Time for a new beer post! It's been a while since I've done one of these...
As of late, I have been doing all my beer reviews over on Instagram - and I have been enjoying it. I definitely feel that it works better as a platform for nice, concise, informative reviews. That's not to say I'm gonna stop posting about beer on here - this blog is called gregwhodrinksbeer after all.
I was lucky enough to win a competition over on Instagram, that was ran by @hop.look.listen, where I won three Verdant beers, and a shiny new Verdant glass. For being one of the biggest and best breweries in the UK - Verdant hasn't featured on this blog too much, which is unfortunate! Now, that's not for any reason in particular, other than mainly a combination of my reluctance at buying beer online, and my local bottle shop (Hop Shop Aberdeen) not stocking too much of their beer. So I thought it would be good idea to talk about all three beers in one big review blog post.
So lets get into these beauties!
First up we have MaryLou, a 5.2% ABV Pale Ale brewed with Mandarina Bavaria, Citra, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops. First things first - that can art is absolutely beautiful! There's not much on the can in the way of an official description, other than a quote from the great American author Jack Kerouac, and his iconic novel, On the Road.
“So I went up there and there she was, the girl with the pure and innocent dear eyes that I always searched for and for so long. We agreed to love each other madly.” - Jack Kerouac, On the Road
MaryLou pours from the can a murky bright orange colour, leaving a big foamy white head. There's instantly a HUGE floral hoppy aroma, backed by big juicy tropical fruits. This beer smells wonderful! On your first sip, you are met by that lovely floral hops, followed by a touch of citrus, juicy melon and tropical, slightly bitter finish. This beer is very, very good! It has a nice medium body, not too much carbonation and it is incredibly easy drinking - it would be so easy to smash a few of these in one sitting. Overall, a very impressive start.
MaryLou gets 4.75 out of 5 from me 🍻
Even Sharks Need Water
Next up we have Even Sharks Need Water, which is a 6.5% ABV IPA, which again, has some pretty cool can art. Here's the official description:
"Murky, thick, juicy and chewy. It’s like a packet of sherbet sweets drenched in tangy fruit layers cuddled by a comforting bready hug. Soft to drink with a slight creamy texture and medium dry finish, it’s tough to stop drinking it."
Even Sharks Need Water pours from the can an absolutely outrageous looking murky, milkshake looking pale orange colour, with just over a fingers width of an off-white head. There's initial aromas of citrus, and white grape, followed by a hint of pine. It all smells pretty awesome! The first thing you notice about the taste, is that it's not as sweet as the aromas lead you to believe. There's an initial sweetness of hoppy citrus, but that is soon replaced by an overwhelming amount of savoury, pastry like flavours - now, that's not to say it wasn't enjoyable, it just took me by surprise. Once I got my taste buds around what was going on, this was then all followed by a nice bitter finish to round things off. This beer is silky smooth, medium bodied, and has soft carbonation - it's very easy drinking, and easy to forget it's coming in at 6.5%. Lovely stuff.
Even Sharks Need Water gets 4.25 out of 5 from me 🍻
There Was No Why
Now it's time for the main event...
Here we have There Was No Why, an 8% ABV DIPA that has been brewed in collaboration with Brooklyn giants, Other Half. I was particularly excited about this beer following my visit to Other Half in November. Here's the official description:
"A few weeks ago, Anthony from Other Half joined us in Falmouth to help brew up our latest collaboration with the Brooklyn juice slingers. We decided on a DIPA!
We packed in five hop varieties: Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, Idaho 7 & Sabro. Expect layer upon layer of juicy and fruity hop flavours thanks to a dry hop that consisted of 60% Citra and 10% each of the aforementioned varieties. There’s also creamy, tropical citrus and candy notes alongside a very subtle coconut creaminess thanks to the Sabro.
We wanted to ensure this spirit of collaboration was strong with this one, and worked closely with Sam and Anthony at Other Half. They suggested the hop ratios and doubling the percentage of oats we’d typically use in the grist from 8% to 16% to enhance that slick and smooth mouthfeel. We reckon the result is a DIPA carrying the mark of both breweries - and one we’re incredibly excited to see released into the wild!"
There Was No Why pours from the can a thick, hazy lemon yellow colour, with a thin white head. Initial aromas are very dank with tonnes of ripe tropical mango and grapefruit, followed by a hint of grassy pine. Excellent start! Those dank, juicy fruit flavours are at the forefront when you take your first sip, with huge amounts of mango, orange, pineapple and a the slightest hint of coconut. Everything is then rounded off by a big whack of boozy bitterness. This beer is full bodied, thick, creamy and properly boozy - everything you are looking for an a huge DIPA! I loved this beer. A beer of absolutely epic proportions.
