BODDINGTONS

BREWER: AB InBev, Lancashire, England

STYLE: Bitter

ABV: 3.5%

VESSEL: 44oml tin

TWITTER: @BoddingtonsUK

INSTAGRAM: #boddingtonsbeer

DATE OF POST: 5th January 2023

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Where do you go with a beer like this?

Back in the day, this was an easy to find beer. It was successful. A go to option for many. To be honest, I have no idea why. 

Boddies is watery. But not in a washed-out way. You see, the flavour is distinctly like dishwater.  And that’s shocking. 

There is no occasion where you’d want to get your hands on one of these. 

The can deserves a mention. And that’s where it ends. 

Avoid at all costs. No beer would be better than this. 

Sammy’s Rating: 14%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Though I was fairly sure this beer wasn’t ever going to shoot the lights out there was a part of me that thought it might actually be OK and pleasant enough to drink.

The reason I was pretty sure no lights were getting shot out is that this is a 3.5% creamflow Bitter and is produced in the absolute bucket load by macro big boys AB InBev.

The reason I thought this might actually be somehow OK was that about 500 years ago when my old man used to pass me one over on Christmas Day, I quite enjoyed it.

Now, I was correct in thinking this wouldn’t be something special. I however was incorrect thinking it may be pleasant enough…

It’s not.

It is a f’ing car crash of a beer. Complete and utter horror show.

How it even got to the score I awarded amazes me but there are some positives I suppose…

The look of the can though not amazing, is pretty iconic and quite cool. The drink itself, though disgusting, is very smooth and if somehow you did enjoy this beer it would be very drinkable because of this.

But in conclusion… it’s utter shit.

Jymi’s Rating: 17%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 15.5%

MOB review next weekend: TOWN MILL BEST by LYME REGIS BREWERY

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ROLLING PAPERS

BREWER: Bullhouse Brew Co., Leinster, Ireland

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @bullhousebrewco

INSTAGRAM: #bullhousebrewco

DATE OF POST: 29th January 2023

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Rolling Papers. What a terrible name for a beer. 

Have you ever had the misfortune to drink from a fag ashed can? You know, the one that everyone has used for their ashtray, mostly filled with dog ends and a little bit of backwashed beer. 

I have. 

And it’s terrible. 

And, to be clear Rolling Papers doesn’t taste of that. Not in the slightest. But to call a beer Rolling Papers… I mean, come on! 

If you’re wondering, the beer itself isn’t too bad. It’s perfectly fine. Nothing to write home about. 

But I was lost at the name. Checked out. And the beer ain’t good enough to outshine that.

End of. 

In my opinion, anyway. 

Sammy’s Rating: 54%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

There are many way’s of earning points when a beer goes under the hooters of MOB.

Some decent packaging will get a brew a few. A good name will chalk up a few more. If the beer has a decent aroma some more marks will be awarded. And obviously if a beer tastes good then the majority of points will be dished out here.

Now for me Rolling Papers ticks all of the boxes. The concept is a little flawed yes, but from name to tin art to taste… I’m all over this brew.

Simple but very cool can! Awesome name! Bangin nose! Great look in glass as well as mouthfeel! And a really tasty drop!

Our Dublin based brewers have created a very well balanced and easy drinking pale here. Early sweetness replaced by bitterness make Rolling Papers a crushable and very enjoyable beer indeed.

Jymi’s Rating: 88%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 71%

MOB review next weekend: BODDINGTONS by AB InBev

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Twitter: @museonbooze

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APPETITE

BREWER: By the Horns, Surrey, England

STYLE: Imperial Stout

ABV: 8.8%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @ByTheHornsBrew

INSTAGRAM: bythehornsbrew

DATE OF POST: 22nd January 2023

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Appetite is a cracking beer. It’s an absolute belter. 

We could split hairs and waste time discussing the packaging and the name (which is all linked to Guns N Roses (the band)), but the reality is, it’s the brew that deserves the limelight here. 

We are promised coffee and coconut with Appetite, which is a stout. And we are delivered both of them in abundance, in a top-notch brew of a beer. 

Straight from the aroma, through to the last sip, Appetite delivers. It hits every high note and keeps getting better the more you drink. 

Its complexity is managed well in the brew. Impressive. It is impressive. 

While this is one for a special occasion and definitely not a session brew, the mouthfeel is luxurious and delight to behold. It’s like your mouth is taken on a silky journey (whatever one of them may be). 

Awesome beer. 

