IT’S HOP ROCKET SCIENCE

BREWER: Electric Bear Brewing Co, Somerset, England

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 6.6%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @ElectricBearUK

INSTAGRAM: electricbearbrewing

DATE OF POST: 20th February 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

In the last review I did for an Electric Bear brew I waxed lyrical about how amazed I was by every beer that I had ever had of theirs, but at last I have found a chink in the armour of this west country brewer. Not that I was looking for one.

Just to start, and mainly to get it off my chest, I hate the name of this beer. It’s quite clever but doesn’t really work. It’s the type of name that sounds amazing in your head while you can’t sleep or having a pissed up brainstorming session on what you’re going to call your next beer but in the cold light of day… it’s not great.

Brew wise we have a perfectly decent offering here but because I’ve experienced such highs from this brewer I’m suddenly disappointed at one of their beers simply being very good.

Ridiculous I know and I have to get past it.

IHRS is very hop forward and intense. It’s not blow your mind apart but it is full on. There is a lovely lime tone knocking around through most of the drinking journey that slowly fades after the swallow only to eventually be replaced by a large hoppy bitter aftertaste.

Jymi’s Rating: 80%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

I love the way Electric Bear play with words when naming their beers. It really works for me. The same can be said for their packaging. There’s no exception with It’s Hop Rocket Science – cracking can, cracking name.
Truth be told, Electric Bear aren’t just about the marketing. They are about the brewing. It’s Hop Rocket Science is very light in colour and has an incredibly sweet nose, which is packed with tropical fruit aromas backed by hints of strawberries.
That sweetness doesn’t carry through into the drinking, which is quite sharp and has a short lived length. It’s quite acidic in the aftertaste, but not too much so to make it overbearing. It makes it crisp and refreshing.
This is a very enjoyable IPA from Electric Bear. It’s a no frills hard nose offering and is balanced just about right.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 82%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 81% 

MOB review next weekend: SPECTRUM by ELUSIVE BREWING

follow us on Twitter: @museonbooze

 

 

THE THINGS YUZU TO ME

BREWER: Brew York, North Yorkshire, England

STYLE: Yuzu IPA

ABV: 5.6%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @brewyorkbeer

INSTAGRAM: brewyorkbeer 

DATE OF POST: 14th February 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I cannot open without immediately talking about the name and packaging of The Things Yuzu To Me. Look, the name is a nice play on words but I’ve have to be honest here, it is also a bit irritating. Not to the point where it affected my day but I did find myself randomly shaking my head and tutting for about 24hrs after laying eyes on this beer. The tin art kind of follows on from this too… it is quite cool and original and the Japanese street food art concept is sound. But it is just little off for me as was the lining up of the label. Endearing, but also irritating. However the information side of the can art is amazing. It looks sensational and I’m really not too sure any more info about our beer could have been included.  Very good.

It was time to take a look inside this crazy can…

Well after the pour I was a little disappointed in the nose, very light and uneventful. However, once sipped the disappointment disappeared. This is a really tasty beer and very much tastes like a craft IPA brewed with yuzu, as it should really. Over the first three or four sips TTYTM was nice and bright and bitter in the mouth. Once swallowed the bitterness slowly softened and slowly in came the yuzu flavour. Once about halfway through the yuzu flavour began to become more prominent from taste in sip all the way through to the aftertaste.

The Things Yuzu To Me is a really gratifying beer that takes you on a bit of a journey and keeps you guessing. Nice work Brew York (great name for a brewery based in York btw).

Jymi’s Rating: 78%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

I absolutely love the concept of The Things Yuzu To Me: inspired by Japanese street food.  The packaging is different and works well.   It’s a really attractive first impression.  And once unleashed in a glass, it looks like liquid butterscotch, which is incredibly tempting.  

Although sour and bitter in the foreground, TTYTM is actually rather light.  It doesn’t hit your tastebuds as hard as you might expect.  But fear not, this is not a bad thing in this instance.  The hops have been selected well and are used effectively to create a nicely balanced beer.  There are hints of fruitiness but these definitely play second fiddle to the hops and bitterness.  It’s got a clean feel in the mouth, which gives it its lightness.

TTYTM has surprised me.  I was definitely expecting something more extreme.  What it is though is a very drinkable, well balanced beer.  It might not be a trend setter, but it’s definitely worthy of gracing your ale glass.

Sammy’s Rating: 84%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 81% 

MOB review next weekend: IT’S HOP ROCKET SCIENCE by ELECTRIC BEAR BREWING CO.

@museonbooze on Twitter 

 

 

 

HOBGOBLIN IPA

BREWER: Wychwood Brewery, Oxfordshire, England

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 5.3%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @HobgoblinBeer

INSTAGRAM: #hobgoblin

DATE OF POST: 6th February 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

From memory anyway, it seems that once I had reached an age to legally go for a drink in a pub it was all Hobgoblin this and Hobgoblin that. Whether it was Twickenham, Staines or Reading it was…

‘Jymi, you coming down the Hob’?

