Smokin Bees Whisky Honey Smoked Porter – ABV 10%

smokin bees

Billed modestly as a classic porter with smoky overtones of a single malt whiskey, Smokin’ Bees has a honey sweetness and floral hints to a roast malt backdrop.

Look: Black pour with brown head.

Aroma: Sugary sweet with roasted malts. You can really sense the 100kg of wild flower honey added at the end of the boil, which gives it a beautiful sweetness and floral notes.

Taste: More sweet honey and toffee, plus smoked malts and some spicey accents

Food Pairing: We’d never suggest drinking beer this strong for breakfast, yet we can’t help thinking about pairing it with pancakes, smoked bacon and maple syrup.

Verdict: Delicious heavy sweet beer with artwork of bees smoking cigarettes by Nomad Clan. Part of Northern Monk’s Patrons project – it’s like no imperial porter you’ve tasted before.

822 Double IPA – ABV 8.7%

An homage to the first reference to the importance of hop farming, this resinous, smooth, mango-flavoured beer is loaded with Amarillo and Centennial hops.

Look: Hazy orange-amber with a large just off-white head

Aroma: Floral and light with mango and pineapple; some jammy and marmalade notes

Taste: More tropical fruit with a peaches, pineapple and apricots on a caramel base with a tangy alcoholic warmth and orange zest

Verdict: This classical DIPA had to be good to be an homage to the birth of beer production. Yet again the Monks up North nailed it; balanced, fruity and zingy.

Eternal Infinity India Pale Ale – ABV 7.4%

A tropical, hoppy drinkable IPA the Leeds brewery team, this is an amplified version of their World Beer Cup award-winning session IPA, Eternal.

Look: Golden yellow and hazy with a creamy off-white head. Great lacing and fine carbonation.

Aroma: Tropical fruits – mango, orange and grapefruit – plus hoppy accents and notes of pine.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness and lots of citrus zing; some caramel the malts and tropical fruit sweetness underneath. Finish is crisp and hoppy bitterness and pine freshness.

Verdict: Eternal Infinity is not just the name of this brew; it’s the number of them we want to drink.

Leeds Lurking Cherry Coffee Imperial Porter – ABV 10%

A beautiful-looking porter that’s dark and rich, with similarly gorgeous can artwork by photographer Tom Joy, this is a collab with Other Half New York.

Look: Clear brown-black colour with a large, off-white frothy head. Soft carbonation and great lacing that lasts.

Aroma: Malty and sweet; loads of sweet cherry and chocolate notes, with some coffee beans underneath.

Taste: Huge roasted malt and coffee hits for persistent, bittersweet layers. More cherry notes fading to dark sweet malt. Medium- to full-bodied.

Verdict:  This is one lurker we actually want to stick around.

Patrons Project 6.01: Hazemaker IPA – ABV 7.4%

Northern Monk and Deya and Verdant in one collaboration? Tempting. Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus hops make this IPA fresh, fruity, punchy and hazy. Go figure.

Look: Hazy amber-gold colour, with a small lasting cream-coloured head and fine carbonation.

Aroma: Tropical fruits – orange, mango and pineapple – punctuated with nice Amarillo hoppiness and a zing of spices.

Taste: More mango and zesty orange, crisp and dry with some malt and subtle creaminess. Light, sweet finish and medium bodied.

Verdict: This IPA is a knockout (tropical fruit) punch.