BRAVADO

BREWER: Magic Rock Brewing, West Yorkshire

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 4.1%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @MagicRockBrewCo

INSTAGRAM: magicrockbrewing

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

In hindsight, some decisions turn out to be absolute crackers, while others, sadly, are best never mentioned again. Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. And it’s something that we all have. High quality foresight, however, is much more of a rare thing. It’s strong foresight, with a pinch of luck, that makes people money and makes good ideas have legs.
The trouble I have with Bravado is that I’m just not sure that calling a beer Bravado is a good thing. I’m not convinced that it shows Bravado. To understand my doubt, you really have to think about what bravado means and when the reality dawns on you, this association with an alcoholic drink might not be the best idea ever.
But let’s strip back the name and find out what lies beneath it.
Firstly, there’s that old familiar tropical nose, which on this occasion is heavier on the grapefruit scale. Bravado is a great looking, light beer in the glass. It strikes me as moorish.
On the palate it’s very light and very refreshing. In fact, it very easy to drink and it’s very enjoyable to drink. While it may be short in length, it has a crisp tropical starting note followed by a very short bitter punch. This all makes Bravado a very enjoyable beer.
For me, Magic Rock may regret naming this beer Bravado because it’s a belter of a craft IPA but is let down by it’s name and dress. Hey, who knows? Maybe hindsight will prove me wrong…

 

Sammy’s Rating: 77%

 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Key:

b – bravado

a – alcohol

boakh – bit of a knob head

So normally when the human action of bravado meets the consumption of alcohol the person that has brought this action and consumption together ends up looking like and actually being, a bit of a knob head. It’s not necessarily totally their fault. A bit of harmless bravado (though not really my cup of tea) is fine. And of course sipping on a few light ales of an evening is also perfectly acceptable. But more often than not when the two are brought together, especially in extreme cases, the end result is not particularly good for anyone.

b + a = boakh

Now what we have before us here is the collision of these two things once more. An IPA named (without too much thought it would seem) Bravado and a beer that contains… alcohol.

So is this session IPA that Magic Rock have put forward to the world a bit of a knob head?

Well, quite simply…. no.

It’s great. It really is.

You’re greeted by Bondesque opening credits of an can design and once cracked are then hit with a sharp tangerine blast up the nostrils. What then follows is an absolute delight. It soon becomes apparent that this ale is devastatingly smooth and soft at first but flavour then builds with bitter yet zingy smacks going on all over the place. Bravado then moves to a malty and bitter finish. Then comes the aftertaste… which is one that brings us full circle… the aftertaste is one of tangerine. Very clever…

… a bit like the thought, skill and process from the brewers to create such a beer.

I doff my hat to you Magic Rock.

Jymi’s Rating: 83%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80%

 

MOB review next weekend: DANCE LIKE EVERYONE IS WATCHING by CLOUDWATER BREW CO.

DLEIW

THE SECOND MUSE ON BOOZE SUMMER OF GIN IS COMING

STARTS SATURDAY 1st JUNE

 

#MOBSOG2

 

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COLONSAY IPA

BREWER: The Colonsay Brewery, Inner Hedrides 

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 3.9%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle 

TWITTER: @ColonsayBrewery

INSTAGRAM: thecolonsaybrewery

 

JYMI SAY’S…

As you approach the confectionery section of any newsagent you are faced with the same cast time and time again. You have the heavyweights such as Mars, Snickers and Twix. You have the underrated Bounty and Topic knocking around too. Then there are the ones that nobody in the whole world has ever even opened let alone actually eaten, I’m on about the likes of Picnic and Star Bar. But underpinning all of these you have the likes of Chomp, Freddo and FUDGE.

Now, do not underestimate a Fudge bar. Of my 104 friends only 3 dislike a Fudge. Ernie the bin man, Short Bob and Dave Baxter. A bar of Fudge may have a thin body (unlike Short Bob, his other nickname is Wide Bob) but it is packed full of flavour… and this is exactly what this IPA from Colonsay Island is bringing to our drinking table. And it’s a table where many folk may stick around for many hours drinking this India Pale Ale from the wee isle of Colonsay. See what we have here, (unlike this liner on the label losing beer bottles everywhere due to an unexpected wave that seems to be bigger than a cliff) is the perfect storm. A beer that tastes great and isn’t so strong that it will see you in your bunk by mid arvo.

And as a parting note I’m going to draw us to the information provided on the label….

Firstly a great fact: Colonsay is the smallest island in the world with its own brewery.

Secondly the ingredients state that Pure Scottish Water is used in the making of this brew. And you know what… you can tell.

