LITTLE CREATURES PALE ALE

BREWER: Little Creatures, Western Australia, Australia

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 5.2%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @ltcreatures_uk

INSTAGRAM: littlecreatures_uk

DATE OF POST: 25th September 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I first ran into this beer, only as a visual not to try, about a year ago. I was perusing the beer aisle of Mark & Spencer whilst my wife was deciding between burnt orange, orange, sunset or subtle orange for a pair of flip flops she was oh so close to buying.

I remember this because I read on the tin that this was an Australian brew and I thought to myself that we really ought to review a beer from this great land.

Now since then I’ve seen Little Creatures Pale Ale kicking about at a few bottle shops and supermarkets but it’s taken until now for whatever reason to review it. Maybe it’s the not bad but certainly uninspiring packaging accompanied with some clunky wording that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense?

As I got beyond the aforementioned clunky wording and to the rest of the info being put forward it dawned on me that Australia was not mentioned at all? Had I got this wrong? Was this not even the beer I was thinking that I had seen in M&S? I hit the GoogleWeb with much vigour…

Ok, the history of what has gone on with LC and their now parent company is a little confusing. But their offerings for the UK market are brewed in the UK. The one thing that did grab me was that the head brewer in Aussie relocated to London to oversee everything was being done correctly with the British offering of this Pale Ale. Which is actually quite cool and you would like to think would result in a very similar brew.

Tin popped instantly I was worried. Honey sweetness and a floral aroma came flooding from the metal vessel. A powerful nose indeed but not really to my liking. The honey theme then unfortunately continued into the drinking and also moved through to the aftertaste. It think this is more than just not being to my liking. I just doesn’t feel like a settled brew. The balance seems off and for a pale ale it just comes across too sweet. LCPA is an easy drinker and the texture and mouth feel are good but once the sip is done the smoothness is somehow replaced by gacky aftertaste.

Those with a sweeter tooth will like this more than I but overall it’s not the best of beers.

Jymi’s Rating: 59%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Honey, the wonderful sweet liquid so often associated with summer, can conjure up memories of holidays abroad, flowers in bloom and sweeping sun-swept landscapes.  It’s aroma and taste brings that undeniable link to the land in which the bees collect their nectar.  And honey is a wonderful thing.  Loved and cherished, you can buy honey in many different styles, and many with price-tags to suit many different budgets.  And it’s even fair to say that a honey inspired beer could be a good thing.

Little Creatures does not profess to be honey inspired.  But there’s no escaping the fact that both in the nose and in the taste honey is there.  And I’m sorry to say it doesn’t do all those things that honey can do.  There are no conjured memories of wonderful summers when you drink Little Creatures.

The problem is, there’s just too much honeyness in this beer.  It’s overbearing and bordering on unpleasant.  That’s not to say it’s a terrible beer because it’s not.  It’s just overshadowed by it’s prominent flavour, which could be an unintentional side-effect of its brewing.

Whatever the reason, Little Creature is too heavy on the honey.  It’s a bit like having the toast lost because of the topping.  And so the beeriness of Little Creatures shrinks into the background, playing second fiddle to the honey.  

For me, it just ain’t great.

Sammy’s Rating: 61%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 60% 

MOB review next weekend: WASTELAND by UPRISING

museonbooze.com

 

 

LOVE & HATE

THE MOB SQUAD ARE ALSO TAKING A LOOK AT LOVE & HATE THIS WEEK

CHECK OUT THEIR FINAL WORK BY CLICKING HERE 

LOVE & HATE

BREWER: Vocation, West Yorkshire, England

STYLE: New England IPA

ABV: 7.2%

VESSEL: 440ml tin 

TWITTER: @vocationbrewery

INSTAGRAM: vocationbrewery

DATE OF POST: 18th September 2020

SAMMY SAY’S…

Love and Hate looks like buttermilk in the glass. An odd way to start a review, I know. But it’s the first thing that strikes you about this New England IPA from Vocation. It’s got to be said, it looks very, very tempting indeed.

And it’s good. It’s just not great. The nose is cracking, full of the promised tropical aromas. But, when you start drinking, L & H fast becomes a bit like a relative that’s out stayed their welcome. You see, it makes all the right noises. It tries hard to be different. It tries hard to be a good guest. But it just falls a little short. It’s clunky in the drinking and claggy in the mouth.

It’s not that you don’t want L & H at your house. It’s not bad. It’s just there’s other relatives that you’d feel more at ease with.

L & H is likely to be the beer you overlook, but when you do have one, you won’t be too disappointed. You just might not go back to it for a little while.

