HOOKY GOLD

BREWER: Hook Norton Brewery, Oxfordshire, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.1%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @HookyBrewery

INSTAGRAM: hook_norton_brewery 

DATE OF POST: 29th November 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

With a brewery that kicked off back in 1849 I’d like to think Hooky Gold didn’t start life under this name. I’m sure under its original guise it could have been called Hook Norton Ale, maybe. Local drinkers would have then begun to colloquially dismantle the name over the next century and a half plus.

Pint’a Hook?

Glass of Norts?

Some of that golden Hooky please.

You get the idea.

So we arrive today with a name that has been forged over some time I’m sure and a beer that tastes like it has been too. See, it is utterly fantastic.

In a world of New England IPAs, Milkshake Pales and Peanut butter stouts it is sometimes easy to forget just how good a decent classic British beer can be. And let me tell you, this is a star.

There is a hint of lemon and possibly even smoke in the taste. There is also just the most amazingly balanced level of bitterness throughout the whole drinking experience. It is a level of bitterness that is VERY much there but not prominent. Without it, the beer would fail, but more than there is, then the flavour would not pronounce as it does.

It’s a beer for any occasion for sure but a very long afternoon in a country pub with friends and family is where our Hooky Gold would excel.

Just brilliant.

Jymi’s Rating: 87%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

The team at Hook Norton Brewery have been at this brewing game for quite sometime. Since 1849 in fact. Of course, it’s not the original team because if it were, well, it would make them the oldest folk alive. Anyway, it’s an old brewery, not one of these new upstarts. So, with all the collective experience and knowledge, the crew from HNB should be able to pack a punch when it comes to making a beer.

The first impression of Hooky Gold, once out of the bottle (which itself is a little nondescript), is of a golden beer: exactly what we’d hoped for, given all that was promised on the bottle. And the nose, is exactly as it says on the tin: zesty.

Then comes the highlight, the drinking. Hooky Gold is sublime. It’s fruity and well balanced. Zest dances around the palate. And here’s the thing, the more you drink HG, the better it gets. It’s a joy to have in your glass. To add to it’s sensational drinking experience, it’s also a beer you could have anytime, anywhere.

It’s more than fair to say that the years of brewing experience at HNB have most certainly paid off. I think Hooky Gold will tick the box for many a beer drinker, including, dare I say it, those that rarely, if ever, break away from their lager standard.

Go get your hands on one, you won’t be disappointed.

Sammy’s Rating: 93%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 90% 

 

MOB review next weekend: EXPORT INDIA PORTER by THE KERNEL BREWERY

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AGAINST THE GRAIN

BREWER: Wold Top Brewery, East Yorkshire, England

STYLE: Gluten Free Beer

ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @woldtopbrewery

INSTAGRAM: woldtopbrew

DATE OF POST: 20th November 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

This is a first for us tasters here at Muse On Booze: a gluten free beer. I know, there’s no stopping us in our quest to be all inclusive. However, there’s just one slight issue. It isn’t actually our first gluten free beer. What! I can here the unified intake of breath. You see, some of the beers we have tested previously have been brewed without gluten in their ingredients. What Against The Grain actually is, is the first beer with standard brewing ingredients that’s gluten free. And it’s the first beer we’ve tested to promote it’s free from gluten state.

So, what is ATG? Well, it’s a lager. And it looks like a lager and it smells like a lager. But then, you might not expect it’s freeness from gluten to have any impact so early in the testing phase.

And then you come to drinking the thing…

To be fair, ATG is very quaffable. It’s light and pulls slightly on your tastebuds, which is interesting considering it’s a lager. But let’s move away from it’s gluten freeness for just a moment. Let’s consider if it’s a good beer when it’s stacked up against all other beers. And that has to be the test. The answer is, resoundingly, yes; this is a good beer. Would I reach for it again, even when other lagers were available? Yes I would. I would because it’s a very good beer. Okay, it’s not the most complex lager I’ve ever had but that does not stop it from being good.

Regardless of ATG being gluten free, this is a good beer. It’s worth a try. And I’m willing to bet that many of you will be reaching for it again.