There Was No Why gets 5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Overall - I have been majorly impressed by these three beers, and I would go as far as to say, they have been three of the best beers I have had this year. They 100% live up to the hype. Thanks again to @hop.look.listen for putting on such an awesome competition, and for adding some more awesome glassware to my collection. I'm gonna make it a mission of mine in 2020 to get my hands on plenty more Verdant beer, and who knows... I might even get a hold of the elusive Putty.
Reids Gold Brewing
I'd like to kick this post off by saying Happy New Year, and wishing you all the very best for 2019!
For my first review of the year, I'd like to start by keeping things local - I like to try my best and show as much local beer on this blog as I can. So, featuring for the first time on this blog is Reids Gold Brewing, from Stonehaven (they really should have appeared before now, but I never got my hands on any of their beers until just before Xmas - my fault!).
Liberty APA is a 4.5% ABV american style pale ale, that has been brewed with grapefruit. The first thing that springs to mind here for me is Elvis Juice. Now I highly doubt that this beer has been brewed as an imitation of Elvis Juice, but if it's at all in anyway similar - then I'm sure I'll like it. Here's the official line from Reids Gold:
"Liberty APA 4.5% ABV: (American hopped pale ale with pink grapefruit) This beer is an American pale ale. It only has hops added that are grown in America, these are Amarillo, Mosaic and Sorachi ace and it is not as highly hopped as an IPA so it has a more malty character. This all American bad boy is a smooth, easy drinking session ale, it has some pink grapefruit added to give it a fresh twist and something different that seems to work well with this beer. This beer is suitable for most foods and is a good all rounder, this would work well with most meat dishes, seafood and deserts."
I was looking forward to this beer. I love trying new beer from local breweries, and the Sonehaven Fireballs Beer had wet my appetite for more.
When Reids Gold first appeared on my radar, their branding was completely different - but ever since their re-brand, the beers all have a distinct, clean and modern look - they really do stand out. Liberty APA pours from the bottle a hazy, dark amber colour, leaving behind a lively off-white head - so lively in fact, that when I popped the cap I had to deal with some beer escaping from the bottle! Near disaster over...initial aromas are citrus grapefruit, biscuit malts and toffee - so far, so good. Flavours are slight bitterness up front from the grapefruit, with a hint of citrus. These then combine with some floral notes and some slight toffee flavours to round everything off quite nicely - an easy drinking beer overall, with quite a decent amount of carbonation.
Overall, I found this to be a pretty enjoyable beer and along with the Stonehaven Fireballs Beer - it has good me quite excited about what's to come from Reids Gold. Whilst it didn't blow me away - it was easy drinking, and full of flavour. Do the right thing and support this local brewery by checking out some of their beers!
Liberty APA gets 3.5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Verdant Brewing Co.
Verdant Brewing Co. are a brewery that are relatively new to me. The only beer I had previously tried by them was their out of this world collaboration with Beavertown. That's not to say I haven't heard of them, because I had seen PLENTY off buzz about them on social media. So when Hop Shop Aberdeen took delivery of two of their latest beers; Light Bulb & Headband - I did not hesitate in getting my hands on them.
I was extremely excited about trying these two beers and following the Beavertown collaboration, I was more than confident that they would not disappoint.
First up is Light Bulb, a 4.5% ABV extra pale ale that is described as a mash up between a session pale ale & a dank juicy IPA. Here's what Verdant have to say about it:
"As pale as a 100W light bulb but as juicy as an IPA. Sessionable, quenching and totally addictive. Biscuity malt base with a hint of sweetness all drenched in fruity/dank hops."
Light Bulb comes in a extremely cool designed 440ml can & it pours a hazy golden colour with a big foamy white head. Aromas are quite subtle; very hoppy, with wheat, citrus & a touch of tropical fruits. Taste wise - I found Light Bulb to be not as full of flavour as I was expecting; some slight citrus with a splash of hops & little to no tropical fruits. Tasty enough, however I found it to be slightly bland.
Overall Light Bulb is a solid, yet unremarkable pale ale that gets 2.75 out of 5 hops from me.
Next up is Headband, a 5.5% ABV pale ale. I had higher hopes for this beer than I did Light Bulb - I was hoping this beer would be more in the vein of a big dank, juicy IPA than the previous effort. Here's what Verdant have to say about it:
"Glowing orange colour. A beautifully balanced beer where the pale, crystal and Munich malts really help amplify the hops juicy qualities. Layers of flavour: tropical fruit, citrus fruit, stinky cheese, caramel - all working together. Bitter and sweet. Lush."