Sammy’s Rating: 77%

JYMI SAY’S…

When I was just a boy and living with me Ma n Pa I used to put a weekly order in for Um Bongo tropical juice drink. I’d like to think that I wasn’t sucked in to that advertising tune and just thought it was a dang good tropical juice but looking back… I think the tune got me.

Anyway,

Jaaaaaaaaaameeeees, is there anything you would like from the supermarket?

Yeeeeeeah maaaaaaaa, an 8 pack of Um Bongo please.

That lovely lady would return and I would settle down in front of the TV and enjoy that totally tropical taste. Wait, what?

But, that was a very long time ago and not much has changed, fundamentally. I have developed the ability to go shopping for myself (well done me) and I no longer drink Um Bongo, well so I thought…

See, I ventured to the supermarket the other day and picked up Love & Hate.  I had seen it there many times lurking on the shelf but had not seen it anywhere else. I suppose this makes it a supermarket beer? So I popped two in my basket (massive trolly) and proceeded to the checkout (dog and cat food aisle). It is so hard being this cool.

Now upon testing I couldn’t believe how close to my childhood this actually got. Supermarket bought and Um Bongo taste. This is not in any way a negative towards this beer. Its peach, its mango, its tropical, its great! And it fly’s down. However, unlike Um Bongo, it’s 7.2% !!!! F**k me. After a few minutes to calm myself and really take onboard what was happening it began to dawn on me that this was a decent beer. The sweetness coming from L&H nearing the end of the glass did become a touch too much for me if I’m honest but overall this is a fine NEIPA and reachable for the UK masses. The fact Vocation are still leaving me wanting regarding the branding of their range is just something I’m going have to learn to deal with.

Jymi’s Rating: 84%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80.5% 

MOB review next weekend: LITTLE CREATURES PALE ALE by LITTLE CREATURES

CHECK OUT THE MOB SQUAD’S VIEWS ON LOVE & HATE HERE

MOB SQUAD: LOVE & HATE

Here it is… the sixth and final outing of the MOB SQUAD. Thanks goes to all that have got involved over the last 10 months.

LOVE & HATE

The MOB SQUAD say… 

LeeDub: CITRUS, PINEAPPLE, STRONG, ZESTY, BITTER – 69%

Capone: DECEIVING, FLAVOURSOME, PEACHY, INSPIRED, DEADLY! – 86%

B.T.I.G.: AMAZING, TROPICAL, REFRESHING, CRISP, YES – 86%

Rush: TASTY, JUICY, PEACH, MANGO, FRESH – 83%

VK: CRUSHABLE, TROPICAL, SWEET, BITTER, FINE – 76%

Mark: TASTY. EASY, STRONG, FRESH, TROPICAL – 74%

PanthBrew: JUICY, MURKINESS, SCARILY SESSIONABLE, CREAMY, ODOUR – 85%

Lava: GOOD, OBVIOUS, SWEET, DRINKABLE, AFFORDABLE – 73%

Tulane: STEADY, TASTY, MANGO, REFRESHING, SWEET – 68%

cWobble: CLASSIC EAST, TROPICAL, MANGO, SESSION, LARGE – 75%

MOB SQUAD RATING: 77.5%

click below to view the rest of the MOB SQUAD’s work

BIG WAVE

JAIPUR

NEWCASTLE BROWN ALE

CLOCKWORK TANGERINE

BLUE MOON

 

 

 

KRIEK BOON

BREWER: Boon Brewery, Flemish Brabant, Belgium  

STYLE: Lambic

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 375ml green bottle

TWITTER: #BrouwerijBoon

INSTAGRAM: brouwerij_boon

DATE OF POST: 13th September 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I had it all worked out. I penciled in the test date for this traditional Belgian Lambic to be on a lovely balmy September evening a week or so ago. After reading the bottle as soon as I got my filthy mitts on it I was informed that this beer was brewed with cherries (which had to mean refreshing, surely) and also advised this was a perfect summer drink. Now with August gone it left me looking for a warm September day to hopefully back up this beer. The planning all came together nicely other than one small detail…

I had finished work early and was able to head to the beer testing corner of my garage bright eyed and bushy tailed. Unfortunately I was also wearing 3 jumpers and a body warmer as it was absolutely freezing!! The app that I use for weather forecasting had let me down in a big way. I probably should have seen this coming as in the 6 years I’ve had it on my phone not once has it been able to predict the weather. A pretty major flaw for a weather forecasting app I suppose but persevere I do (it’s called YoWindow by the way and other than not being able to predict weather, it is just awesome!).