Sammy’s Rating: 86%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

There is literally only one negative thing to say about this beer and it’s not even about the beer itself AND it’s regarding my unnecessarily critical arty eye AND I even say it’s a non point! Fook, let’s get to it…

Look, there is all the positive to come but I just need to get this off of my chest…

The font used for the name doesn’t sit particularly well with the rest of the frankly ridiculously good tin art. There, that’s it. And the font used is ripped straight from the Guns n’ Roses 1987 debut (YES, F’ING DEBUT) album Appetite For Destruction. Now considering this beer is inspired by this album, it makes the font totally appropriate and my earlier points mute… WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE BABY, WELCOME TO THE FUCKING JUNGLE!

This is a flippin’ fantastic drop people let me tell you!

When you think Imperial Stout you think, full on, I’m gonna need / take time to sip this down. Reason for this is an Impy stout is strong, should be stacked with flavour and full bodied.

Now, Appetite is defo strong, defo STACKED with flavour BUT isn’t full bodied. This is not to say it’s thin, because it is far from that, but it has a viscosity that say’s drink me quicker than my ABV suggests. Which is f’ing dangerous and dare I say even makes this brew kinda sessionable?! (FYI, I tried, it’s not).

Appetite is not just an Imperial Stout, it’s a Coffee & Coconut Imperial Stout! Now, the last time coconut got involved with a beer for a MOB test was way back in 2018 with Coco Cocoa by the normally very reliable Thornbridge. I seem to remember my conclusion was that is tasted like sun lotion, which let’s be honest, is not a positive thing. However By the Horns have managed to deliver a very subtle amount of coconut in the flavour and let me tell you it’s just the ticket! The coffee flavour as well, though certainly prominent, is not at all over powering. All backed up by a chocolate backdrop making Appetite a formidable brew let me tell you.

Go get your hands on some.

Jymi’s Rating: 91%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 88.5%

MOB review next weekend: ROLLING PAPERS by BULLHOUSE BREW CO.

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BIERE DES AMIS

BREWER: Biere des Amis, Liège, Belgium

STYLE: Belge Blonde

ABV: 5.8%

VESSEL: 33cl brown bottle

TWITTER: #bieredesamis

INSTAGRAM: #bieredesamis

DATE OF POST: 15th January 2023

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It’s the packaging that’s leading the way once again this week!

I absolutely love what BDA have done here. So simple but sooooooo effective! The bottle itself is nothing special or different and the only other thing involved is a font I suppose. But what a font it is and the general lay out of the words and sizing is nothing short of spectacular. It’s a massive hats off to this Belgian bunch.

However the beer itself, though actually fairly enjoyable, doesn’t fall in line with it’s incredible housing.

First up this brew is very dry, I’ve not got an issue with this at all and actually because of the dryness I found this beer strangely alluring leaving me with a want to get back after every sip. However ultimately there isn’t too much going on here. BDA is crisp, zesty and quite floral upfront with an almost subtle banana taste going on in the midsip. What took me slightly aback was the foam up in the mouth. Not unpleasant, a bit weird, but almost helped what ever flavour there was kicking around.

Certainly worth a go this beer but don’t expect to get too excited about it.

Jymi’s Rating: 58%

SAMMY SAY’S…

Biere Des Amis is a blonde Belgian. Beer that is. Not a human. And blondes (again, beers) can be a little punchy in the wheat flavour department. For me, I’m not particularly a big fan of that. However, BDA has a hint of that wheat flavour and I think it really works. It’s not complicated or indeed clever, but it is refreshing.

If you’re looking for a Belgian with a standout complex flavour profile, then BDA definitely won’t tick many boxes. In fact, it’s quite likely that you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re looking for any beer that’s got a hint of wheatiness and is very refreshing, then this may just be the beer for you. 

It’s strange because I do like BDA. And that may make the scoring of this beer a little harsh. You must bear in mind that it’s not very complicated. It’s playing a straight bat. And for that reason, it’s not going to pick up huge points. 

All that having been said, I’d happily have another one of these. 

Sammy’s Rating: 61%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 59.5%

MOB review next weekend: APPETITE by BY THE HORNS BREWING CO.

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TNT IPA

BREWER: Dynamite Valley Brewing Co., Cornwall, England

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 4.8%

VESSEL: 500ml wrapped brown bottle

TWITTER: @DynamiteValley

INSTAGRAM: dynamitevalleybrewingco

DATE OF POST: 8th January 2023

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

To begin with, I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of the paper packaging. To be honest, I wasn’t really tempted by the beer as it resided in my beer fridge for a month or so. However, two things have convinced me that I actually love the paper wrap:

  1. The bottle itself is plain. Nothing else on it. So the paper is the packaging. 
  2. The paper rolled out is very enjoyable to read through and you could spend a fair amount of time studying it. 