Crisp is the word, is the word, is the word, etc.

Jymi’s Rating: 76%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Firstly, a big shout out to Colonsay Brewery for setting up their production; it’s the smallest island in the world to have its own brewery. Having this claim, though, will only get you so far. To make the claim mean anything, you have to produce good beer…
This offering from Colonsay Brewery, simply named IPA, isn’t a complex beer. It provides a sweet and light aroma, which is different to what one might expect from an IPA. It’s subtle, not at all in your face, and you have to pull deeply to get a hint of what the aroma is about. I really like the fact that it makes you work to get this sense.
The drinking is very similar. When you first draw on the IPA, it’s almost not there. You may feel a little short changed. But the strength of this beer is the more you drink, the more it gives. It builds up subtle complexities and, while it never stands up and shouts, ends in a refreshing crescendo of loveliness.
So, it turns out that Colonsay Brewery aren’t just about being the smallest island in the world with a Brewery. They are about making good, very drinkable beers. A big shout out to them, then, for doing so.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 76%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 76%

 

MOB review next weekend: BRAVADO by MAGIC ROCK

BRAVADO PRE

NOT ONLY IS THIS TWITTER PUSH WEEK.. @museonbooze

IT’S ALSO THE START OF THE COUNTDOWN TO MOB’S SECOND SUMMER OF GIN!!!

It begins in 15 days

It’s called #MOBSOG2

And you better be flippn ready yo

ROYAL RHA

BREWER: Bronckhorster Brewing Company, Gelderland

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 6%

VESSEL: 33cl

TWITTER: @Bronckhorster

INSTAGRAM: bronckhorster_brewing_company 

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

From the outset, if I were buying a beer on packaging alone and Royal RHA was the only beer available, then the fact is I would never drink beer.  As it is, I am on a mission to try as many different beers as possible so I find myself with a bottle of Royal RHA in hand.

Before drinking, Royal RHA claims to be a regal beer.  A big claim…it needs to be tested…here we go…

On opening, Royal  fizzes up quickly in the bottle, but this strangely doesn’t translate to being poured into the glass, where the head isn’t disappointing, but it’s by no means…regal.  One should definitely not compare it to a crown.

The nose is definitely there…and I can’t say much more about it.  It doesn’t even begin to compare with other IPAs, and while there is a hint of fruitiness, it definitely doesn’t smell like it’s fit for any royal table.

Royal RHA is so thin in the drinking, that it disappears into insignificance.  There is a nasty bitter flavour, which hints at a poor brew.  It’s almost as if the alcohol has been added afterwards and has not been borne out of a high class brew.

To summarise, Royal RHA is not a regal beer by a long chalk in my view and all you monarchs out there would be best off searching for your ale hit elsewhere!

Sammy’s Rating: 31%

 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, went I..
..as Sammy handed me this latest beer to be tested and reviewed. Now the reason for this outburst of chuckle was because I honestly thought that he had handed me a bottle of White Wine Vinegar. I mean really, what on earth were the Bronckhorster design team thinking when then pencilled, then penned and eventually signed off this bottle art? It’s an absolute disaster. I could actually get over the whole white wine vinegar thing if it looked super slick, but it doesn’t, so I won’t. I WON’T I TELL THEE!!
And what is with the name? I learned that Rha was a town in Holland but I do not see the connection with this being royal and this being a regal tasting IPA. Why? What? Where? Is it because it’s an English IPA? I do hope not.

Ok, so to the inside of the bottle we go..

Now I wasn’t holding out much hope that this would be any good but my mind was open and as the ol’ regal saying goes… Do nei judge a boook by its cover like.
The nose I got from Royal Rha was one of trout. Now I like the whiff of trout but… Yeah I think you can draw your own conclusions here.
Now taste wise I have to say there was almost no flavour at all. Certainly not undrinkable and the feel of this IPA in the mouth was actually pretty good but as I’ve already mentioned, there was hardly any flavour whatsoever. If you could pick up on anything the flavour was possibly one of very faint banana but you really do have to go searching for it.
Once the zero flavour had faded (if that’s even possible) it’s then replaced by a reasonably pleasant bitter finish.

All in all what we have here is an ale that is drinkable but would I think about drinking it again?

Nope…

See ya.

Jymi’s Rating: 35%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 33%

 

MOB review next weekend: RADICAL ROAD by STEWART BREWING

RAD ROAD PRE

I: muse.on.booze           T: @museonbooze

MOBSOG II IS COMING…..

