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Galway Bay Brewery Of Foam and Fury 8.5%

“The boys of the NYPD choir… Were singing ‘Galway Bay'” – and so has Beoir been singing the praises of this brewery. It voted Of Foam and Fury, Galway Bay Brewery’s Imperial IPA, the  Beer of the Year in 2014.

Look

Hazy golden orange with a foamy whote hear and nice amount of lacing.

Nose

I was surprised at the amount of fruit going on in this boozy imperial IPA. There’s loads of bold tropical flavour like grapefruit, mango and orange.

Taste

The galena, chinook, Pacific jade and simcoe hops provide more sweet and juicy tropical fruit, plus some resin, pine, spice and citrus. This is all supported by a hearty malt backdrop to give a complex yet balanced bittersweet character with a lasting bite and soft finish.

Verdict

Great levels of complex fruity flavour from a hard-hitting 8 percenter. No fury here; just a happy beer drinker.

5/5 (1)

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Dark Revolution Bone Idol 9.8%

Welcome to the revolution. It’s surprisingly rich and creamy.

That’s perhaps because in this case the revolution is this imperial brown ale from the Salisbury-based brewery. The beer includes pale, rye, crystal and roasted malt plus wheat and oats, matured in bourbon barrels.

Look

Black and densely rich with a creamy long-lasting tan head

Nose

Lots of chocolate and vanilla from the oats and wheat plus those magnum hops and there’s a definitely a whiff of the bourbon from the BA; it’s sweet and slightly sickly yet pretty addictive.

Taste

The bourbon without a doubt gives a clear alcoholic buzz but this is balanced well with the oats and chocolate which give some creaminess and richness to leave a soft mouthfeel overall. Nicely complex with a few layers and I always like rye and oats.

Verdict

Powerful BA notes but the oats shine through nicely. Viva la revolution!

4.5/5 (1)

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Brew By Numbers 14/04 Tripel – Hallertau Blanc 8.5%

This is Brew By Numbers’ fourth version of the traditional Abbey beer, hot on the heels of 14/01 Mosaic, 14/02 Wai-Iti and 14/03 Ella. This reincarnation of the tripel uses the German Hallertau Blanc hop which produces notes of white grapes and, for me, a crisp refreshing bite to balance that classic Belgian sweetness.

Look

Hazy amber-gold on the pour with a just off-white foam which lasts nicely throughout, plus fine to moderate carbonation.

Nose

Fresh and sweet with some soft sweet fruits thanks to that Hallertau Blanc hop – there’s an almost candied orange peel feel to it. Sweet caramel and toffee are interspersed with subtle spice for nice balance.

Taste

The first thing you notice is that it doesn’t get too sweet – a bit of a signature (and smart) Brew by Numbers manoeuvre to keep it drier and more bitter than usual – the hoppy finish keeps it nicely crisp.

There is still of course a lot of grape and fruit sweetness, including jam, fruit peel again with some light spice and stewed fruits, plus toffee and caramel.

Verdict

Sweet but not cloying and surprisingly refreshing for a tripel. If this doesn’t make you want to move to Belgium and become a monk, not much will.

3.5/5 (1)

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Tenby x Crafty Devil x Heavy Industry 3-Way Action 9%

The “three-way action” here simply refers to the three Welsh teams behind this collab beer: Tenby from the southwest, Cardiff’s Crafty Devil and Heavy Industry from the northeast, to make a Welsh triple-pronged brewing powerhouse.

Launched at Craft Beer Rising 2017, this DIPA is dry-hopped with shedloads  (that’s a technical term) of Galaxy, Vic Secret and Mosaic hops.

It’s got a nicely balanced, juicy tropical beer full of peach, mango and passionfruit – but with a very active, bitter kick.

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Dark Star Brewing Imperial Stout 10.5%

Dark Star, yes; but dark horse, absolutely not. Dark Star brewing were placed firmly in the limelight when they won the Gold award in the stout class in the London & South East Area section of the Campaign For Real Ale Champion Beer Of Britain 2015.

The Brighton-based brewery have brought together magnum and East Kent hops, plus flaked barley, roasted barley and crystal malts are matured extra slowly to give a rich complex imperial stout:

Look

Deep ruby, bordering on jet black, on the pour with a small creamy brown head. The long maturation process makes the beer look dense and full-bodied, with a small to medium carbonation.

Nose

Rich aromas driven by coffee and darkly roasted malts, dark chocolate. Some tinges of molasses and oak as well forest fruits and berries.

Taste

Again focus on espresso coffee mixed with rich dark chocolate plus vanilla and even caramel plus a treacly velvety mouthfeel.

Verdict

An imperial stout as imperious as the Death Star. But by Dark Star. Strong, complex and meant to be savoured.

