Tuesday 16 August 2011

Opening a few new bottles

I’ve bought a lot of beer recently. A weekend in Prague, a couple of days at GBBF, a few deliveries and a peek at myBrewerytap’s website which left me unable to click away without getting my credit card out have seen the fridge over-flowing with bottles. This weekend I put a big dent in the stash.

Thornbridge’s Kill Your Darlings, a Vienna lager hopped with Tettnager and Amarillo, is a deep red brew which is all about the malt – coffee, toffee, toffee apples. The Amarillo gives a floral, fruity flavour which is nice twist on the style. It’s good and the flavour evokes an autumn that I hope is far away. I really like the label design for this one, done by Kid Acne.

Mallinsons Brewery is one that everybody should be aware of in Britain. They make some fantastic beers and aren’t hop-shy, which I like. When I saw a beer called Danger: Hops! there was no way I wasn’t buying it. It’s 5.1% and the aroma is like every tropical fruit in the world stuffed into a beer glass, plus some peaches and grapefruit. It’s so smooth and gluggable and has a dry, peppery bitterness which hangs around. Bloody good beer.

More big hops followed with Odell’s Myrcenary DIPA. I love Odell’s IPA so this was irresistible. It’s a big beer (9.3%) and that starts in the aroma which tastes like you’ve faceplanted a bowl of mandarins, oranges and mango (that’s a good thing). It’s sweet and full-bodied which threatens to go sticky but is saved by a perfumy, clingy bitterness which leaves your tongue begging for more sweetness. It’s good but I’ll take the regular IPA any day.

With those two hoptastic brews drunk I didn’t think things could get better... but they did. Magic Rock’s Cannonball (7.4%) is one of the best British beers I’ve had this year. So good it had me texting and emailing people immediately to tell them to order some. The aroma is great, peaches, mango, pineapple, the body is light but it carries the strength and the hops with ease and it’s not sticky sweet which some US equivalents are. The only thing I’d like is a little more bitterness but this was the first brew of it and it’s pretty damn awesome already. I want more. (This beer also left me playing the ‘cannonball’ scene from Anchorman over and over in my head).

Some darker beers too: Brains’ Original Stout. At 4.1% I feared it’d be thin and flabby (and I hate thin and flabby stouts) but it was very nice – coffee, chocolate, toasted nuts; a full body, dry and roasty, some berry fruitiness and an earthy, coffee bitterness. Good beer and it looks great too.

And finally the BrewDog, Mikkeller and Nogne O collaboration for Black Tokyo Horizon. A 17.2% black hole which sucks in light from all around. It smells great, like dark chocolate covered berries, marzipan and roasted nuts, but it’s very sweet and there’s a huge, dry and herby bitterness which makes it a bit disjointed. Maybe it’ll calm down given some time but it’s pretty wild right now. I prefer the three originals (especially the Islay-barrel-aged Black – that’s insane! BrewDog need to get some Tokyo* in Islay barrels).

That’s some of my recent drinking. Anyone had these? Anyone had anything really good recently?


  1. Cannonball and Mycenery are both great beers. Had the Odell at Foleys IPA Day and have had the Cannonball a few times on draft now, never tried it in the bottle though.

    I really liked Black Tokyo Horizon, but i agree it is very sweet. For me it worked though!

  2. I'd love to get to try the black Tokyo horizon but i'd like to see your review of Buxtons new imperial stout Tsar sometime soon to see if its worth high price its surely going to be.

  3. I bought the Odell dipa during my stay in Brighton this summer and I agree with that it's very tasty but maybe a bit forgettable. Too bad I also bought their Double Pilsner which I think was so horrible I actually gave it to the sink instead. Otherwise has my summer highlights been 3 Fonteinen Doesjel and this summers seasonal Swedish beers. This years Hoptimum, Bigfoot and Southern Hemisphere was also good of course but I feel it was a while since I was totally knocked over by something.

  4. Nice little mixed bag of goodies Mark, that Thornbridge sounds interesting, the Tokyo Horizon very much so.. Heard so much about the Mallinsons Danger Hops, I have got one tucked away, or had at least, it's now in the fridge!!

    I too hit my collection hard last night for similar reasons, bought loads recently and time to make a dent in it. Started with an Odell St Lupillin which was great, a long awaited Buxton Axe Edge, Seirra Nevada Torpedo and finished with a Kernel Simcoe IPA.

    My own little Hop-Fest

    Cheers Phil

  5. I had the Brains stout last week, reasonable good solid stout, not to exciting but a nice pint overall.

  6. One of the best beers I have had in recent months (and there have been many good ones) was Amarillo Triple from the Pelgrim Brewery in Delftshaven.


  7. I have to be honest and admit that I didn't like the Odell Myrcenery. Too marmaladey for my taste.

    I need to try Kill Your Darlings sometime soon. Had Geminus on Friday and that's good.

    Bizarrely I haven't had the regular Cannonball but I have sampled the Human Cannonball and that's a beer I can highly reccomend.

    Best beers I've had so far this month are Acorn Citra IPA and Marble Chocolate Stout.

  8. Neil - Cannonball is even better than I hoped it would be in the bottle! I've had it on draft once and loved it.

    student drinker - I'd love to try the Buxton imperial stout. I think they make some fantastic beers!

    Fredrik - I've got the Double Pilsner in the fridge and I'm looking forward to trying it. Shame you didn't like it.

    beersay - drink that Danger Hops! it's fantastic. Great little hop-fest - some really good beers there!

    Arn - I haven't tried it on tap but it was decent in bottle for a 4.1% stout.

    T_i_B - I'm looking out for Geminus as it sounds great. I also really want to try the Human Cannonball now.

  9. I personally really loved the Myrcenary. Their IPA has it to an extent, but I can't really think of too many beers that get such a tropical fruit nose and taste out of their beers like that one does.