FAR BEYOND

BREWER: Odyssey Brew Co., Worcestershire 

STYLE: Double IPA

ABV: 8.2%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @Odysseybrewco

INSTAGRAM: odysseybrewco

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Far Beyond is a place that you may or may not want to go to.
Far Beyond (unsurprisingly) is a German heavy metal band.
Far Beyond is a beer brewed by Odyssey.
Far Beyond (the beer) is very grapefruity both on the nose and on the palate. And on the palate it extends beyonds beyond grapefruit to deep bittersweet, which is very good indeed. It has the back of your tongue going into overdrive.
Far Beyond (the beer) is unreserved in its brew. Odyssey haven’t held back or limited themselves – and they were right to do so.
Far Beyond (the German band) isn’t very good.
Far Beyond (the beer) is incredibly good.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 81%

 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Houston, we do NOT have a problem.

So once you’ve got over the ridiculously good waft of lemon and lime that comes off of your Far Beyond DIPA you sit back for a second. Excitement begins to flood your body yes but also with that comes apprehension. The excitement is because the wonderful nose of this beer has to mean, surely, that something tip top is coming your way. But the apprehension is there because of the percentage of this monster. Weighing in at 8.2% this pup needed to be handled with care but also, it could taste like rocket fuel.

10

9

Blah blah blah

5

4

3

2

1

You take your first sip and… WE HAVE BLAST OFF!!

Literally this beer keeps coming at you as though you’re accelerating towards space at 8 gazillion million MPH (I have to admit I did need to use Google to find out that figure).

First up you get a large smash of citrus followed by a massive bitter hoppy build and build and build and build and build that keeps intensifying with flavour then cut… to a long beautiful finish. Superb. Just from the texture in the mouth that Far Beyond gives you you can tell that it has been brewed to a very high standard… and it doesn’t even taste too strong. Dare I say, it almost could be sessionable.

Now this is where the drinker needs to mentally step up. If you’re going to have a few of these then do it over a night at a slower pace than maybe you’re used to. If you’re having one or two and nothing else then go hard and fast no problem. But because FBDIPA tastes so damn good and isn’t obviously the strength it is if you don’t stick to this then the drinker won’t even be saying Houston we have a problem…

They’ll be screaming, Houston we’ve got a pretty f*c#~ng massive problem.

Excellent job Odyssey.

Jymi’s Rating: 82%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 81.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: ROYAL RHA by BRONCKHORSTER BREWING COMPANY

ROYAL RHA PRE

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LONDON GOLD

BREWER: Young’s, South-West London

STYLE: Blond Ale

ABV: 4.8%

VESSEL: 500ml

TWITTER: probably under Marstons

INSTAGRAM: youngsbeers

 

JYMI SAY’S…

This is a poor effort from start to finish from this iconic London brewery that has lost it’s soul over the past years and I have to say it shows in this beer.

I used to associate Young’s and their Ram Brewery with good quality no frills brews that just delivered time and time again. Young’s brewed possibly one of the first ales I ever consumed properly by way of purchasing at a pub. I was cutting about in Kew when the reason I wasn’t driving was not because I was drinking (if you know what I mean). I remember enjoying the Young’s run pub very much and chilling outside in a beer garden supping on Young’s ales and thinking, ‘this is bloomin nice you know’.

So to say I was disappointed with pretty much everything on offer here from London Gold was pretty accurate.

The packaging is limp and lifeless. Just because you stick a few silhouetted landmarks on the label doesn’t automatically mean the packaging will pass muster. Especially if those landmarks are geographically inaccurate as well looking like knock off imitations of what they are supposed to be representing. The colouring and fonts used are also a shambles. Where’s the effort? Where’s the passion? Where’s the soul?

The ale itself really is nothing special. In fact it is nowhere near special… it’s somewhere between very average and awful.

The nose though floral and zesty has a background hint of spilt petrol on a fuel station forecourt. Not too sure where that sits on the aroma wheel?

Once in further London Gold really did start to get to the point of letting me down. I’ll do a list (I love a bloody list I do)…

Harsh in mouth.

Faint taste of hops.

Faint bitter tone.

Faint citrus back drop.

Weak to finish.

Aftertaste almost non-existent.

 

If you’re looking for positives.. there are none.

I can’t help but feel if this beer had been developed in it’s original SW London home it would never have made it off the testing table, out the door and to the consumer.

Not good enough.

