JUST STOUT

BREWER: Stardust, Berkshire, England

STYLE: Stout

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @stardustbrewery

INSTAGRAM: stardustbrewery 

DATE OF POST: 5th December 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Is Just Stout a world beater? Nope.

Is it in fact, Just Stout. Yep.

Is that a problem? Absolutely flippin’ not.

The whole theme get’s going with an unassuming tin. No craziness. No wild art. Just a very smart tin, a tin of Just Stout.

Nose wise again, not mind boggling, not fancy, very nice however. And you know what, it smells just like Stout. Funny that.

Taste is a warming caramel with a lovely dry finish. Straight to the point, no messin’, kinda Stout like, ya know…

And the more I think of it, the better the name of this brew becomes. Not many craft brewers just do a Stout nowadays.

Blueberry Muffin oatmeal Nitro Stout…tonnes of ‘em.

27.4% Coffee & molasses imperial double triple chocolate Stout collab with I’m a Big Boy Now Brewing Co, flippin’ millions it would seem.

But Just Stout, not many at all.

Sometimes you just want a good simple dark brew. And Stardust have delivered.

Jymi’s Rating: 75%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Just Stout: Great name; Great packaging.

This is a good start. I’ve been looking forward to diving into this stout from Stardust Brewery.

The first thing to note is that this bad boy is quite highly carbonated for a stout. I’m passing no judgement on that – it’s just an observation.

However, where I will pass judgement is on the beer itself (of course). And my overall view is that Stardust have made a solid stout.

Just Stout is nutty upfront, which gives way to a light fizz ending, all polished off by a slight bitterness. This does two things: it makes it a very pleasant drink and it makes it quite light for a stout. But where JS comes into its own, it’s in its session ability. Many stouts can be quite heavy. But this isn’t.

So, if your looking for a lighter stout that is still unmistakably a stout, look no further.

Sammy’s Rating: 85%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80%

MOB review next weekend: DRAGON STOUT by DESNOES & GEDDES

 

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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OTTER ALE

BREWER: Otter Brewery, Devon, England

STYLE: Ale

ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @otterbrewery

INSTAGRAM: otterbrewery

DATE OF POST: 28th November 2021

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Otter Ale is by no means remarkable. However, in saying that, I don’t want to leave the impression that it’s poor. Because it’s not.  No, what Otter Ale is, is a solid brew.

There’s no point of difference. No particular stand out feature. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It just means Otter is walking a safe path. And at times, a safe path is what one wants. We know where we are on such a route. We are not at risk of being challenged.

So, my advice to you is give Otter Ale a go. But, perhaps, if you’re looking for something a little more interesting, then may I suggest that this might not tick the box that you’re looking to fill.

Sammy’s Rating: 73%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

OTTER… OTTER… OTTER

OTTA        OTTAAAA

OTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

This is a familiar beer to me but only in sight not sip. See, I’ve seen this river dweller brew on many a supermarket shelf but it has now dawned on me that I’ve never actually tried it, which is a shame as it’s actually a really nice drop. There is a theory as to why I haven’t tried her however. The packaging is, for me anyway, a bit s**t. I mean, it all works when it comes to a trad ale bottle look but it just seems so unappealing to me. It’s odd I don’t like it though, as our little Otter dude on the front is really cool but overall… I dunno, it’s just not for me.

But the beer itself, if not an absolute superstar, is a little south-western gem…

A lovely rich nose leads the way, backed up by something almost approaching cherry in the look of the brew in the glass. The richness continues into the sip which comes along with a very good mouthfeel (BROUGHT TO YOU BY DEVON’S FINEST SPRINGWATER). A good hoppy backdrop and subtle linger then creeps in and I found myself doing the classic beer reviewer nod whilst sipping and noting.

#CBRN

It’s a good beer this. Readily available and affordable enough. Go and get does say Jymi.

OTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

Jymi’s Rating: 79%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 76%

MOB review next weekend: JUST STOUT by STARDUST

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

Instagram: muse.on.booze

 

SUSSEX

BREWER: Hepworth, West Sussex, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 3.5%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @hepworthsbeer

INSTAGRAM: hepworthbrewery

DATE OF POST: 21st November 2021

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Nowadays we expect a beer marked as a craft pale ale to have that hallmark tropical nose. That’s not the case with Sussex. But then, neither is the traditional label, which I happen to quite like.  The nose, however, is a little unremarkable and more reminiscent of a golden ale rather that a pale.