Sammy’s Rating: 76%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Well done to Wold Top for producing this gluten free and  vegan friendly beer. At the end of the day it’s easier to just NOT produce a gluten free and vegan  friendly beer but they have taken it on and for that my cap is doffed.

Moving on, I literally hate everything about this beer. The packaging is poor, the name is quite clever on the surface but seems like one of those world changing ideas you have when you can’t sleep. The nose is a complete non event and I don’t even know what I’m going to be getting as a style of drink.

However the taste, which let’s be honest is by far and away the most important thing, is very good.

Going from the info on the label what we have with ATG is an ale (which is quite loosely mentioned I have to add) brewed with lager malts. However what they have produced is a lager. And it’s a good lager. In fact it is a really good lager. The reason being it finishes with a bitter hoppy ale tone that takes away all the bad things about a lager. See what happens is you get the initial refreshing moreish hit that a cold crisp lager brings but then where a normal lager goes down the path of gacky shabby aftertaste, ATG brings in the hop rockets to totally alleviate that situation.

A very pleasant beer indeed I have to say, just wish I hadn’t used the handled glass for the picture.

Jymi’s Rating: 78%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 77% 

MOB review next weekend: HOOKY GOLD by HOOK NORTON BREWERY

 

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ABINGDON BRIDGE

BREWER: Loose Cannon Brewery, Oxfordshire, England

STYLE: unspecified

ABV: 4.1%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @LooseCannonBeer

INSTAGRAM: loosecannonbeer

DATE OF POST: 13th November 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It’s probably just me being picky, but if you’re going with the name Loose Cannon for a brewery (which is a great name for a brewery by the way) then I for one would expect them to be rolling out some pretty off the wall packaging. As it stands we have a smart enough but fairly underwhelming looking bottle with the brewery name sticking out like a sore thumb.

Luckily though, we have a very good beer on our hands here…

Loose Cannon don’t actually tell us what the beer style of Abingdon Bridge is on the packaging which is slightly odd, so I really had no clue what was going to come out of the bottle. The look of what did was this most fantastic deep cherry red ale. So dark in appearance and oozing class. The nose was nothing to get excited about but as soon as that first sip was sipped it was instantly obvious that this was a better than good beer. Sitting somewhere between a Bitter and a British Pale Ale AB has an initial bite in the mouthfeel that smooths out to a lovely buttery texture in the swallow. With soft but quality caramel notes and subtle hop turns what is not to like here really. That fact it’s crazy sessionable just rounds off what is a very good brew indeed from Loose Cannon.

Jymi’s Rating: 76%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Abingdon Bridge has a nice ring to it. It sounds very Oxfordshire like, which is lucky really, because Abingdon is in Oxfordshire as is Loose Cannon (the brewers of this offering). So, we have a quaintly named beer. And I like it’s name. It’s very Sunday afternoon. A little like an episode of Morse (again, Oxfordshire based).

Once you get into AB, you can’t help but notice how lush the copper colour is. It really is striking and just how you’d hope a good old English ale might be.

I am even more pleased to report that AB is a lovely drinking journey. It takes you right to that aforementioned Sunday afternoon and wraps you up in your warmest of snuggly jumpers. It’s not too complex but it’s homely and reassuring. Think old English pub and you’re getting close to the AB experience. There is nothing striking about this beer; it’s just that it’s an all rounder. Well balanced on the palate and smooth in the mouth.

AB may well not set the world on fire. It might not be the next viral sensation. But what it does so well is to fly the flag for a traditional English ale.

Anyway, I’m off to watch Morse in my warmest of jumpers with an AB in hand…

Sammy’s Rating: 80%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 78% 

MOB review next weekend: AGAINST THE GRAIN by WOLD TOP BREWERY

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CITRA SEA

BREWER: Gosnells, South-East London, England

STYLE: Mead

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @GosnellsMead

INSTAGRAM: gosnellsmead

DATE OF POST: 8th November 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

When I think of mead I think of a Henry VIII (he was a shit) type character and his cronies having a right ol’ knees up. There he would be sat at the head of an oversized banquet table with a whole loaf of bread in one hand and a huge over flowing vessel of mead in the other. In front of him would be an apple plugged wild boar’s head and all folk around the table would have their eye on a night of total debauchery and getting utterly pewter tankard.

