For my next beer review, we have Death By Coconut; a seasonal porter by Colorado brewing giants Oskar Blues.
Death By Coconut is a 6.5% ABV Irish Porter & a beer that has been on my radar for quite a while now & thanks to Hop Shop Aberdeen, I have finally got my hands on it. Here's what Oskar Blues have to say about this beer:
"Intense pure liquid cacao flavors swirl with popping coconut aromas, all supported by a semi-sweet porter made from loads of our dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. This limited release specialty comes around once a year to satisfy that sweet tooth, so get ’em while you can before they disappear. At 6.5% ABV and 25 IBUs, this choconut goodness will have you yellin’ “Pass. Dash. Hit.” all winter long."
After a winter that has seen me become a fully fledged porter convert, combined with the fact Oskar Blues rarely disappoint & that this beer has a 97 rating on RateBeer - I was more excited to see if it could live up to the hype.
First up, the can design is unmistakably Oskar Blues with their trademark style. Cracking the can & pouring into a glass, Death By Coconut gives off huge chocolate & coffee aromas with some vanilla - there wasn't much coconut present in the smell for me. It pours almost black in colour with a dark foamy beige head. Taste wise; the chocolate & coffee are at the forefront, with a touch of caramel & vanilla - these are then followed huge smooth coconut flavours to round it all off. This is an pretty low ABV beer & and the alcohol is well hidden, making it extremely easy to drink.
This is a great tasting beer. The smooth coconut flavours really add something different to it that help it stand out from other similar beers. If you are a fan of this style of beer, then i recommend giving it a go.
Death By Coconut is another win for Oskar Blues & gets 4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Beer With a Story To Tell
Recently whilst browsing Instagram, I stumbled across a post that featured a new Aberdeenshire based brewery - Beer Story Brewing.
I took the time to follow their social media channels & find out a bit more about them & more importantly, their beer. Based in Insch, Aberdeenshire, Beer Story Brewing were formed last year with the goal to make beer that tells a story - using interesting ingredients from all around the globe. Impressed with what I was reading, I decided to contact them to find out where I could purchase their beer to review & spread the word. I was very kindly offered the chance to collect some samples if I made my way out to the brewery, which I promptly did.
When I arrived there, I was immediately taken aback by the size of it. I didn't really know what to expect; but I was thinking it would be something more of a small industrial unit, but it's actually quite a large space. I was greeted by John McKenzie who took the time to show me around, tell me a bit about his background & the company itself. It is a highly impressive setup for a relatively new & small brewery & they seem perfectly positioned to make a name for themselves. I left feeling educated & with samples of their two current beers; Clockwork Zest & On The Road.
On The Road
First up is On The Road, a 5.2% ABV Californian IPA, that is made using American hops & yeast. Here's what Beer Story have to say about it:
"This adventurous IPA explores the kicks and inspiration of floral and citrus hops grown on Uncle Sam's West Coast. Californian ale yeast accentuates these bold hop flavours to deliver big hop aroma and taste."
First up, the bottle is presented extremely well - I was told that the labels were to represent library cards as each beer is telling it's own story, a nice touch if you ask me. Popping the bottle & pouring into a glass, the aromas are mainly citrus; lemon & orange, backed by some light floral notes. On The Road pours a golden amber with a thin white head that disperses quite quickly. Flavours are a malt base with a touch of caramel & some crisp citrus. There is almost no bitterness carbonation was relatively low - I'm not sure of this was just the bottle I had or if it is usually like this. The flavours all work together quite well in my opinion, making the beer very easy to drink & very tasty.
Overall, I found On The Road to be a very solid IPA & an great first beer for Beer Story. It's an extremely easy drinking beer & one that I think most would enjoy - you should check it.
3.75 out of 5 hops from me
Next up is Clockwork Zest, a 5.4% ABV chocolate porter that has been made using African cocoa nibs, coffee beans & oranges. Here's what Beer Story have to say about it:
"Take a dive into the utopian blend of chocolate malt, Madagascan cocoa nibs and very subtle oils of orange and zest. Equatorial African coffee beans round off this red island inspired porter."