Onto the drinking… which is…. Interesting.

Again, definitely not like a craft pale. In fact nothing like you might expect at all. There’s a hint of sauerkraut about it. Yes folks, I did just liken it to sauerkraut. This gives way to cut grass. And as awful as this sounds, it is funnily enough not altogether unpleasant. That having been said, it ain’t setting the world alight either.

Not what you’d expect on any front. But worthy of whetting your palate with.

Sammy’s Rating: 62%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

What we have here is a very thin, almost water like, textured beer. However, whilst this beer is far from great, it is without doubt saved by a good hop punch in the sip n swallow. The whole experience of this brew is a little clunky but I did quite enjoy it overall to be fair. But the long and short of it is this… Without the hop hit finish this beer would be poor. I think in the brew it is relatively poor anyway, but as mentioned, somehow I did enjoy.

Jymi’s Rating: 64%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 63%

MOB review next weekend: OTTER ALE by OTTER BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

Instagram: muse.on.booze

Twitter: @museonbooze

 

CRISPY PIG

BREWER: Hunter’s Brewery, Devon, England

STYLE: Speciality Ale

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @huntersbrewery

INSTAGRAM: #Huntersbrewery

DATE OF POST: 14th November 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

A concept that turned my head, maybe not in an exorcist style, but turn my head it did. See what we have here with Crispy Pig is an apple flavoured ale. Not something I particularly liked the sound of but the concept of it being brewed to be paired with a hog roast was an interesting one to say the least. And why not, apples are pretty nice and inoffensive (even if a bit cidery!) and as we all know apples and pork go together magnificently well. As does beer and hog roast. So we should be in business here. Testing, however did not take place whilst at an agriculture show chowing down on some slow cooked pork. So I can only comment on the beer itself and not the food pairing, which to be fair is what Muse on Booze is here to do, Rate beer…

… and unfortunately the beer we have here is not really up to much.

We begin with a pleasant enough apple nose and a beer that looked very good in the glass I have to say. Before sipping the brew the sight and see was actually quite appealing but as soon as the glass hit the lips dem apples came a tumbling down.

The main problem in the sip is there is a lot of fizz going on, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s over carbonated but whilst sipping it really does tingle the tongue (for want of a better term). The beer is light and appley so without this fizz up could be considered sessionable but because of it it really is not.  And to be honest the taste once you’re settled into the brew is just a bit odd. It’s not a Graf. It’s not a cider. It is a beer, yes, but at points tastes like those two aforementioned styles. I am just not sure here. I think with a better end result I’d be writing I don’t care what it is, it tastes great… but it doesn’t, so we are where we are.

Jymi’s Rating: 39%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

I love it when things make sense. Simple. And Hunter’s have made Crispy Pig make sense. It’s brewed with the aroma of apples to accompany a hog roast. See. It makes sense. And if you don’t believe me, well, it says it on the label.

Except it isn’t actually that simple!

Now, here’s where things get a little more complicated…

Being brewed with essences of apples, it’s hardly surprising that Crispy Pig smells like apples. And yes, you’re right, cider also smells of apples so there could be some similarities. But then when you drink CP, it doesn’t taste like cider although there’s definitely a hint of it.  This makes it a strange drinking experience, and this strangeness is doubled down with a weak finish.

Look, I like to promote different things. And I love a different way to look at a beer. But CP just isn’t for me.  It’s a little too odd.

Lots of ticks in terms of concept. It just falls down in the delivery for me.

Sammy’s Rating: 48%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 43.5%

MOB review next weekend: SUSSEX by HEPWORTH

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

TWITTER : @museonbooze

INSTAGRAM : muse.on.booze

 

I SEE BREAD PEOPLE

BREWER: Delphic Brewing Co., Berkshire, England

STYLE: Milk Stout

ABV: 6%

VESSEL: 500ml wax dipped brown bottle

TWITTER: @delphicbrew

INSTAGRAM: delphicbrew

DATE OF POST: 7th November 2021

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Right, the cap’s a bit of a fiddle to get off. But don’t let that detract from the overall impact the packaging has on I See Bread People. And let’s be honest, a little effort to get to your beer only makes you want for it more.