Jymi’s Rating: 44%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

In the glass, Young’s London Gold looks exquisite. However, to get to this stage, you have to overcome a bit of a tough psychological journey. You see, the washed out sky blue look with a silhouette of London and black lined gold writing is not what one might expect from the giant that Young’s is. I’m not sure where they are trying to pitch this beer, but it doesn’t work for me…and I’m not sure that it would work for my dad either…
But let us pick up from that look in the glass. The blonde colour is fantastic and its aroma is light on the nose, and while it doesn’t set the world on fire is very pleasant indeed.
But the real surprise with LG is that it is zesty and crisp on the palate. Where it’s pitched is somewhere in between a lager and a more traditional ale. It makes for very pleasant drinking, which is well balanced and not too heavy on the hops. It’s quite the surprise, and one which would be enjoyable one after another.
Young’s have produced a great beer in London Gold. It is well brewed and is incredibly light on the palate. It’s not quite marketed in the right way, and if this were to be nailed on, then we have a very strong beer on our hands. Unfortunately, first impressions are long lasting and the first impression with London Gold is a long way off of strong.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 71%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 57.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: FAR BEYOND by ODYSSEY BREW CO.

FAR BEYOND PRE

If you do one thing this weekend other than drinking beer then follow us on INSTAGRAM (muse.on.booze.). Should you want to do another thing then maybe consider following us on TWITTER (@museonbooze). If you wanna go all out multi things, then hit us up on WORDPRESS (museonbooze.wordpress.com). 

HAPPY EASTER from MUSE ON BOOZE 

HOPADELIC

BREWER: By The Horns, South West London

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 4.3%

VESSEL: 330ml tin 

TWITTER: @ByTheHornsBrew

INSTAGRAM: bythehornsbrew

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Austin Powers would be down and groovy with a beer named Hopadelic. So would a rabbit that liked beer, come to think of it. But with Hopadelic the question isn’t one of Mike Myers or bunnies, but rather, has The Horns Brewing Company produced something that would be at home in the 60s with the psychedelic scene? Or is it more suited to be in the cup holder of Mystery Incorporated’s van alongside an oversized baguette (or sub)?
It most certainly fizzes up like it’s been on an erroneous ghost chase in the hands of crime busting goodies. The fizzy bubbles give off a strong hoppy aroma. And those same bubbles give a very refreshing feeling in the mouth. They would, however, leave you with the impression that you’ve polished off two companion, giant subs if you had too many Hopadelic’s in a row.
Although the hops are definitely there, it’s quite weak in the after taste and is more fizz than anything else. So the delic bit, is unfortunately well and truly absent.
In conclusion, I’m afraid it’s definitely not a beer for a long 60s acid inspired session!

 

Sammy’s Rating: 61%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It must have been early November 1992 when the boy Jymi shared a set of earphones with his then buddy Ted. Ted had a walkman the lucky so ‘n’ so and not just any walkman no, he had the Sony Sports Walkman all dressed up in brilliant yellow. Ted pressed play and my world changed forever….

# WELL I’M SAILING #

It was the most unbelievable sound of Suck my Kiss by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I immediately fell in love. This prompted me to hassle my Mum non stop for a few weeks to buy me not only Blood Sugar Sex Magik (the album Suck my Kiss is on) but also the then recently released What Hits!? (a completion album made up mainly of their previous slightly lesser known work). Once me Mam eventually succumbed I got to work on flooding my intrigued little brain with these tunes. After some research it turned out that the tracks on the compilation album that I was most drawn to were the ones from the 1985 album Freaky Styley. This drew me to the producer of this album… George Clinton… and this drew me to Funkadelic ( the band George was kinda involved in ;0) ) and ultimately funk in general.

The funk was in me and the rest as they say, is history.

 

It’s probably fair to say that I’m a fan of a hop too? I mean, I co write for a non multi award winning beer blog for s*#ts sake?!?

 

Now, I used to often lay awake in bed at night wondering what would happen if somehow, just somehow, Hops and Funkadelic could be combined….. and then after what seemed like an infinite wait, By The Horns sent the Mothership and delivered me and the world.… HOPADELIC.

So I pulled the 1971 album Maggot Brain from it’s sleeve, cued up the track Wars of Armageddon and poured myself a glass of this session IPA…

Ok, first up there is no missing the incredible pineapple aroma that this beer emits… it is an absolute delight and basically says to the drinker, “Stop messing about and have a sip”. So I did as I was told and jumped right on in.

Baaaaam! Bags and bags of flavour coming from this cat. Hopadelic hits you up with a lovely dry mouth feel with a tour bus load of bitter but somehow tropical hits that build to a classic IPA finish. You could drink this brew well into the night too and it wouldn’t miss a beat.

