Tiny Rebel – The Full Nelson

Tiny Rebel - The Full NelsonIt’s Day 4 of the #12BeersOfXmas. Today’s entry is one from South Wales.

Tiny Rebel – The Full Nelson (4.8%, 330ml bottle)

This pours light golden in colour with a slight orange hue and a little bit hazy. It’s well carbonated and pours with a small fluffy head.

There’s not much aroma to this one, just very subtle hops and a hint of tropical fruits such as pineapple.

These hoppy and tropical fruit characters are much more pronounced in the taste, and it’s light bodied and really pleasant to drink and reminds me a little bit of Brewdog’s Punk IPA, just more subtle and drinkable.

Overall this is a really nice pale ale, I could happily drink this one again!

Firestone Walker – Double Jack

Firestone Walker - Double JackIt’s Day 3 of the #12BeersOfXmas and as it’s Sunday, it’s time to go for something a little stronger and pull out a big US double IPA…

Firestone Walker – Double Jack (9.5%, 12oz bottle)

It pours a light straw colour with a medium/high level of carbonation – look at the size of the head and the bubbles in the photo! That said, the head calmed down very quickly, but still persisted throughout the drink.

The aroma on this beer is wonderful; piney, resinous, sweet malty/toffee notes and a full-on hit of orange peel to round things off.

This complex mix of characters carries on into the flavour too – on the first couple of mouthfuls the orange peel, citrus and strong bitterness are all that your senses can take in.  Once your palate acclimatizes  itself to these and the beer starts to warm a little you begin to notice even more in this beer; sweet maltiness and hints of biscuit come through and this really rounds it off making each mouthful a delight.  The finish is quite sweet, but not cloyingly so, and medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation level – this really helps the flavours sing to be honest.

Overall, this is a great double IPA, it’s complex, full-on and delicious.  I’ve had this beer a few times now, but it’s always a bit special. If you can get hold of a fresh example in the UK* you’d be a fool to not have it! 🙂

* The one I had tonight is 5 months old, but it still tastes great.

Stone – Levitation Ale

stone-levitation-aleHere we are on Day 2 of the #12BeersOfXmas and we have one from Stone that i’ve really been looking forward to drinking.

Stone – Levitation Ale (4.4%, 12oz bottle)

The beer pours dark amber, but very very clear and bright; with a persistent fluffy white head and a medium carbonation.

The aroma is big and hoppy with a distinct US citrus fruit character.  This citrus character is also carried through into the flavour, it’s packed with citrus and tropical fruits, but this is complemented by a rich maltiness that really works well to balance it all out.

The beer is medium bodied and finishes really quite dry, with a sharp but refreshing bitterness that makes you want to keep sipping.  So much so in fact that it was finished way too quickly.

Overall this is a great beer – most recommended if you can get your hands on it!

Fourpure – Session IPA

Fourpure - Session IPASo today is Day 1 in the #12BeersOfXmas with the Beer O’Clock Show and I’ve decided to start off a bit light.

Fourpure – Session IPA (4.2%, 330ml bottle)

Fourpure are another new London based micro-brewery (believe me I’m in no way complaining – it’s a great time to be a beer fan), and all of their beers come with really distinctive and eye catching branding – I really like the look of the bottles. But anyway, on to the beer itself…

Upon opening the bottle I got a nice subtle hop aroma mixed in with hints of mango coming from the cascade hops used – really quite pleasant. The beer itself is very lightly carbonated and upon pouring it had a thin white head, but this was gone within a minute or so; colour wise it’s a light orange and is slightly hazy. In the taste and mouthfeel this is pretty spot on for me and my current tastes (light, easy drinking, session-able pale numbers), it has flavours of citrus, mango and other tropical fruits with a firm but pleasant bitterness at the end. It’s quite thin as you would expect for this style of beer, but this married really well with the not so over the top flavours and dry bitterness.

Overall I really like this beer and I could easily see myself sinking a few of these in an evening. Well chuffed with my first beer of the #12BeersOfXmas – let’s hope the other 11 are just as good if not better!

Green Flash – Rayon Vert

Green Flash - Rayon Vert

Aroma – That unmistakeable Belgian aroma, spice and cloves – lovely.