Citra Sea is a world away from this mead mise en scene. The packaging alone fast forwards to today and makes it very obvious what Gosnells have set out to do – modernise mead. A great alternate angle in today’s competitive beer market but not an easy task…  but my oh my have they nailed it!

This mead pours a very light gold with a massive amount of bubbles running through it. From the look I expected this brew to be light and delicate in texture but I could not have been more wrong. It’s thick and heavy in the mouth with a very large presence of honey and lemon in the taste and somehow it is very good indeed! Now this is saying something as I’m not really a fan of honey to be honest and if this drink had been described to me I would have said that it wouldn’t be one that I would enjoy… but I did.

Now, for me there are two reasons for this. The quality in this brew is clear. So the result is a lovely refreshing and quaffable drink. But what really helps this beer out for me personally is the faint hint of salt at the end. It completely balances out the honey and turns a drink that I probably wouldn’t like into a drink that I enjoyed for sure.

On a side note there is one link that takes this mead back to big boy Henry’s time. See, Citra Sea would go very well with white meat I have no doubt.

Put the boar on… or maybe just a nice piece of pork tenderloin.

TRUST ME

Jymi’s Rating: 80%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

The English language is a wonderful, if a little complicated, thing. There’s so much we can do with it, so many nuances and plays with words. However, naming a beer (mead in this case) Citra Sea instead of citrusy (get it?) feels a little off point to me. So, needless to say, I ain’t a fan of the name. That said, the packaging on CS is fantastic. Ergo, even before I open this number up, I’ve a lot to say about it. And that’s not even including this is our first mead we’ve tested. Yes, I know, a mead I hear you all cry. Honey train, here we come… perhaps… given the name, possibly citrus too.

Now, I’m sure we all imagine mead to be sloshed around at a medieval banquet. Chicken (large ones at that) drumsticks hanging from bearded mouths only add to the way mead should be consumed. But CS is dainty in appearance, light and pale. And the nose is, well, it’s light and floral.

Once you let CS line your mouth, you know there’s honey here. It’s sweet, lightly citrusy (not in abundance) with a slightly salty finish. Sound odd. It is. But it’s incredibly well balanced and feels good in the mouth. And CS is very easy to drink – like it’s nose and appearance, it’s light and crisp.

What CS offers, is a great alternative to a heavy beer. I would definitely wash a larger chicken drumstick down with one of these, and I’d enjoy it. Sure, it’s different. But different in this case is good. It’s very good.

Perhaps not one for the purists, Citra Sea will be the talk of the banquet table…

Sammy’s Rating: 84%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 82% 

MOB review next weekend: ABINGDON BRIDGE by LOOSE CANNON BREWERY

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GETTING FIGGY WITH IT

BREWER: Exale Brewing, East London, England

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 5.2%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @ExaleBrewing

INSTAGRAM: exalebrewing

DATE OF POST: 31st October 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Who would ever have thought that you’d be able to link a beer with Will Smith. But, here we have it… Getting Figgy With It, just like Getting Jiggy With It (get it?). And the team at Exale (the brewery responsible for GFWI) even tell you to drink, dance and get figgy with it. What more could you want a beer to promise?

On first meeting, GFWI is most certainly keen to party. I mean, it’s highly carbonated and needs to be poured with caution. One small slip of that dancing hand and you’ll have a glass full of bubbles and minimal liquid.

Once you overcome the bubble fest, you’re left with a butterscotch liquid, which has a light nose with hints of the promised coconut and figs. But don’t expect an aroma that’ll blow you away, because it’s subtle. Not bad, just light.

When you drink GFWI, it’s surprisingly bitter. And don’t get me wrong, this is not bad. It’s just a little surprising. But there are hints of figs. And I don’t mind it not being too overbearing. Fruit beers and me aren’t always the best of friends.

Exale have managed to balance the fig and the hops well and the result is a solid beer, even if it’s not groundbreaking. It’s perfectly enjoyable and pleasant to experience. And the dot-to-dot on the can deserves a special mention (not that you can actually complete it!).