So there I was sat sitting in my cold garage hoping the temperature didn’t hold this brew back.

It didn’t.

It’s great.

The great cherry black forest gateaux waft up nose and beautiful deep pink appearance in glass got things off to a good start. As soon as Kriek is sipping, though quite thin (this is a good thing this time round), the flavour is superb. It’s sweet but with a touch of sour sharpness, very refreshing and incredibly drinkable. As I sat there wondering whether a coat would have been a better call than a body warmer it also crossed my mind just how amazing this Lambic would be on a warm and sunny day.

Such as today…damn it.

Jymi’s Rating: 81%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Ok, so here’s our first Lambic beer. Brewed with naturally occurring yeasts, giving it an unusual taste, which some may struggle to identify as a beer. Well, a beer in the widely known sense.

In the case of Kriek Boon, the natural fermentation comes from cherries. Before even pulling the cork out of this bad boy, I’m guessing that we are looking at quite a sweet number here. However, there’s no point in guessing at these things, let’s get on with trying…

Unsurprisingly, once the cork is popped (not very often said for a beer) on KB, you are faced with a liquid that looks like, well, it looks like cherryade. The aroma is light, and not as sweet as you might think. At least you’ll be able to distinguish your KB from your child’s soft drink at a family party without even sipping it.

Now, onto the main event, the drinking. This will not be to everyone’s taste. And some regular beer drinkers might struggle with this. But me, I bloomin’ love it. Ok, it’s a little medicinal. But its packed with cherry flavour and it’s not sweet. It’s smooth in the mouth and has a surprisingly clean aftertaste, which leaves bitter cherries hanging around, dancing on your tongue.

Not everyone will reach for this. And I get that. But this is a good beer. It’s a very good beer.

Sammy’s Rating: 90%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 85.5% 

MOB review next weekend: LOVE & HATE by VOCATION

AND THE MOB SQUAD ARE BACK FOR THEIR FINAL OUTING 

GET INVOLVED – YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO

previous work from the MOB SQUAD

 

50

BREWER: Brew by Numbers, South East London, England

STYLE: American Pale Ale 

ABV: 5.3%

VESSEL: 440ml tin 

TWITTER: @BrewByNumbers

INSTAGRAM: brewbynumbers

DATE OF POST: 4th September 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

I’m on the proverbial fence as to whether or not BBNo is a good concept or not. I think I get what it means, but I’m not entirely sure…

Anyway, 50, is an American Pale Ale and one thing for sure is it’s got a strong, sweet hoppy aroma (as it should be) that wafts up your nostrils as soon as the can is opened. And this carries through into the drinking. If you’re looking for an American Pale Ale, 50 will not disappoint. It’s bold, strong and carries itself well through all of it’s drinking. It doesn’t waver as the drinking goes on.

If I was going to be a little picky (and I am), I’d say I don’t love the packaging. Ok, true enough, it’s not a major stumbling block. But, and it definitely is a BUT, these days anything that’ll give you an edge in a competitive world helps out. And I think the packaging needs to do a little more to promote this exquisite drink.

Still, once you’ve had one, I’m sure you’ll be reaching for more…

Sammy’s Rating: 89%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

What makes a great beer?

Well, an original unfussy tin design is a good start. And when said tin is carrying a very original name that is different without being quirky plus an abundance of information about your beer, well that helps too. Next stop is a fantastic tropical nose that hits you as soon as you have cracked the vessel. This goes a long way to making a beer great. Once poured a beautiful hazy appearance also will help a beers case for greatness along nicely. And when the brews mouthfeel in the sip is thick and juicy you begin to smile. Finishing off with a superb hoppy taste a beer can then be confirmed as great.

But 50 is not great.

It is out of this world spectacular!!!

Let me tell you why…

See, a classic American Pale Ale will be very very hoppy, and even more so in the aftertaste. A huge bitter hop aftertaste will dominate the drinkers overall view of the beer. Some love that, some don’t, that’s just the way of the world. But what Brew by Numbers have done is somehow dial that down a little without taking away from the actual intense hoppy bitter finish. It’s more subtle, with a cute touch, but you do not feel like you have been short changed.

It is a damn masterclass and that my beer drinking buddies, is that.

Jymi’s Rating: 94%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 91.5% 

MOB review next weekend: KRIEK BOON by BOON BREWERY

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

@museonbooze

 

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE

On Wednesday 6th June 2018 the first Muse on Booze Summer of Gin kicked off with the barn stormer that is Tanqueray No.Ten. Thirteen smashing Gins later we concluded the Summer with Caorunn and all was well with the world.