Aside for the wax over the cap, you’ll note that this is a gingerbread milk stout. And if that doesn’t tickle your intrigue, well, who knows what will?  On the face of it, it might seem like a gimmick. However, ISBP is anything but…

The nose is vanilla filled moving into cinnamon. For a stout, it’s quite a complex start. And the drinking has an intriguing mouthfeel which is very creamy, taking away some of the bitter notes you might expect in a stout.  All the while, there’s the hint of gingery spiciness dancing around in the background. When you combine these profiles, you are faced with a formidable drink.

While this won’t be for the stout purist, make no mistake, this is a cracking beer. It’s different and has many points of interest. ISBP is just plain old good fashioned fun.

As we enter the festive season, you won’t go far wrong hunting one of these down. And once you have your quarry, I’ll be betting you’ll be reaching for more.

Great concept. Executed perfectly.

Sammy’s Rating: 87%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Some / all of my nearest and dearest know I get a little twitchy about even the mention of Christmas outside of the majestic month of December. I love Christmas, I really do, but the longer you drag the fu**er out the more diluted it becomes and therefore ultimately less special.  Now, the reason a Gingerbread Stout (a very December sounding brew, let’s be honest) has made it into a November review is because it is amazing on every. SINGLE. LEVEL… no matter what time of year. OK, possibly not a burner of a Summers day, but still…

It is hard to know where to start here, maybe the beginning? Yeah let’s go with that.

The name and artwork for this brew are OUTSTANDING. It’s a gingerbread Stout and Zombie-esqe figures doing a The Walking Dead like surround of a gingerbread house all brought together by the name… I SEE BREAD PEOPLE!!!!????

F-me, we are at new levels of genius here… and I hadn’t even lifted the lid yet!

Nose wise, yeah great but nothing to get crazy over excited about. But once that first sip lands you start to wonder HOW THE F THIS BREW IS SOOOOOOOOOO SMOOTH? I have honestly never experienced a mouthfeel like it. Just absolutely incredible! So soft it is ridiculous. The taste is also a thing of total and utter wonderment. Now, too much Gingerbread and we would have something heavy and overpowering. The label also tells us that cinnamon and vanilla are involved. Again getting these levels wrong can totally overwhelm a beer. But no. DELPHIC HAVE NAILED IT, like properly NAILED IT!

The Gingerbread is very much there but it is subtle and not over powering at all. And again the cinnamon and vanilla are present, and need to be to elevate this brew to it’s extraordinary level, but they are not prominent in any way. They’re just there lurking in the background holding up a sign saying “everything little thing, is going to be alright”.

And it is.

THIS BEER IS INCREDIBLE!

Jymi’s Rating: 95%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 91%

MOB review next weekend: CRISPY PIG by HUNTER’S BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

twitter: @museonbooze

instagram: museonbooze

 

 

 

PAVE THE WAY

BREWER: Big Hug Brewing, West London, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.6%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @BigHugBrewing

INSTAGRAM: bighugbrewing

DATE OF POST: 1st November 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Amazing cause and concept. Packaging that could be more striking but a pretty cool beer…

Here is what is going on.

Giving a little something back was important to us from day one. To do this, our corporate social responsibility strategy is driven by sales of all products which help generate funds to support our charity partners Only A Pavement Away (OAPA). OAPA support people facing or experiencing homelessness including those leaving prison and vulnerable veterans, find jobs within the hospitality industry and help pave the way to a brighter future. Our support will help them cover rent and utility bills on the scheme before employment.

We don’t believe anyone should be homeless and so by doing what we do, we can help Only A Pavement Away do what they do best. For more info on our CSR donations and work with the charity please visit http://www.bighugbrewing.com/social-conscience.

So, just go and buy gallons of this grog to do your bit and get a beer in return that is very drinkable with a point of difference without being odd. I’m pretty sure that there is a watermelon thing going on on the roof of the mouth when drinking this pale. That is what makes it different as everything else is in order and as you would expect.

 Jymi’s Rating: 64%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

The mission of this brewery is outstanding. I’m not going into the detail here, but essentially they put money back into the homeless community to support them moving on with their lives in a positive way.  You need to visit the Big Hug Brewing website to find out the detail. Awesome company.

Onto the beer, Pave the Way pours light in the glass. It also drinks light in the glass. It’s not too complicated, which, considering the hops is surprising, but PTW is incredibly refreshing.