So the packaging is a huge tick on this TNT IPA. 

When drinking, TNT is pleasant. It has an underlying caramel note running from the nose all the way to the finish. 

While it has an ok mouthfeel at the outset, this dissipates somewhat as you move down the glass. It doesn’t disappear altogether. But it definitely lessens the more you drink and this is a little underwhelming. 

All in all, this is not a bad beer. But it has to be said that the most exciting thing, and the biggest talking point, is the packaging. 

All of that having been said, I’d like to redeem my token (part of the packaging) in the brewers beer cafe.  Only problem is, it’s in Cornwall which is a bit of a trek for me. Hopefully by the time I’m in their neck of the woods the token will still be valid!!

Sammy’s Rating: 68%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Well there is an obvious talking point here isn’t there?!

There I was at the back end of the Summer on holiday in Cornwall (not sure if I’ve mentioned this before). Jymi and the fam went on a lovely wee day trip to Polperro. After being warned not to go on a boat trip as there was a system coming in we decided to call it a day and take a leisurely stroll back to the car. We made it about 11 metres and THE SYSTEM CAME RIGHT IN. We took immediate shelter in the first shops we could find. Oddly my wife and daughters ended up in a pet shop and Jymi in… a bottle shop. What are the chances eh?

So there I was waiting for the storm to pass giving me plenty of time to peruse the shelves and see what was on offer. It did not take long for me to spot the selection from Dynamite Valley for a very obvious reason. I mean, I’m not going to say this packaging is sensational, because it isn’t. However it 100% made me buy the beer so has without doubt done it’s job.

And it turns out the beer is a goodun’ too!

So I’ve bought it because of the packaging and it’s delivered as a decent brew. This my beer drinking buddies is the way you do it. Well flippin’ done DVBC!

TNT as a name for a brew is nothing short of exceptional. Once the lid is lifted however the nose is nothing to get excited about, nor is the initial sweetness from the first sip. But once the hop rockets over take the sweetness you understand why it’s there.

A well balanced very enjoyable brew AND I have a beer token to go redeem!!!

The 243 miles between MOBHQ and DVBC will have to get eaten up soon.

Jymi’s Rating: 79%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 73.5%

MOB review next weekend: BIERE DES AMIS by BIERE DES AMIS

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I SEE ‘BARREL-AGED’ BREAD PEOPLE

BREWER: Delphic Brewing Co., Berkshire, England 

STYLE: Milk Stout

ABV: 6%

VESSEL: 330ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @delphicbrew

INSTAGRAM: delphicbrew

DATE OF POST: 2nd January 2023

 

JYMI SAY’S…

On the 7th November 2021 we reviewed the original version of ISBP. And let’s just say that it very well indeed scoring a mighty 91% overall!

Highlights from my musings included statements like…

OUTSTANDING

F-ME, WE ARE AT NEW LEVELS OF GENIUS HERE

HOW THE F IS THIS BREW SOOOOOOOOO SMOOTH

TOTAL AND UTTER WONDERMENT

DELPHIC HAVE NAILED IT

THIS BEER IS INCREDIBLE

And all of this is still true for the Barrel-Aged version. It’s just a flippin’ fantastic beer.

The main point of difference from this outing is it comes across way more boozy. It has a spirit taste running through it as a backbone which turns it into a real sit back, sip and savour kinda brew.

Brilliant!

Jymi’s Rating: 90%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

So, here’s my original review for I See Bread People:

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.

END OF ORIGINAL REVIEW

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

The barrel aged edition of ISBP is everything the original was. So all of the above still stands. However, what you get with this bad boy is a development of all those lovely flavours. And what that does, my beer friends, is add a little bit extra. It all comes alive a little more. Still a wonderful drink, just more developed and alive. 

If offered either version, I’d snap your hand off to guzzle it. 

Fantastic beer. 

Sammy’s Rating: 90%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 90%

MOB review next weekend: TNT IPA by DYNAMITE VALLEY BREWING CO.

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

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2019 VINTAGE ALE

BREWER: Fullers, West London, England

STYLE: Vintage Ale

ABV: 8.5%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @Fullers

INSTAGRAM: fullers

DATE OF POST: 29th December 2022

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Something a little special (we hope) for the festive season. From a big brew house, Fullers, I am hoping this brew delivers on many aspects. I want it to be a treat. A spark of light in these hard times. 

Vintage Ale pops with notes of honey and orange. It’s deep and rich and, well, dare I say it, perfect for the season.  While it’s definitely not a beer you’d have in session, VA is one to enjoy, probably as your first of the day, to put you in a good mood. 