June 2019 then bowled along and this time the opener was the worldy known as Dry Island from Four Pillars x Herno. Another Summer of superstars then ensued and on the last day of August we finished up with Keepr’s Honey Gin which was accompanied by an oat biscuit side instead of a garnish! Simply sensational!!

And this, the final Summer of Gin, teed off at the beginning of June with the genius of Malfy Con Arancia. We have smashed through a Gin every mid week since. But here we now are. The very final Gin of all the Summers of Gin. Sad but true.

Before we lead onto the last one Sammy & Jymi want to thank Harry, Mikey, Tom, Oli, Matt, JP, Sabrina, Rob, and Alice for helping us make the last three years happen! We know putting together a GnT and taking a picture of it isn’t the worst job in the world but nevertheless, we could not have done it without you.

And a final huge thank you to Chris Hotson (spirits_and_soul on Instagram) for guiding us though alternate serves and recommending, if not dreaming up the majority of cocktails for the Gins we have put forward over the last three summers. We really, really could not have done it without you. Legend.

Anyway, over the last three Summers we have come across Samphire, Chilli and Purple Sage as a garnish. We have put Lemonade, Orange Juice and Ginger Ale in our Gin. We have had Yuzu and Elderflower in our Tonic and Smoke and Absinthe has made it into cocktails…

But when all is said and done the Gin we bring you this evening is not just a stalwart, it’s banging… and affordable. Bung a tin of Schweppes its way and chuck a slice of lime in and well, you won’t go far wrong x

Peace, Love and Gin

Sammy & Jymi x

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE

STYLE: London Dry

ABV: 40%

KEY BOTANICAL: Juniper

THEY SAY SERVE WITH: Fever-Tree Tonic and Lime Garnish

MOB SAY SERVE WITH: Schweppes Tonic and Lime Garnish

 

MOB COCKTAIL SUGGESTIONS: Dry, Wet & Dirty Martinis 

Ingredients and method for the three:

Dry Martini…

50ml Bombay Sapphire

15ml Martini Extra Dry

Stir both ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Wet Martini…

50ml Bombay Sapphire

25ml Martini Extra Dry

Stir both ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a single silverskin cocktail onion.

Dirty Martini…

50ml Bombay Sapphire

15ml Martini Extra Dry

5ml of Olive Bitters or Olive ‘juice’ from an olive jar.

Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with three olives on a stick.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL 44 GINS FROM THE LAST THREE SUMMERS

EVERYDAY HERO

BREWER: Amundsen Brewery, Oslo, Norway

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 4.7%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @amundsenbrewery

INSTAGRAM: amundsenbrewery

DATE OF POST: 29th August 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

I love the name and the packaging combination with Everyday Hero.  It’s a tempting beer.

And in the glass it has a lovely light colour with sublime cloudiness, which is a good thing.  

The drinking is sharp crisp lemony taste, which, again, is a fab combo.

So, all things are looking good for Everyday Hero.  It’s delivering more combos than a Monday night takeaway offer.

And it even has a USP – it’s light on the fizz.  Being light on the bubbles is something I don’t mind in a beer.  However, with Everyday Hero it’s a bit of a stumbling block for it because more carbonation would carry through the flavour a little more.

It’s when you drink Everyday Hero that you get an idea of exactly what those little bubbles can do for the flavour of a beer.

All in all, EH is a good beer.  Turn up the fizzometer and we have a rocket of an ale on our hands… 

Sammy’s Rating: 79%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

A tropical nose that could be any of 100 new modern IPAs, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

A zany off the wall tin design full of colour, activity, and sitting somewhere between Green Day’s seminal album Dookies artwork and Nick Dwyer of Beavertown fames masterpieces. Not a bad thing either though not too original anymore.

Now there is a reason this classic nose and barmy packaging are so common nowadays… they’re great and they sell!!

However, as ever it is the taste that will define this beer.

Everyday Hero pours a great, bright even golden colour with a touch of haze and I have to say looked very inviting. Upon sip, though not too dissimilar to the 100 IPA’s mentioned earlier,this beer did have it’s own identity. A very hop forward lemon taste led the way with a quite sharp mouthfeel as a sidekick. Once swallowed the texture became quite thin and the taste remained the same through the aftertaste. Now, a spiky lemon and bitter taste with a light finish throughout the aftertaste is not a bad thing, at all. In fact it’s a very good thing but I can’t help but feel this beer is lacking a dimension. It is missing something. Maybe it just needs a little highlight of something somewhere to break it up. Maybe it needs a little more body for a little more time. Maybe it needs a little more fizz to elevate it. I’m not totally sure what it is but Everyday Hero just needs a tweak somewhere to take it from being a little one dimensional.