Will you enjoy GFWI? Almost certainly yes. Will it lead the dance in the beer world? Most likely not…

Sammy’s Rating: 75%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

There is much to talk about with Getting Figgy With It. Which is a good thing when it comes to writing I suppose and will hopefully get more out of me than my first ever beer review back in ’99.

Good beer that, yep yep yep, good beer that.

Packaging: The dot-to-dot fig leaf label is a masterstroke for me. It doesn’t take the beer tin peruser long to work out what’s going on here but it is definitely not instantaneous so therefore once the consumer’s eyes are locked on to this beer they will spend just a little extra time viewing this tin therefore will be more likely to buy. I bought. I’m a sucker for dot-to-dot and am going to peel the label off as soon as I’ve finished the beer.

Beer style: I love the concept of this beer. Hops from around the globe with dried fig leaves from around where the brew is brewed, Walthamstow. It’s a just great idea. But have Exale taken that great idea and made a great beer?

Taste: Well, no, it is not great, but it is very good! Fig sweetness features in the nose yes but once sipping is non-existent. GFWI has a hoppy lead, a dank middle with a soft fade to bittersweet. However slowly but surely a subtle fig taste does begin to creep in. This is actually really pleasant and keeps you interested throughout the drinking.

THAT HEAD: My life this beer is lively!! I had to call Sammy to see if he had tested yet and if not could he take the picture as I had arsed up my pour. He had tested and had had the precise same pouring experience. THAT HEAD.

A good, slightly different beer this. Well worth a try.

I’m off to do the dot-to-dot

Jymi’s Rating: 77%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 76% 

MOB review next weekend: CITRA SEA by GOSNELLS

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ARCTIC PALE ALE

BREWER: Einstök ÖlgerÐ, Northeastern Region, Iceland

STYLE: Pale Ale 

ABV: 5.6%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @EinstokBeer

INSTAGRAM: einstok 

DATE OF POST: 23rd October 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I am going to start off with a picky packaging point this weekend simply because it’s been nagging at me all week whilst staring at this tin. When looking at this beer’s logo and name etc from the front you can also see the barcode on one side and the edge of the blurb on the other. I suppose this doesn’t really matter but it does make the aesthetic of this tin a bit chunky and say’s to me that the attention to detail may be lacking here. Hopefully that doesn’t transfer to the beer.

Before cracking this brew my mind also turned to where one might drink this beer. I’m not sure a crisp arctic pale ale that is brewed just 60 miles from the arctic circle would be particularly welcome to be drunk 60 miles from the arctic circle! But luckily I’m way further away in warmer climes and it’s quite a nice day so pop the tin I did…

I have to say, though light and crisp I was pretty disappointed with what was going on with APA…

It is seriously lacking flavour and is almost bordering on a lager. It is lacking a hop dimension to call itself a Pale Ale and to be honest I just found the whole experience of this beer underwhelming.

Arctic Pale Ale doesn’t taste bad don’t get me wrong, but it really doesn’t taste very good either.

Gimmick?  I think this may be so.

Jymi’s Rating: 42%

 

SAMMY SAY’S… 

Iceland and beer? Perhaps not two words we might put together if we were playing a game of word association. But when you do stumble across them together, particularly when what we are sampling here has the word ‘Arctic’ in its name, my goodness me it isn’t half enticing. I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about the prospect of any beer brewed with Arctic (pure) waters, let alone one called Arctic Pale Ale.

Unleashed, it looks quite dark in the glass but this makes sense when you get those caramel aromas from the nose. And the drinking is crisp, with a subtle bitter note, which is well balanced. I like the slight burnt caramel vibe going on with APA. You can definitely tell it has some American hops kicking around it it.

So, it appears Iceland and beer are a good word association. Well, let’s be clear, it’s a strong association in the right hands. And this most definitely is.

The crispness is apparent. Just what I was hoping for. I would definitely enjoy one of these after a frozen fishing trip up in the Arctic Circle. Actually, I would definitely enjoy one sitting in my living room with the central heating on. Or anywhere else for that matter!

