Monday, 20 October 2014

The Last Fortnight in Beer - October 6th-18th

So I've been lazy and haven't done a write-up in 2 weeks, so here we have an extra long post detailing not one, not 2, but 4 commercial craft beers, I've had over the last 2 weeks, as well as a sneaky homebrew made by Melo and Myself.

We're starting this roundup off with a trip to the USA, with a taste of a Black IPA from one of America's most prolific craft breweries, Rogue.

Plenty of standards in one neat bottle

Dad's Little Helper clocks in at 6%, not particularly high for an IPA. The aroma is of rich dark malt with a hint of piney, leafy hops. On the tongue the first thing you notice is a hop spice, mellowing out to the chocolatey, toasty body. Body wise it's fairly thin for a dark beer, and very carbonated, stopping it from becoming overly rich. Enjoyable, but nothing amazing.

Next up we have Nogne O's 3rd edition Red Horizon, which this year sits at a very respectable 12.5%, though a little lower than least year's 13.5% outing.

Not pictured: The awesome tin it came in

The first thing you notice as you pour it is that it's basically flat, with only a smidgeon of head that doesn't linger. Aroma that's got a very sweet biscuity malt component, yet some fruity notes alongside an alcohol heat. On the palate you first notice the alcohol, which is then overrun by a mix of dark fruit flavours, and some ricewine-esque savoury notes. Overall highly recommended if you can find a bottle.

Next up, something a little different, we take a trip into the realm of Homebrews, and try out Melo and my very own Cherry Dubbel. Brewed a tad over a year ago, then left to sit on a big pile of Morello sour cherries for a couple of months, it's now headed for a year in the bottle, so I figured it'd be a great time to try some.

Not pictured: A label because we were too lazy to make one
Hard to describe initially. Pours a cloudy dark amber, in the aroma you get some sweet malt and belgian yeast character, with a distinct hint of sour cherry. On the palate it's initially sweet, with flavours of raisin and plum, leading into some spicier flavours that likely stem from the yeast. A tad of sourness too, remnants of the cherries it once sat on. Melo, if you're reading this, you need to crack out a bottle and tell me what you think of it!

Next, a beer a little more normal, Sierra Nevada's Flipside Red IPA.

The label isn't straight =(

Immediately out of the bottle you smell hoppy notes, a mixture of citrus and grassy notes. It pours a light reddy amber with a thick off-white head. Initial flavours in the mouth are caramel and toffee, a little bit of pine but nothing too hoppy. Personally, I found the hop notes to be overpowered by the malt backbone, though it's possible this isn't a particularly fresh batch.

Finally, I'll knock off with the heaviest beer I've had in a long time: Brew Dog's Cocoa Psycho:

A Russian Imperial Stout clocking in at a smidge over 10%, it pours an inky black colour with some of the darkest brown head you'll ever see. Straight away you can smell coffee and cocoa emanating from the glass, which only intensify as it warms up. Roasty malt flavours are the order of the day, as your palate is overrun by the oily texture, not unlike a strong espresso coffee. Ends with a well balanced bitterness, herbaceous but not in any way overpowering. Highly recommended for anyone who likes a good dark beer.

That's the end of this review, tune in next time when I either keep writing about GABS, or do a roundup of the latest couple of beers to come out of Moon Dog... Haven't decided which to do next. Thanks for reading!


  1. Hey Yogi, any chance of getting numerical ratings on different aspects and overall, or do you reckon you'll keep it as just descriptions and observations?

    1. I've considered it, I used to do ratings in my little beer journal book but never put them on the blog. If I'm going to do ratings I'd probably go the way that most websites do it, a rating for adherence to style then a rating overall.