Where shall we meet tonight? Hob?

Game of pool up the Hob this arvo?

These days soon faded away as did the chain (though from a quick search on the world wide google there are still a few Hobgoblin Pubs knocking around). But the beer from Wychwood Brewery remains. Now I don’t remember the quality of their beer form those pub years but the beer I’m supping on now is pretty decent you know. It’s very easy to get hold of and is very much a mass produced IPA brewed for multiple supermarket shelves. This does not have to mean it’s a bad beer though. There is a nice bitter citrus tone to this brew and it is good and zesty in the sip. It is a very easy drinker and though not many would shout from the rooftops about it I don’t think many would turn their nose up either.

A more than drinkable everyday traditional IPA.

Jymi’s Rating: 67%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Hobgoblin has been knocking around for a long time.  It was here before many of the current beers experiencing success.  And to be fair, you can understand why it has endured.  You see, it most definitely does have a modern twang to it, but it also appeals to more traditional beer drinkers.

While the packaging and whole marketing campaign might not be cutting edge, Wychwood Brewery most definitely let the beer do the talking.  

Hobgoblin is well balanced.  Hoppy on the nose, which carried through into the drinking.  The bitterness hits you straight up and comes through strong in the finish.  While some may find this bitter punch a little too much in an IPA, I think it works well.  It shows much thought has gone into this brew, which to be fair is well balanced and easy in the mouth.

Hobgoblin is no shrinking violet and it should be commended for being cutting edge before its time.  Sure, other brews may have surpassed it in excellence now, and there’s much competition out there, but this remains a solid beer, which will likely continue doing well.

Sammy’s Rating: 74%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 70.5% 

MOB review next weekend: THE THINGS YUZU TO ME by BREW YORK

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PISTON BROKE

BREWER: Box Steam Brewery, Wiltshire, England

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @BoxBrew

INSTAGRAM: boxsteambrewery

DATE OF POST: 22nd January 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

After you’re through the slightly odd writings about Brunel and him having a piston break due to damp conditions and then moving not very seamlessly on to tell us that Goldings and Casacade hops never fail whatever the weather the drinker is free to move on and drink this rather tasty ale.

Forgetting the non event of the nose Piston Broke gets straight down to business. There is a good robust and full hoppy flavour up front. This should make most drinkers of this Golden Ale sit back and produce a nod of approval, as it did me. So many beers in this bracket waddle along and end up just being average. Not bad, but certainly not good. PB does not fall into to this bracket. It’s good, it is very good in fact. The hop combination delivers what is promised and in no time the consumer would be heading back for another I am sure of it. And all backed up with a pretty interesting label and cool little name. What is not to like really.

Nice work indeed Box Steam Brewery.

Jymi’s Rating: 83%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

I’m going to cut to the chase; Piston Broke is a very good beer indeed.  Alright, the packaging could be brushed up on and the concept is a little off the wall.  But it’s not about that, it’s about the taste.  And with PB, the taste is great…

This golden ale has a pleasant sweetness that rolls around the tongue before the light bitterness comes in.  Piston Broke is well brewed and well balanced.  It does all the things that you want a golden ale to do.  And it’s not a shrinking violet either.  It has something about it that makes you keep reaching for more.

There are many great golden ales out there.  Piston Broke just added their name to that list.

Sammy’s Rating: 88%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 85.5% 

MOB review next weekend: YOU MAY SAY I’M A DREAMER by ARBOR

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HOPERATION IPA

BREWER: Arkell’s, Wiltshire, England

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @ArkellsBrewery

INSTAGRAM: arkellsbrewery

DATE OF POST: 15th January 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It didn’t take long for the initial promise of this beer to dissipate. The name had game, the label was pretty cool and the description of what the drinker should expect from the beer sounded lovely… citrus, dry and orange.

However, the name after pondering it for a seconds grew to be a little obvious and irritating. The factory scene of a label remained pretty cool but suddenly I felt like it could have been better and the taste, well the taste was very underwhelming. Not unpleasant, just underwhelming.

The name Hoperation IPA then began to grind my gears even more… See it doesn’t taste much like an IPA but more a classic English Pale. It’s not Hoppy enough, not strong enough and not interesting enough to call itself Hoperation IPA.

Though perfectly drinkable, it is not really for me this one.

Jymi’s Rating: 57%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

First things first, what an incredible name!  It smacks of a beer that’s going to throw its weight around in the heady world of hoppiness.  While I get the packaging, it’s not really hitting the mark for me.  Having said this, it does tie in with the theme of the ‘Hoperation’, and so it’s clear that much thought has gone into the whole marketing campaign that supports this beer.  Great concept!

The nose is pleasant but super faint and quickly evaporates.  It doesn’t instil much confidence that the beer will live up to its namesake.

And sadly, thus it’s the nose, not the whole PR, that is the best lead into what Hoperation tastes like.  It’s pleasant and light but it’s so, well, beige.  The hoppy notes that I was expecting just never transpire and this is disappointing. Then, there’s the aftertaste, which has waved its goodbyes before it has even arrived.  The hint of clementine flashes across the palate but that’s about all you’re going to get for flavour.  

