The past weekend was a long weekend for me, having managed to take a couple of days off work to indulge in a bit of life maintenance (clearing out the garage, power washing slabs etc…all things that equal zero fun) so I decided to indulge in some new beers to carry me through.
I had a varied selection over the few days:-
Hello My Name is Little Ingrid | BrewDog
The most recent addition to the “Hello My Name Is…” series by BrewDog, but this is something slightly different; billed as a session IPA at 4.4% abv this is a new take on the earlier brew Hello My Name is Ingrid. With the lighter alcohol content, the cloudberry aroma and flavour really shows through, and for me it helps that Ingrid was already my favourite of the series so far. There are still plenty of hops coming through in the taste too, with a hit of fruit and mild sweetness on the finish. Whilst this is a very good beer, on balance I think I preferred the original Ingrid, which felt a little more solid and was a deliciously drinkable IPA. Little Ingrid still comes recommended though and is an interesting addition to the series.
Yellow Belly | Buxton Brewery & Omnipollo
Reported by many beer writers as one of the best British beers ever when initially released in 2014, I was keen to try it when the 2015 batch was released a couple of months back. It is an imperial stout with peanut butter & biscuits, but allegedly contains none of those in the ingredients. The fact that the bottle comes wrapped in a KKK styled paper wrap (which pleasantly enough my children thought looked more like a ghost!) already lends this beer a bit of intrigue, and once unwrapped the plain white label with simple font and lack of overt branding is actually quite a refreshing take on packaging. Once poured, the nose is chocolate, vanilla ice cream with sweet caramelised sugar aromas. It has a pleasant mouth feel with dark chocolate, caramel, nuts (obviously) and some sweet shortbread flavours. The finish brings a pleasing alcoholic heat, which is not surprising as the beer is at 11% abv.
Although this is a very tasty, solid and enjoyable stout, I personally feel that I have tasted better this year. Perhaps if I had tasted Yellow Belly a couple of months ago I would have thought more of it, but in the last couple of months I’ve had Victory at Sea by Ballast Point and ‘Spresso by Beavertown, both of which still sit at the top of my stout list… although Yellow Belly comes close!
Restorative Beverage for Invalids & Convalescents | BrewDog
A super hoppy IPA, reminiscent of Jack Hammer, but more bitter and less fruity to me. This is a delicious imperial IPA, and although it is at 8.7% abv it is surprisingly light and refreshing on the palate; it is a very drinkable beer. It seems that this was brewed with an abundance of BrewDog’s ‘go-to’ hops, including citra, amarillo & centennial and they almost jump out of the glass, the flavours are fantastic. The alcohol is hinted at in the finish but only slightly. I hope BrewDog make more of this stuff, and if they do I will be lining up to get some more. One of my top beers of the year so far.
Marmalade on Rye | Tempest Brewing Co
This is a very pleasant beer brewed by one of my current favourite breweries. It is a double rye IPA chock full of orange flavours sitting at 9% abv. The colour pours a deep, dark orange and the nose is sweet, malty and less citrusy than expected. The marmalade orange is all in the taste, and it is fantastic. Very sweet citrus flavour with a medium mouth feel. If you like Bloody ‘Ell by Beavertown then you will love this beer; although it is sweeter and higher in alcohol the flavour range is very similar. Basically, this beer does exactly what is says on the tin (or bottle in this case!)
Pinner Throwback IPA | Oskar Blues Brewery
A west coast IPA chock full of hops and flavour. This is at 4.9% so fairly typical for an IPA, and pours a light gold in the glass. Plenty of hops and light citrus fruits on the nose, the taste is less bitter than other west coast IPAs I’ve tasted, making this a very easily drinkable IPA. I have always been a fan of Oskar Blues, ever since tasting the amazing Ten Fidy, so I tend to seek out their beers whenever I can and I have yet to find one I don’t like; Pinner Throwback IPA is no exception to this. Easily one of my favourite IPAs.
Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing
Another west coast beer, and a new one for me. Seemingly a beer without peers, this is an amber ale with sweet malty flavours to the fore and only a hint of hops hiding in the finish. At 4.9% abv the malts also mask the alcohol here and it is a pleasant brew to drink. Reminiscent of a malty scotch ale, but lighter on the palate, and although not my favourite beer of the weekend, I would drink Steam Beer again as a safe option where nothing more exciting is on offer.