Sammy’s Rating: 83%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 62.5% 

MOB review next weekend: GETTING FIGGY WITH IT by EXALE BREWING

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SHINE LIKE MILLIONS

BREWER: Pentrich Brewing Co., Derbyshire, England

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 6.8%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @PentrichBrewing

INSTAGRAM: pentrichbrewing

DATE OF POST: 16th October 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Used to be a time when one in a million was considered unique. But, what with increasing individual western wealth and a world population on the rise, one in a million just ain’t what it used to be. And if anyone’s looking for proof, watch Austin Powers. So it seems to me, we should be talking billions, not millions. But, to be fair to Pentrich Brewing, millions is still a lot. And if we were talking pounds (as in sterling) in my bank account, I wouldn’t be acting so flippantly. Or indeed, if anywhere near a fraction of million people read this review, I’d be claiming world beer domination!

Anyway, after my hardly relevant deviation, let’s consider what we are here for: Shine Like Millions (the beer)…

The first point of note, even before opening the can, is that SLM is lightly carbonated. How can you tell, I hear the millions asking? Pick up the can, squeeze lightly, and watch you fingers descend into said can more readily than compared with a highly carbonated beverage stored in a can. This is confirmed once the can of SLM is popped and the beverage is poured into an appropriate glass.

And this lack of carbonation then filters through to everything. You see, while SLM is a tasty beer, which is well brewed, the lack of bubbles don’t carry through the flavour to the back of your tongue. So while you might be able to taste all the named hops, they don’t have the necessary platform on which to shine (ironic, given the name of the beer). And that’s a shame.

Given it’s so flat, SLM is also difficult to get through. And that leaves me feeling flat.

With SLM, a few bubbles would go a long way to making this beer a lot more of a player.

Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with being one in only a million…

Sammy’s Rating: 63%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Though I admire what Pentrich have done with their packaging here and see the angle, I don’t particularly like it. I get it. I just don’t like it.

Same goes for the name of this IPA too if I’m honest. I get it, I think… actually I don’t get it.

However when it comes to the inside of this tin things begin to look up in a big way.

Shine Like Millions pours an amazing thick and juicy orange and emits a slightly predictable yet very good classic modern IPA aroma but with a drop of sweet mango in the background. That is the last we see of the Mango however as once into SLM sweet would be the last adjective you would use to describe it. I think I’m going to have to take this step by step you know.

To try and get across what is going on here in any other way would be too confusing for me and by the time you folk had read it believe you me, I wouldn’t be the only one confused.

So, going from first sip the mouthfeel of this beer is absolutely fantastic. Much like the nose it is thick and juicy. Once swallowed the thick texture remains but very slowly starts to dissipate, eventually leaving a light subtle aftertaste that then slowly starts to intensify again leaving a bitter orange peel aftertaste! Progressing through the brew much remained the same however two things changed once about halfway through. First thing was that a real dryness began to creep in throughout the middle of the sip. A nice addition to wake you up I thought but to be fair would probably stop me having too many of these suckers (the 6.8% situation may have something to say about that too to be fair). The other thing that changes as you progress through the drink is the orange peel finish loses its intensity and softens out.

A very clever and enjoyable drop from these Derbyshire dudes.

Jymi’s Rating: 83%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 73% 

MOB review next weekend: ARCTIC PALE ALE by EINSTÖK ÖLGERÐ

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BLOW OUT

BREWER: Mikkeller, Copenhagen, Denmark

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 6%

VESSEL: 330ml

TWITTER: @MikkellerBeer

INSTAGRAM: mikkellerbeer

DATE OF POST: 9th October 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I’m gonna have to start with the packaging here. As much as it made me laugh once I had read the name and then looked over the tin art properly, I don’t like it. I find it a bit unsavoury if I’m honest. There is something not quite right about it. I actually can’t really explain what it is (that’s why I’m a multi award winning beer reviewer folks), there is just something that doesn’t sit well with me about the look.

Onto the beer itself I’m afraid to say things just continued to go downhill.