While it’s not setting the world on fire as a beer, PTW is solid. But where this beer shines is in what it’s all about. And for that alone, we should all be getting our hands on this beer regularly.

Noble cause, noble beer! Go get one. Or a lot more!

Sammy’s Rating: 71%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 67.5%

MOB review next weekend: I SEE BREAD PEOPLE by DELPHIC BREWING CO

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

HIGH DEFINITION

BREWER: Siren Craft Brew (remote collaboration with Green Cheek Beer Co), Berkshire, England 

STYLE: Triple IPA

ABV: 11.1%

VESSEL: 440ml tin 

TWITTER: @SirenCraftBrew

INSTAGRAM: sirencraftbrew

DATE OF POST: 24th October 2021

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Many beers have a great aroma. High Definition is in another league though. As you pour the liquid into a glass, the vapours fill not only your nasal cavity, but the space around you. And it has to be said the tropical vibes are a delight on the old hooter.

Initially, HD is intensely bitter. It’s not unpleasant but it’s not matching the tropical aroma. However, the further you get down the glass and the deeper you drink the more you realise what a complex beer this is. It’s masterfully brewed, well balanced and an overall hit. The fruitiness in HD really comes into play as you drink more of this bad boy.

Well conceived.

Well brewed.

Well delivered.

Well done.

Sammy’s Rating: 80%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Todays two topics:

a, THE STRENGTH OF THIS FU**ER

2, THE QUALITY OF THIS F*CK*R

a, Right, let’s immediately get our ducks in a row here, this is an insanely strong brew. I honestly don’t think a beer has ever made me sweat before but High Def made me do so… before, during and after but mainly during. Your head should not be in a spin after a couple of sips but with this large lad it really was. Mental strong. Time and place brew, just not totally sure when and where.

2, This is a seriously good beer. Seriously good. The brewing expertise on show here is something else. This is how this sucker goes down…

Massive nose, we are talking full on Conky McConkerson here. An absolute tropical delight. Then, High Definition in the taste at the start is properly full on, maybe not 11.1% full on, but very strong beer full on nonetheless. However, it does not take long for this puppy to settle down into a very nice beer indeed. Around halfway through the beer I actually wrote in my notes, “this suddenly tastes sessionable!!” Hahaha, what a ridiculous statement. But once into this brew it is very drinkable and very tasty.

It’s just hats (and probably shoes) off all round here.

Jymi’s Rating: 85%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 82.5%

MOB review next weekend: PAVE THE WAY by BIG HUG BREWING

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

DEVON DUMPLING

BREWER: Bays Brewery, Devon, England

STYLE: Golden Ale 

ABV: 5.1%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @BaysBrewery

INSTAGRAM: baysbrewery

DATE OF POST: 17th October 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

With an exceptional name like Devon Dumpling one would be expecting a strong and heavy winter ale. One to settle down with during the deep winter in front of a roaring fire with a chum and just chew that cud.

But DD is not that. Its’s a great Golden Ale. So, of course it is good news that the beer is a goodun but I’m not sure the name has been thought through too well. Sounds good, is good, but doesn’t suit the brew.

Anyway, as already mentioned, this is a cracking beer you know! A lovely spicy toned nose starts the party soon followed but an exceptional mouthfeel in the sip and swallow. I think we can probably thank the Devonian water for this. The spicy ride continues into the taste which may I add is very refreshing. The aftertaste is soft, not in a bad way, just soft and pleasant.

My only issue with this beer (other than the name match situation) is that seeing as this is branded as a STRONG GOLDEN ALE and is carrying a 5.1% abv, I think I wanted a bit more of a hit. Not much more, just a bit more.

However, when all’s said, Bays Brewery have produced a lovely beer in Devon Dumpling.

Jymi’s Rating: 86%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Who’d have ever thought we’d be drinking a beer named Devon Dumpling? Yet here we are, doing exactly that. Furthermore, who’d have thought a beer named Devon Dumpling would be any good? However, turns out it’s quite the find…

DD’s nose is intriguing and best described as being fairly complex with some spice hint backed by some sharp citrus fruit and some more rounded summer fruits. A little light on the nasal cavity, it’s a tempting introduction to the (fairly dark) golden ale.  Without the label of being a golden ale, I would describe it somewhere between the aforementioned brewing style and a trad bitter.