Again we have another example of the library card style label that does a great job of telling you that little bit more about the beer. Opening the bottle & pouring into a glass, you are immediately hit with huge coffee aromas & a hint of citrus sweetness from the orange peel. Clockwork Zest pours a very dark, almost black, brown with a thin light brown head. On taste, you are hit with those huge coffee flavours right away before loads of bitterness from the cocoa nibs & some ever so slight sweetness of the orange. It's a great tasting beer & the flavours work well together, however I think that there is just a touch too much bitterness for my liking.
After drinking loads of fantastic porters & stouts over Xmas, Clockwork Zest certainly does not disappoint & it is another encouraging sign of what's to come from Beer Story.
3.5 out of 5 hops from me.
From first impressions I have been greatly impressed by Beer Story & I very much look forward to trying what comes next from them - first up is Outsiders IPA, a 4.17% ABV red IPA. They are also going to be at North Hop Aberdeen later this year, so be sure to keep an eye out for tickets going on sale.
You can keep up to date on all things Beer Story on their Website or by following them on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Beer Story are located at:.
Beer Story Brewing Co
Insch Business Park
Big Fish Brewing
I've already had a pleasant experience with Big Fish Brewing & their Long 14 Blonde IPA. So when I had the chance to sample their porter; 12 Fathoms, I was extremely keen. Porter isn't my usual go to style of beer, but they offer such deep interesting flavours, it is great to indulge in them now and again - Self Assembly Pope & Dirty Sanchez being prime examples.
12 Fathoms is a 9.9% ABV Imperial Porter & I was able to try 3 different versions of it - one that was only weeks old, one from March this year, and one from March last year. I was really looking forward to see how the flavours developed across the 3 different bottles.
12 Fathoms pours a dark coffee brown, leaving a thin beige head that disperses slowly. Consistent across the 3 beers were lovely aromas of deep coffee & chocolate and brown sugar.
The flavours were pretty consistent with the aromas; a mixture chocolate & coffee (although not too intense) with a slight hint of forest fruits giving the whole thing a bit of black forest gateaux about it! The addition of oats in the 3rd version (the youngest) give this beer a lovely velvety body, making it as smooth as silk - and making it the best of the 3 in my opinion. I think the ABV was well hidden by the lovely flavours which is extremely dangerous for a beer that is 9.9% ABV!
Things are looking great for Big Fish Brewing - that's 2 out of 2 very good beers I've had from them now and I can't wait to see what comes next .
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
New from Brewdog, Self Assembly Pope is a 7.4% ABV coconut/vanilla infused porter.
Described by Brewdog as a Myriad hedonistic aromas of cocoa powder, vanilla bean, coconut, and bitter chocolate, with hints of roasty black coffee and dark fruit, followed by a smooth, velvety mouthfeel and a rich, bittersweet finish.
Combining vanilla, coconut & chocolate with a selection of malts and Galena hops is bount to procude interesting results, and something I was eager to try.
Cracking the can and pouring into a glass, the beer is near jet black with a bubbly beige head. Sweet coffee and coconut aromas are instantly present and it's these two flavours that battle it out to be the strongest on taste. There's a backbone of sweetness from the chocolate and vanilla this gives an overall impression of a drinking liquid bounty! Everything in this beer comes together nicely to give an excellent porter.
Brewdog are continuing their trend of procucing some awesome artwork for their small batch beers here, with Self Assembly Pope being no exception - it looks seriously cool!
You can purchase Self Assembly Pope through Brewdogs online shop:
Overall, a very tasty porter with strong, interesting flavours. 4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Fierce by name and fierce by nature.
Dirty Sanchez by Aberdeen's very own Fierce Beer (brewed in Dyce) is a 6.5% ABV smoked porter. There is notes of chocolate and wood smoke present which is followed up with a warming, slight kick from the chipotle chili that has been added. The spice isn't overpowering at all and rounds off the flavour nicely.
Their website recommends pairing this beer with BBQ food, I opted for chilli. They complemented each other very well - my only complaint (no fault of the beer) would be that my chilli slightly overpowered the flavours of the beer, so I couldn't properly experience the flavours until i'd finished eating. Next time i'd like to try it with some food that isn't as spicy so I can enjoy the flavours of the beer a bit more. I'm still trying to get into porter beers, but I really enjoyed Dirty Sanchez and has only made me want to try more porters.
They aren't called Fierce Beer for any old reason - their beers are different, they pack a punch and i'd highly recommend that you check them out 🍻