After a faint but actually quite pleasant nose plus, and I have to be honest, a fantastic look in glass, the first sip was a huge disappointment. It made me look at my now 90% full glass with a disappointed glare. I went for sip two pretty quickly just to see what was really going down but it ended with the same disgruntled stare. The mouthfeel is bizarre. Really bizarre. I can only describe it as banana like… odd. And the taste is not even close to an IPA. It’s not hoppy enough and bares no spike at all. An IPA needs something about it, not a soft mango and lychee under carbonated tone. I don’t want that. I really really don’t. I know beer classification is a bit loose nowadays but to label this brew an IPA is frankly ridiculous.

There is something about Blow Out that possibly could be construed as positive, but ultimately it isn’t a positive at all… See Blow Out is intensely smooth, but in a Worthington’s Creamflow kind of way. Unfortunate.

Jymi’s Rating: 39%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Most like a blow out once in a while. It’s human nature, after all. And what’s wrong with that. Given the complexities of the path known as life, it’s hardly surprising is it? However, what we are contemplating here is whether or not we like Blow Out (the beer – get it?).

To begin with, it’s a cracking name for a beer. Come on – you can’t argue with it. Somebody has thought long and hard about it and they deserve to be given credit for it. And although the name of the beer is let down by the design of the can, the concept overall is good.

And in the drinking BO does not fail to make me smile. It’s sweet and light, with fruit and honey jumping around the palate. Sure, this won’t be to everyone’s taste but there’s no denying that it’s well brewed. It doesn’t do anything clever and it’s not particularly complex. But I can’t pretend that I don’t like BO, because I do.

Imagine a hot summer’s day. The sun is beaming down. Bird are chirruping in the background. Bees buzz (slightly annoyingly). This is the scene for BO. This is where it would come in to it’s own. And while we are hunkering down for another winter, summer days becoming a distant memory, BO still has its place.

You see, a good beer is a good beer any time of the year.

Sammy’s Rating: 86%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 62.5% 

MOB review next weekend: SHINE LIKE MILLIONS by PENTRICH BREWING CO

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WASTELAND

BREWER: Uprising, Berkshire, England

STYLE: Double IPA

ABV: 10%

VESSEL: 330ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @UprisingBrewing

INSTAGRAM: uprisingcraftbrewing

DATE OF POST: 3rd October 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

We’ve all had times when we’ve (metaphorically and literally) entered wastelands. And, although a necessity on the path of life, if we are honest, they’re not the most charming of places to be. Still, wastelands are unavoidable. So, naming a beer after such a landscape could be genius, as much as it could be disastrous.

I get why you’d call a beer Wasteland. Especially when it’s a double IPA. But for it to work, it has to stand the test. It has to be good to carry off such a coup. And in this double IPA, there’s ten different hops. That’s a lot of hops. I’m anticipating these breaking on through…

The first point of note about Wasteland is not the nose, as you might expect with so many hops rattling around during the brewing, it’s the darker tones of the liquid in the glass. It’s not that it’s an unpleasant nose, it’s just very light caramel, almost lacking in personality.

However, the drinking is good. It’s a little heavy as you might expect with a double IPA but it does have a lot of flavour. I’m pleased to say that the 10 hops do come through. Wasteland is very bitter and pulls on the back of your tongue.

If you’re a lover of double IPAs and stronger beers, this is a good brew. And to be fair, it does live up to its name.

Sammy’s Rating: 71%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

A double IPA weighing in with a double figure ABV you say?

A beer brewed using 10 different hops you say?

It’s called Wasteland now is it?

Oh, and it has a sinister purple, crow infested label on it too I see.

I dunno Frank, I’m pretty flippin’ scared man (Frank is a made up chap for the purpose of… well I’m not too sure what actually).

Ok, let’s get one thing straight, although this is a strong ol’ beer with a full on flavour I did not need to be scared. This is a decent brew and a fine representation of a DIPA for sure. Picking out the individual hops is impossible. It’s also hard to realise Wasteland is 10%. YES, it’s strong in the taste but doesn’t feel like it reaches the very dizzy heights of 10% ABV.

All in all Wasteland brings you a lovely and smooth caramel nose followed by a complex, heavy and strong hit that comes with a DIPA.  A beer with a fantastic name and if you’re into this sort of style you really won’t go too far wrong with this monster brew from Uprising.

Jymi’s Rating: 77%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 74% 

MOB review next weekend: BLOW OUT by MIKKELLER

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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

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