In the drinking DD really comes alive. It starts light and acidic, then onto heavy and full bodied in the middle all rounded off with a light finish. It makes for an unusual drinking experience but I like it. Each mouthful is a delightful surprise and it keeps DD fresh and interesting. Not necessarily a traditional golden ale but it’s a great drink.

This is one to get your hands on folks because if nothing else it’s quite different.

Sammy’s Rating: 87%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 86.5%

MOB review next weekend: HIGH DEFINITION by SIREN CRAFT BREW & GREEN CHEEK BEER CO

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

SUSSEX GOLD

BREWER: Arundel Brewery, West Sussex, England

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @ArundelBrewery

INSTAGRAM: arundelbrewery

DATE OF POST: 10th October 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Another 4ish% British Golden Ale you say… We’ve heard it all before Jymi I hear you cry. However, even though Sussex Gold isn’t wildly different to it’s brothers/competitors, it ain’t the same either…

Things got off to a magnificent start with SGs whiff… it is exceptional! A delightful vibrant citrus hit with a sweet hoppy thing going on too but also accompanied by a savory grass tone. It’s not often Jymi’s olfactory factory (nose in layman’s terms) pick’s up such nuances but the smell from this brew really was that good.

Once into the sip what became apparent was that Arundel Brewery really knew what they were up to as the mouthfeel and drinkabilty of this beer was also fantastic.

However, there is a slight lack in body and aftertaste. Plus I found this Golden a bit uncarbonated for me…

However, this is possibly all part of it’s genius. Any more body and aftertaste and the drinkability would dip. Any more carbonation and the sessionabilty would dip.

It’s a real fine line.

But when all is said and done Arundel Brewery have produced a very nice drop here.

Jymi’s Rating: 79%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Sussex Gold is a good example of a traditional golden ale done well. It’s clear, golden colour is as expected and this only serves to get the old tastebuds excited!

The nose is pleasant, grassy, but nothing to write home about. It’s in the drinking that the nose comes alive. As you quaff your first pull of the drink you really do get that summer mowed lawn sensation. And I love that.

The mouthfeel is good at first but perhaps a little too smooth in the finishing for a golden. To be fair, this initial smoothness does wear off as you drink on. SG gets better the further down the glass you go.  And this keeps it an interesting offering.

There is definitely a citrus note mid drink and I’d describe it as lightly hopped.

I like it. It’s a good beer.

Worthy of its name.

Sammy’s Rating: 81%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80%

MOB review next weekend: DEVON DUMPLING by BAYS BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017

 

COOL BEANS

BREWER: Butts Brewery, Berkshire, England

STYLE: Porter

ABV: 2.3%

VESSEL: 330ml brown bottle

TWITTER: #buttsbrewery

INSTAGRAM: #buttsbrewery

DATE OF POST: 4th October 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

As a keen gardener I can’t help feel like there are not enough hours in the day to keep on top of things out there let alone implement ideas and a few new additions. The main reason for this is that I’m not retired – I’m middle aged, with a full time job plus I run a local beer delivery service AND have to write this s**t every week! So time is short and before you know it, the grass is not. So when I do manage to get out there it is normally a jungle that needs taming. An early rise and straight to it is normally required with a head down attitude of just smashing it out.

After several hours toil it is time to take a break. It’s 11am. And you should probably have a coffee, but after such a tough stint, you quite fancy a beer… Step up COOL BEANS!

What an amazing little brew! Of course with this ABV the flavour isn’t going to smack you in the chops but it is tasty nonetheless. Light and refreshing with a definite dry coffee aftertaste that brings a caffeine buzz along to the party as well.

Great concept. Great execution. Great beer.

Anyway, back to the garden, this conifer unicorn isn’t going to shape itself…

Jymi’s Rating: 72%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Cool Beans is an interesting proposition. It might not say it on the bottle, but it’s brewed with coffee. And you can tell. The concept of this brew is literally to be a light morning style beer. Sounds odd, I know. But it actually really works.

Right, so it’s a little absent in the mouth. And it tails of at the end. But other than that, it’s a great drinking experience.

The coffee influence starts with the nose and carries right on through to the drinking. And I like it. It works really well with the stout brew. It’s a match made to exist together.

Cool Beans is an interesting beer, no doubt. But it’s much more than that. It’s beer that has a place in the market and would be snapped up with more exposure.

Sammy’s Rating: 74%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 73%

MOB review next weekend: SUSSEX GOLD by ARUNDEL BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze since 2017