The travels outlined by Fullers on their packaging in creating this beer does it justice. It does have a special feel about it. And that is something to be celebrated. 

If nothing else, this Vintage Ale will put a big smile on your face and make some of those troubles seem a little distant as you get drawn into its unctuousness. 

I hoped for something special and that’s what I got. And maybe, just maybe, a little something on top of that too. 

Sammy’s Rating: 84%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Oh wow, a special beer for a special time year we have here! ♥

The 2019 edition of Fuller’s Vintage Ale is nothing short of a masterclass in brewing. It’s rich, full bodied and smooth as hell!!! The mouth feel of this cracker really is something to behold.

The whole feel and flavour of our beer is so warming, almost like it’s giving you a hug. But oddly there is almost a lime like backbone to this brew. Not something you would at all associate with warming but somehow it works.

2019 Vintage Ale really is a beer to sit back and savour. Scarcely available and wildly expensive but if you can find one and want to treat your self, then go right ahead.

Jymi’s Rating: 85%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 84.5%

MOB review next weekend: I SEE ‘BARREL AGED’ BREAD PEOPLE by DELPHIC BREWING CO.

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

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MENA DHU

BREWER: St Austell, Cornwall, England

STYLE: Stout

ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @StAustellBrew

INSTAGRAM: st_austell_brewery

DATE OF POST: 18th December 2022

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Mena Dhu, meaning black hill in Cornish, is a cracking name for a stout from Cornwall. Not significant in any way to reviewing this beer, but worthy of a mention, nonetheless. 

Stouts, when done well, are a delight. MD has coffee bitterness with a slightly hint of the smokiness picked up from the roasting process. Together, they make a pleasant drinking experience. Alongside this, they also make it easy to get through the brew as there is a pleasant enough mouthfeel. 

While this all sounds good, and it is good, MD is not elevated in any area. It’s solid, worthy of being called a stout, but falls short of being a delight.  

I’d happily drink this on a cold winter’s evening. It would bring the fuzzy feeling that a stout should. I’d even go as far to say it would give me that warm hug of a feeling that stouts can. And that’s praise indeed for MD. 

What it wouldn’t do, is get me to comment to me pal, who’d be sharing winter tales with me, about how amazing it is. 

Sammy’s Rating: 69%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Great name! Great packaging! Almost a great beer actually, but ultimately fell a bit short.

See the aroma coming from MD the second you lift the lid on the bottle is fantastic! The lovely rich and almost smoky whiff continues well into the the pour and continues flowing up one’s snout during the initial fantastic sip. I really, really thought we were on to an absolute winner here!! The taste accompanying the delightful nose matches it perfectly with a touch and chocolate and the continuing smoke. DIVINE!

However, things didn’t necessarily go wrong from here on in but they did go down hill.

The taste doesn’t fall off a cliff but without doubt dissipate at a rate quicker than it should. It’s then replaced by a really lovely soft chocolate aftertaste which stoked the hope fire but THEN, the after aftertaste became a little acrid!

Defo a journey this one. Defo a lot of positives. And with some minor tweaks this has the potential to be a cracking beer. But as I said at the beginning, it ultimately falls short of that.

Jymi’s Rating: 69%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 69%

MOB review next weekend: 2019 VINTAGE ALE by FULLER’S

 

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NEW ZEALAND MILK STOUT

BREWER: Cassels, Canterbury Region, New Zealand

STYLE: Milk Stout 

ABV: 5.2%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @Cassels_Brewery

INSTAGRAM: casselsbrewingco

DATE OF POST: 10th December 2022

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Come on! What better beer than a milk stout to get stuck into this time of year. Think coffee, burnt notes and the backdrop of milky smoothness giving the whack of a full-bodied, lip-smacking mouthfeel! 

Let us hope Cassels can deliver all of the above and, who knows, maybe more…

This Milk Stout definitely has most of the above. It’s milky, almost straight away. And that’s not unpleasant. And then there’s pops and burst of coffee and dried dark fruits. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Well, yes and no. 

While all of this makes it well balanced to a degree, it’s a little lacking in the punchy deep mouthfeel I was so hoping for.  It needs to pull some more body to carry through all those subtle and exciting notes. And if MS did deliver this, it would be a hard nailed cracker of a stout.   

But, it’s just a little underwhelming. Just a little. 

Would I happily sup one again? Why yes I would. 

Is it top of class? Not even close.

Sammy’s Rating: 71%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I bleedin’ love an Agi show.