5/5 (1)

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Stewart x De Molen Problem Solved Imperial IPA 7.5%

If the “problem” was that you couldn’t find a good beer collaboration between a brewer from Edinburgh and a brewer from Bodegraven, then this could well be the solution.

An extension to Stewart’s First World Problem core range, this collab brings in some Dutch expertise for a Belgian Double IPA that is full-on with sweet fruit.

Look

Amber-orange on the pour with a well-lasting white head and medium carbonation; quite subtle-looking for a Belgian DIPA.

Nose

Naturally hoppy, almost grassy, with those obvious bold citrus orange notes coming through, plus grapefruit and mango.

Taste

Again subtle for a DIPA but obvious hints of caramel and biscuit, toasted malts; some yeast shining through. Sweet and juicy fruits in abundance: orange, pineapple, melon, maybe even some cherry tang from the sugars moving to a mildly bitter finish.

Verdict

I have a problem in my life: I need to consume more salad. Well, with this beer I’ll be happy to consume much more (beer that tastes like fruit) salad. Problem solved.

3.5/5 (1)

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Redchurch Brewery Old Ford Export Stout 7.5%

Originally one of Redchurch’s special edition brews, this has joined the ranks in the brewery’s core range and it’s not hard to see why.

Let’s take those columbus hops for a journey to East London:

Look

This is borderline black IPA territory: an inky black cola-coloured pour with a creamy brown head.

Nose

A rich malt backdrop hosts espresso, burned toffee, dark chocolate, treacly molasses and a hint of cherry.

Taste

Complex and full-bodied thanks to the columbus and simcoe hops. Layers of sweetness, including cherry and forest fruits, sit on top of roasted barley bitterness. Under that comes earthy spice before a long, lingering rich and toasted malt finish.

Verdict

Much like one of my old favourite TV shows, the Big Breakfast, which was filmed in the Old Ford area, this is as full of character as Johnny Vaughan, as lovely as Denise Van Outen and easily enjoyed every day of the week.

5/5 (1)

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Redchurch Great Eastern India Pale Ale 7.4%

It certainly is great and Eastern – at least if you’re based in central London: since its inception in 2011, Redchurch Brewery has grown to three sites in and around East London, in Cambridge Heath, Bethnall Green and Harlow, Essex.

This IPA has a malt-packed menu including maris otter, munich, which is well balanced by the dry bitterness of a late hopping and an intriguing earthy character.

Look

Similar to the colouring of the bottle’s label, this pours a lively hazy orange with a thin, just off-white head

Nose

The aroma is driven by chinook, columbus and nugget hops to give tropical fruits: citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, with hints of pine and some background floral and fruity malt notes.

Taste

More complex than your average an IPA, as coconut join the juicy tropical paradise party – dare I say I even detect a rum warmth in the alcoholic mouthfeel. Long, slightly dry bitter coating finish.

Verdict

Just like my favorite type of Caribbean party, this leaves you with memories of tropical fruits and takes a long time to finish.

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Howling Hops Double IPA 8.6%

Howling by name, howling by nature: this DIPA comes screaming out of the Hackney Wick-based brewery with this hazy, fruity, hop-driven American ale.

The brewery, which started as Hackney’s first brewpub initially based in the basement of the Cock Tavern, is now based in happening Hackney Wick – and the region’s vibrance shows through in this brash New England-style double IPA.

Look

A golden pour with a haziness that almost approaches a peach-coloured murkiness with a small white foam.

Nose

The citra, simcoe and mosaic hops pack a tropical fruit punch: mango, pineapple, orange, backed up by some light maltiness and  yeast notes.

Taste

Sweet and slightly sour, a juicy start dries slightly to a tangy bitter finish.

Verdict

Bold, juicy, unapologetic; sometimes bitter but extremely agreeable – a lot like a girl from New England I used to know.

4/5 (1)

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Steam Machine Brewing Treacle Toffee 10%

 

Steam Machine’s husband and wife team Nick and Gulen have a brewing background of over ten years and Nick brings an academic approach to the magic of brewing as a science teacher.

Indulgent yet drinkable, Steam Machine’s milk stout Treacle Toffee does exactly what it says on the keg: there are big, sweet molasses notes with a creamy, caramel finish.

Look

A brown-black pour with nice carbonation and a thin creamy tan head. It’s clearly an imperial milk stout – which is a good thing in my book.

Nose

Dark roast malts and bold dark chocolate come out all cylinders blazing before before a treacle sweetness follows up.

Taste

Sweet treacle and molasses, fruity and juicy hops, syrup and caramel with a fine velvety finish.

Verdict

Brewer Nick’s academic know-how makes this a sweet, smooth, malty treat. Top of the class.

4/5 (1)

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