All said this is a very nice IPA indeed and with a tap here and a kick there could be elevated to ‘crackin’.

Jymi’s Rating: 79%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 79%

MOB review next weekend: 50 by BREW BY NUMBERS

muse.on.booze on Instagram

 

 

CITY OF LONDON : THE SQUARE MILE

STYLE: London Dry

ABV: 47.3%

KEY BOTANICAL: Angelica and Orris Root

THEY SAY SERVE WITH: Fever-Tree Tonic and Orange Garnish

MOB SAY SERVE WITH: Fentimans Connoisseurs Tonic and Lemon Garnish 

 

MOB COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: Tuxedo

Tuxedo ingredients and method:

50ml The Square Mile Gin

25ml Martini Extra Dry

25ml Martini Bianco

4 Dashes Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

2 Dashes Absinthe

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

2 Dashes Orange Bitters 

Stir all ingredients in a glass mixing jug full of ice. Fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist and maraschino cherry.

 

With the end of August looming the third Muse on Booze Summer of Gin will conclude on Monday. This will be the last MOBSOG for now too, as for the next two years at least we will not be bringing you these midweek spikes of joy. Sad times but it is better evolve rather than revolve. 

Get ready for something special to conclude what has been an absolute blast for the last three summers…

#MOBSOG

 

LONDON PALE ALE

BREWER: Meantime Brewing Company, South East London, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.3%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @MeantimeBrewing

INSTAGRAM: meantimebrewing

DATE OF POST: 22nd August 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

So, some time ago, how long I’m actually not sure, I found myself in a pub in Kew, West London supping on a pint of London Pale Ale by Meantime Brewing Company. At the time of this supping I had no real idea who Meantime were and certainly didn’t have my finger on the pulse of craft brewing. I think the name of the chap I was supping with was Sammy (though can’t really be sure). He had ordered and paid for the pints so after taking a couple of sips I had to ask… What is this? It is bloomin’ lovely!! I was informed it was a Pale Ale by Meantime. Looking back at this moment I really do think it was my first jump from trad towards craft. The reason being… it was.

LPA tasted every bit like a classic British Pale Ale but there was a new world hoppy twist. So good, so intriguing.

I have to move on to today however. Now, London Pale Ale on cask still remains one of the best pints out there if you ask me. But, when it comes to the canned form I not only think it hasn’t transferred particularly well but has also been overtaken by the explosion that is this craft world we now have available to us.

This London Pale Ale is fine. Good in fact. But it is lacking a little punch. I know a classic British Pale shouldn’t necessarily have punch but there should be some heavy hop action at some point in the experience, and although there are glimmers, this beer just left me wanting a wee bit more.

Jymi’s Rating: 70%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Let’s make no bones about it, London Pale Ale from Meantime is a good beer.  It’s filled with hops, is easy to quaff down and (just about) fits the hipster image.

So, there’s much going for it.  And it was a pioneer.  Meantime were early on the brewing boat, turning out great beers of which this London Pale Ale was one.  

It’s just, things have moved on a bit so this offering doesn’t sit on top of the pile anymore.  There’s more selection, more competition and some of them are seriously good.

However, that having been said, if I see London Pale Ale on tap, I find it hard to say no.  And that’s because it’s a better cask beer than canned beer.  Don’t ask me why, it’s just the way it is.

So do I like this beer.  No, I love it.  I just prefer it on tap.  

Sammy’s Rating: 78%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 74% 

MOB review next weekend: EVERYDAY HERO by AMUNDSEN BREWERY

MUSEONBOOZE.COM

BROOKLYN

STYLE: New Western

ABV: 40%

KEY BOTANICAL: Fresh Citrus Fruit Peel

THEY SAY SERVE WITH: Fever-Tree Tonic and Basil Garnish

MOB SAY SERVE WITH: Merchant’s Heart Light Tonic and Lime & Mint Garnish

 

MOB COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: Brooklyn 75

Brooklyn 75 ingredients and method:

50ml Brooklyn Gin

25ml Fresh Lemon Juice

25ml Honey Syrup (a mix of local to you Honey and warm water)

Champagne 

Brandied Cherry

Shake the Gin, Lemon Juice and Honey syrup with ice. Strain into a Champagne flute and top with Champagne. Garnish with the Brandied Cherry.

#MOBSOGIII