Appearance – Golden and orange in colour, crystal clear with a large white head that really hung around.

Flavour – Slightly sweet, spice, slight citrus, cloves. A real good mix.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied and with a good carbonation.

Overall – Yet another great beer from Green Flash, I love it.

Would I buy more? – Oh yes, this one is nice!

BrewDog – IPA is Dead, Dana

IPA is Dead, DanaMy first of this years batch of IPA is dead…

Appearance – Pretty much the same as all the other IPA is Dead beers (shocker). Orange, hazy, creamy white head.

Aroma – Earthy… Reminds me a bit of digging up the garden, but add to that, there’s a distinct cheesy aroma in there, like a cheddar that’s just a little past it’s best.

Flavour – Again earthy, and with a hint of orange and other citrus fruits. Not entirely unpleasant if you can get past the cheesy smell.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied. Well carbonated and feels quite sharp on the tounge.

Overall – Hmmm, not enjoying this one to be honest. It’s like someone has taken a pretty average IPA and dropped a sweaty sock in it after a long hard running session. Fingers crossed the other three are a vast improvement.

Samuel Smith’s – Nut Brown Ale

Samuel Smith's - Nut Brown Ale

Aroma – Strong caramel and dark malt, slightly sweet smelling also.

Appearance – Deep brown in colour with a small off-white head.

Flavour – Caramel, slight nuttiness, and a background sweetness.

Mouthfeel – A medium-light body and a sharp carbonic bite on the tounge.

Overall – A fairly pleasant brown ale.

Would I buy more? – It’s ok, not the best beer I’ve ever had, but I might buy the odd one if I see it again.

Otley – O6 Porter

Otley - O6 Porter

Following the Christmas break I’ve managed to get a bit behind on the beerbods again! This is one I should have had 3 or 4 weeks ago, (I was just waiting for the real cold weather to settle in).

Aroma – Hints of roast coffee and chocolate were the predominant aromas that came through after first opening, but after a couple of minutes most of the aroma had disappeared to be honest leaving just the smallest hint of roasted malt.

Appearance – Deep and dark, with hints of red when put in front of the light. Not really much head formation.

Flavour – Roasted coffee, chocolate, toffee, nuts and biscuit throughout. It’s interesting and complex and really makes up for the slightly disappointing aroma.

Mouthfeel – Medium-light and with slight carbonation.

Overall – A really nice and drinkable porter.

Would I buy more? – I really quite like this one, so yes I’d definitely grab hold of some more for the cold evenings.

BrewDog – IPA is Dead, Motueka

BrewDog - IPA is Dead Motueka

This is my third bottle of the IPA is Dead series, hailing from New Zealand – Motueka.

Aroma – There’s a really strong piney resin nose to this one, coupled with a light hint of grapefruit.

Appearance – Deep orange, with a slightly off white head and just a little bit hazy.

Flavour – Much like the aroma, it’s got a real piney deep flavour with a background hint of grapefruit and citrus. It’s also slightly sweet, but not enough to leave a bad feeling in your mouth.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with slight carbonation – just enough for it to sparkle on the tongue.

Overall – This is really quite a pleasant IPA, strong, hoppy and flavourful.

Would I buy more? – Yes, I do believe I would if BrewDog ever make some more.

The Kernel – Pale Ale ABC

Kernel Pale Ale ABCI’ve been looking forward to this one for a little while… Not only is this from one of my favourite of the London microbreweries (The Kernel), it’s also a collaboration brew with some members of my homebrew club (London Amateur Brewers), made with all Eastern European hops – aurora, bobek and celeia.

Aroma – Pine, resin and a slight hint of sweet tropical fruit.

Appearance – Light golden in colour and with a creamy white head that persisted throughout.

Flavour – Interesting. Similar pine and resin notes to the aroma, but not overpowering – quite similar to some of the IPA’s you get from The Kernel, but slightly more subdued. Finishes clean and dry.

Mouthfeel – Medium/light bodied, slight carbonation, and leaves and nice fizz in the mouth.

Would I buy more? – I would love to, but I think they may all be gone already!