For those of you that haven’t got the first clue what I’m going on about, an Agi Show is an Agricultural Show. A very British (I assume, excuse my ignorance) thing where folk flock to a huge field to admire the finest cows, pigs, sheep, tractors and local cider. There are also things like dogs agility shows, shire horse & cart comps as well as the quirky compare for the day… FIRE FIRE, THE FAYRE’S ON FIRE!!! I just love the simplicity of them. No glitz or glamour, just uncomplicated British rural life in the summertime.

Now why do I mention this. Well our beer this week has a milk cow, with a blindfold on, on the the front of the tin. All makes perfect sense seeing as it’s housing a milk stout. The blindfold is sporting the words, BEST IN SHOW (an award given to the cow of the day at an Agi Show). Now, this could possibly be the name of the beer here, but I’m not totally sure it is if we’re following the normal Cassel’s non naming script. Either way, I was confused. I mean, it could be alluding to the fact this Stout is a multiple award winner? But what came first, the award or the name? Let’s leave it there, though the tin does look pretty cool.

Moving to the beer itself, I very much enjoyed it, though cannot help but think it could have been even better!

NZMS / Best in show starts off with a pleasant soft and creamy chocolate nose. In the mouth there is an expected lovely smooth mouthfeel but that is accompanied but a slight carbonation which wasn’t particularly welcome. Taste wise there is a defo a slightly sweet coffee and cream thing going on which is delightful and balanced out but malty bitterness. However, personally I think they have slightly over cooked the bitterness here. Yes you need the bitterness to balance this boy out but it’s just a bit too much for me. Slightly less and I think this brew would be nothing short of spectacular but as it is, it’s just pretty good.

Jymi’s Rating: 77%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 74%

MOB review next weekend: MENA DHU by ST. AUSTELL

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CHOKKA BLOKKA

BREWER: Williams Bros. Brewing Co., Clackmannanshire, Scotland

STYLE: Mocha Stout

ABV: 4.8%

VESSEL: 500ml tin

TWITTER: @Williamsbrewery

INSTAGRAM: williamsbrosbrewingco

DATE OF POST: 4th December 2022

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Chokka Blokka is potentially one heck of a divisive name for a beer (add to that it’s called a mocha stout. Put it all together and you get…). I am torn between whether I like it or not. On the one hand, it kind of covers everything this beer states it’s about. On the other, it’s the kind of name a nursery child might come up with for a beer (of course, children of that age should never be naming a beer for all of the obvious reasons).  

Anyhow, the theme of CB is Mayan. Slightly odd in itself. Except that cocoa and coffee could both be linked with this ancient civilisation. So, I sort of get it.

What I don’t get, is tonnes of the promised coffee and cocoa flavours. Yes, they are there in the first contact of beer with mouth. But they soon dissipate, only to be replaced with… well, watery notes. 

There’s not enough depth in CB. It should be more unctuous. It’s thin and not got enough to carry through the promised land of coffee and cocoa. I can’t help but feel a little more abv would ramp up things a little here. But alas, it is what it is. 

I don’t want to do CB a disservice. It’s an ok beer. It’s not terrible. But if you’re promising strong flavours, give ‘em to us for heaven’s sake.   And if your beer is inspired by an ancient civilisation, you need to make the beer epic. 

And epic this stout is not. 

Sammy’s Rating: 53%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It’s December! It’s Stout season! I know a stout can be drunk all the year round and of more recent years I have come on board with this. Though I do think it’s fair to say and is certainly my opinion anyway, a Stout will taste even better of a cold winter night in a cozy pub with an open fire rather than just coming off of the surf in 40° heat. It’s just a fact.

To Chokka Blokka we go… other than quite liking the tin art and being appreciative of the 500ml offering rather than the usual 44oml it did not get off to a very good start I’m afraid. My first power notes read…

NOSE A TOUCH METALLIC – NEEDS MORE CHOC – NEEDS MORE COF – THINS OUT WAY TOO QUICKLY

Now considering this is branded a Mocha Stout with descriptive words such as RICH and CHOCOLATEY on the front of the tin I was left feeling pretty disappointed. It’s not rich, it’s not chocolatey. There is another descriptive word on the front of the tin, DARK. Well, they nailed that one I suppose :/

Now although things did pick up a little through the drinking that feeling of disappointment did not go away.

Once about halfway through the brew a there is a very slight and pleasant hint of chocolate in the aftertaste that begins to develop. It is still nowhere near enough and you really need to search for it but once found as I said, is pleasant

Chokka Blokka is certainly not disgusting but most definitely disappointing.

Jymi’s Rating: 59%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 56%

MOB review next weekend: NEW ZEALAND MILK STOUT by CASSELS

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

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