This brewery from South West London have taken the proverbial bull By The Horns and delivered an absolute funkateer of a beer, you hear!

Get it. Get it down. Then get on down.

Jymi’s Rating: 88%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 74.5% 

MOB review next weekend: LONDON GOLD by YOUNG’S

LONDON GOLD PRE

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3 WEISS MONKEYS

BREWER: London Fields Brewery, East London

STYLE: White IPA

ABV: 5%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @LdnFldsBrewery

INSTAGRAM: londonfieldsbrewery

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Its a tough life you know, being a beer reviewer…

After my relaxing Sunday is over Monday rolls around and with it comes all this hard work.

Typically of a Monday once the children have left for school, I’ll visit the MOB beer cupboard and pull out the brew that is set to be reviewed next. I’ll then sit a while and take in any information that is offered up on the packaging.

What am I to expect from this beer?
What hops are used?
Any story behind the brew?
Any information at all?

Once this is done I’ll place the tin or bottle down in the middle of my breakfast bar and go and make breakfast (typically of a Monday it will be scrambled eggs, sausages and hash browns served up with Encona Hot Sauce).
Once breakfast is down I’ll brew up a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea and sit back down at the breakfast bar and take a while to stare at the beer in question, absorbing the look and style of the packaging as well as the name that has been give you to the brew by its brewer. Once the cup of tea is finished I’ll then begin to tidy the kitchen but whilst doing so I’ll make sure I regularly glance towards the beer, still absorbing. I’ll then leave the kitchen and set about some odd jobs around the house. Then, after a small nap and a sink wash I’ll return to the kitchen for one final look at the beer being reviewed before leaving to go and get the my girls from school. That beer will then remain in its position, being idly glanced at until Wednesday morning.

Once awake full rested after a relaxed Tuesday (after Monday generally taking it out of me), Wednesday kicks into gear by me placing the beer into a place for it to get to the correct temperature for consumption on Friday.
The wait until test day Friday then begins….

Once Friday lunch is over things start to really tee off! There are the small matters of  glass selection, pouring, photographing, smelling, drinking and scoring the beer.. and then I’ve got to write it up! And they say nurses have it tough, honestly.

And just when you think it couldn’t get any harder, 3 Weiss Monkeys shows up.

Now, the reason 3WM really put me to work was because I didn’t like it. Now, as a pro beer reviewer that then puts you in the situation of trying to work out if it’s a good beer that is just not to your taste or a rubbish beer that just tastes…rubbish.

I’m going for the prior… just.

There is a heavy banana tone to this brew that doesn’t hang around for long at all but is very prominent up front. If the drinker is happy with this short sharp hit of bent yellow fruit then it’s not a bad beer at all. However if the drinker isn’t a fan of this approach to ale then it is probably one for them to avoid. This beer is refreshing, light and crisp and would fly down at a hot summer BBQ or with spicy ol’ grub from the East.

If you’re happy with these Monkeys bringing you bananas then give 3 Weiss Monkeys a go.. if not, just say no.

Jymi’s Rating: 62%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

The only monkey I ever knew wasn’t very wise.  He heard lots of evil, saw lots of evil and spoke lots of evil.  He was quite possibly distantly related the evil monkey that resided in Chris Griffin’s (son of Peter Griffin of Family Guy fame) wardrobe. 

However, the crew at London Fields Brewery quite clearly knows some wise monkeys and have cleverly used that link to name their white, wheat beer (it’s actually a hybrid of IPA and wheat beer).  And so we have 3 Weiss Monkeys.  These wise monkeys appear to very streetwise too.  On first meeting they come across, as some kids say, on point.  The real test though is to see if they have any substance.

These three primates certainly do pack a punch on the nose.  But this punch is much more like an IPA than a wheat beer.  The look in the glass though definitely fits the brief and appears to be a cross between an IPA and a wheat beer. 

The flavour is interesting.  It really is like an IPA brewed with some malted wheat.  Part of me likes it and part of me isn’t sure.  It’s almost like drinking a slightly watered down IPA.  There is bags of fruity monkey flavour up front, which quickly subsides to give way to the wheat train.  What this leads to is a beer a little short on length in flavour, but one which is very refreshing.

These three monkeys definitely have substance.  They know what they’re about and together, they make for a different troupe compared to what we are used to.  They are a little challenging, but without a challenging monkey or three, where  would we be? 

Sammy’s Rating: 80%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 71%

 

MOB review next weekend: HOPADELIC by BY THE HORNS 

HOPADELIC PRE

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