a 6.8% ABV IPA that contains Citra, Amarillo, Mosaic hops and here is the official description from Buxton:
"Where X is dry hopping increased by 200%. 20% oats added to the grist for enhanced mouthfeel and character and IBU's significantly reduced."
Axe Edge is a beer that I have a very high opinion of, so my expectations were pretty high for this one & I was delighted that Hop Shop Aberdeen got it on the shelves so quickly following release.
Starting this off with the can - how cool is it?! It features a blueprint like design of various sketches of hops along with various dimensions & scribbles. Coming from an engineering drawing background, I found this label pretty awesome.
Axe^X pours from the can a hazy orange colour leaving a thin off white/beige head. The aromas are instantly citrus & tropical fruits; loads of orange, pineapple & mango are followed by the slightest hint of caramel. Flavour wise, it's full on from the off; the orange, pineapple & mango are at the forefront combining with the oats and malts before being rounded off with a big whack of bitterness. It all worked amazingly for me, it was so easy drinking and the addition of the oats give this beer such a fantastic silky smooth mouthfeel.
This beer is world class. Perhaps one of the best IPA's in the UK right now in my opinion, and easily in my top three beers this year. If you get the chance, then you have to try it - you will not be disappointed.
Axe^X gets 5 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
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 🍻
Buxton x Omnipollo
When life gives you lemons...make beer. That's what Buxton & Omnipollo did anyway.
Original Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie is a 6% ABV fruit beer, that is described as;
"This beer beer sits right between sour and sweet. In my mind it is the closest we’ve ever come to balance. Kettle-soured and brewed with added lactose, it is then conditioned on buckets of lemon juice. Perfect, like lemon meringue ice cream pie."
I have previously reviewed Original Ice Cream Pale Ale and found it utterly spectacular, as well as sampling Original Rocky Road Ice Cream at #PunkAGM2017. I can now also confirm that Brewdog DID actually mess up at #PunkAGM2017 - I was DEFINITELY served this twice instead of the Original Ice Cream Pale Ale. I knew it. Not that I'm complaining too much, this is a great beer...
Well, this is one zesty little number!
Pouring this into a glass instantly releases the sour, tart, zesty lemon aromas. The beer fills the glass a light, hazy yellow; like a cloudy lemonade, leaving a thin fluffy white head.
The first taste is EXTREMELY sour & tart, clearly from the lemon juice, and is the followed up with a nice sweetness from the added lactose. After a few sips, the sourness becomes less extreme and it settles to become a very enjoyable beer.
It may seem like a simple sour fruit beer, but I could happily sit and drink a few of these. Although it hasn't quite matched the heights of Ice Cream Pale; a rather special beer, Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie is a great beer that is perfect for a sunny day.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Omnipollo x Buxton
One four Ice Cream collaborations between Swedish giants Omnipollo & UK based Buxton Brewery; Original Ice Cream is a 4.6% ABV Pale Ale.
Described as being a hop laden Pale Ale brewed with oats, wheat, lactose and 1000 fresh vanilla beans, this was one beer I was eager to try! I had previously tried the Lemon Meringue Ice Cream effort between these two on draft at CASC in Aberdeen, which was excellent - so this beer had a lot to live up to. Needless to say, I was not in the slightest bit worried...
Well this beer was something special! Pouring from the bottle into a glass, you are greeted with a cloudy yellow beer and a big fluffy white head. There's a big creamy vanilla smell present and again on taste. Vanilla flavours rule the beer, with a sweetness coming from the "ice cream" also and a light hoppy, slightly bitter aftertaste. The flavour here was absolutely nailed, the beer actually tasted like ice cream. It was amazing!
Overall a sterling effort from these two breweries, and I am eager to try the rest of the collaborations:
4.75 out of 5 hops from me 🍻