Headband features another cool can design from Verdant. It pours in to the glass a slightly hazy golden amber colour leaving a big foamy beige head. Aromas are grassy hops, malts, caramels & loads of citrus grapefruit. Taste is quite similar to the aromas; citrus grapefruit along with some peach up front, before being rounded off by some herbal grassy hops that leaves a lingering bitterness. This beer was a lot more bitter than I was expecting & tastes a lot more boozy than it actually is.
Overall Headband is a really solid & easy drinking pale ale that gets 3.5 out of 5 hops from me.
Overall, this has been a pretty good entry into Verdant Brewing for me. Whilst not particularly being blown away by these efforts; I am very excited about potentially getting my hands on Putty & Pulp - two beers I have heard nothing but amazing things about
Hello & Happy New Year. A new year means lots of new beer & for my first post of 2018 I will be going back to where it all began; BrewDog, with a review of their latest beer - Indie Pale Ale.
Indie Pale Ale isn't just a new beer. It is a new headline beer. So this puts it alongside Punk IPA, 5AM Saint, Dead Pony Club, Jet Black Heart & Kingpin. Indie Pale Ale is a 4.2% ABV pale ale & here's what BrewDog have to say about it:
"Indie Pale Ale is an icon of independence, destined to live independently. This is Craft Beer for the People.
A 4.2% pale ale for the 21st century; stripped back and sessionable, this beer is designed to be accessible.
Indie Pale Ale delivers a profile of tropical and citrus fruit set against a caramel and biscuit malt backbone. It is suitable for any drinking occasion and ready to go when you (or anyone else) needs it."
BrewDog are serious about this one...let's see what it's all about.
Well I don't know what else to say, other than that was a extremely disappointing.
Indie Pale Ale pours a clear, golden straw colour leaving a foamy white head. There is not much that stands out in the way of aromas for me; biscuit malts with a minor whiff of tropical fruits.
On the taste front there isn't really much more to report. It is crisp, dry & very bland tasting; mainly comprising of biscuit malts & only the slightest hint of tropical flavours - certainly not what you'd expect from a pale ale. It really doesn't taste much like a pale ale to me and instead, far more like a cheap lager. BrewDog already make a lager and it is a much better beer than this.
I'm struggling to understand why this beer has been added to the headliners range; it just seemed really sub-standard to me & a lack of judgement on BrewDog's part. In their first new beer of 2018 BrewDog have left me massively disappointed. It is a rare miss for them & here's hoping they can come back swinging with their next beer.
2 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
For my latest review, I am going to review two of the latest beers by Wylam Brewery from Newcastle, England. The beers in question are Open To Persuasion; a 8% ABV DIPA collaboration with Track Brewing & Attracting Humans; a 5.5% ABV DDH Pale.
I'd seen & heard a lot about Wylam Brewery lately without ever having tried any of their beers. So when Westhill Service Station got these two in last week...I grabbed them both.
Here's what Wylam have to say about both beers;
"DIPA... Using the art of force and persuasion we provided ourselves with a valuable short cut through the complicated nature of modern existence to furnish you with a TDH DIPA displaying the manipulative power of Cascade, Loral, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic. 'Like always I persuade you... persuasion.'"
"DDH Pale... A beguiling double dry hopped pale designed to entice, lure, entrance, seduce and woo the sub tribe hominina into it's plethora of oats, wheat and dextrin. Seductive volumes of DDH Citra and Mosaic swallow up the hordes into fresh pink grapefruit, tropical juiced our foreverness."
Both of these beers sound awesome, can they live up to the hype?
First up is Open To Persuasion DIPA...
Open To Persuasion pours a murky golden colour with a creamy beige head. Aromas are similar of a NE IPA, huge amounts of ripe fruits; pineapple, mango & passion fruit, along with some more traditional citrus aromas and a slight piney backbone. Taste is absolutely fantastic - the big juicy fruit flavours are at the forefront; peach, pineapple & mango along with some grapefruit work wonderfully with the hoppy bitterness that rounds it all off. This beer is insanely drinkable, and the alcohol isn't hidden by the fruits either - this is one BOOZY juicebomb and I love it.
5 out of 5 hops from me.
Up next is Attracting Humans DDH...
Attracting Humans pours a golden yellow with a foamy white head. Aromas are sweet, malty & fruity with a floral backbone. Flavours are quite similar to the aromas; lots of sweetness up front with some citrus fruit, followed by malts and an earthiness. For me, these flavours didn't quite work out and something tasted slightly off. It was still an OK beer to drink, absolutely full of interesting flavours, however they just didn't come together as i'd hoped.
2.5 out of 5 hops from me.
So...if I had to choose a winner then Open To Persuasion would be crowned champion - it was an incredible beer that I highly recommend you try while you can. Attracting Humans was fine, however for me it just wasn't great. Overall, for my first venture into Wylam beers, I have been very impressed 🍻