In the mouth, Hoperation is skeletal.  It doesn’t hold much body.  It slinks away quicker than a rat up a drainpipe.

All in all, Hoperation is a let-down.  It’s by no means terrible.  It just doesn’t have much about it.

Great concept.  Not so great in the delivery.

Sammy’s Rating: 65%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 61% 

MOB review next weekend: PISTON BROKE by BOX STEAM BREWERY

TWITTER: @museonbooze

 

 

 

1643 VISCOUNT

BREWER: Two Cocks Brewery, Berkshire, England

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 5.6%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @TwoCocksBrewery

INSTAGRAM: twococksbrewery

DATE OF POST: 8th January 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

There was positivity in the air from the get go when I settled down to test Viscount. I have always been a huge fan of Two Cocks brewery which is obvious from my writings on Leveller and Puritan a few years ago. So I was fairly sure I was going to be getting a decent beer here, just how decent was the question. Going into a review already being a fan of a brewery does bring added pressure however as if standards have dipped huge disappointment may only be moments away.

And before moving on to the beer I have to take a moment to once again absorb just how utterly spectacular the packaging for these Two Cocks brews actually is. In a crowded market where all brewers are scrambling to find an edge on those beer shelves with mad designs, wild names and all manner of other tricks – Two Cocks just saunter along with their actual feathers, plonk themselves down and just blow EVERYTHING else out the water. I doff my feathered hat to them once more.

Moving to the beer itself I’m actually going to quote the information on the label to help us along…

An unusual light golden ale that crosses the boundaries of beer /wine/cider in taste. The lightest of malts combined with the scarce Nelson Sauvin hop and a process that includes a piggyback fermentation deliver an ale with low bitterness and a complex fruit character.   

Ok, instantly my interest was piqued as the thought of a beer wine cider type brew done by an already trusted brewer sounded, well interesting if not bleedin’ amazing! The fact Nelson Sauvin was involved just helped things along nicely. You know what, I’m going to stop going on…

This beer is FANTASTIC!!! The dryness of wine, the fruitiness of cider and a soft hop background just make 1643 Viscount a thing of absolute beauty.

And there is nothing more to say.

Jymi’s Rating: 94%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Perfection in one’s field is near on impossible, if not completely impossible, to reach.  However, if you were going to put your money on a team doing it, then Two Cocks Brewery would be a sensible way forward, certainly in the beer world anyway.  

Let me give you a fact: 1643 Viscount is an incredible beer.  Make no mistake about it.  It’s a golden ale with the most amazing nose, which is sweet, light and citrusy.  This gives an insight into the impeccably brewed beer that sits behind the aroma.  

In the drinking, it’s light, but not so light as to not pack a punch.  Viscount is perfectly balanced with a light sweetness upfront and a light bitterness following behind.  It dances on the palate for just the right amount of time and disappears just in time for the next sip, when the experience begins again.

My one complaint about Viscount is that it should be sold by the bucket load, not just your standard 500ml bottle.  It really is that good.  

If you’re looking for perfection in a golden ale, you might never find it.  But, mark my words, Viscount may well be as close as you get.

Sammy’s Rating: 99%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 96.5% 

MOB review next weekend: HOPERATION IPA by ARKELL’S

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KALEIDOSCOPE

BREWER: Wiper and True, Bristol, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @WiperAndTrue

INSTAGRAM: wiperandtrue

DATE OF POST: 2nd January 2021

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Negatives:

As much as I like the look of this tin I cannot help but think the W&T design team have slightly messed it up. The brewery name is too prominent, the marvellous elephant is too small and the name of the beer too hidden. With some tweaks this tin could be spectacular but as it is it’s just… good.

Also the aftertaste of this beer is bitter and pleasant but seriously lacking flavour. With the taste explosions in the sip, (we will get to that in the Positives section (I probably should have started with that thinking about it)) for the flavour to essentially vanish in the aftertaste is a little disappointing.

Positives:

A sensational if light pineapple nose leads you into a citrus, tangy and bitter taste experience brought to you by the classic trio of Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. Kaleidoscope, though not massively kaleidoscopic is soft, bright, refreshing and a joy to drink to be honest.

Other notes and conclusion:

Sort the aftertaste out and this would be a flippin’ superstar of a craft pale.

Jymi’s Rating: 80%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

It took me ages to work out what this beer was actually called.  For a long while I thought Wiper and True was the beer name, not the brewery name.  After investigating and delving, I worked out that the beer was actually called Kaleidoscope, which to be fair is a great name.

Once I got over my annoyance at not being able to locate the name of the thing, I really did enjoy drinking Kaleidoscope.  

In the glass, it has a fantastic golden colour.  There’s a strong grapefruit and pineapple aroma.  And it doesn’t taste like it smells, which is not a bad thing at all.  In fact, there’s a long bitterness about the flavour, which is strong upfront and fades a little as you sup.  But once the initial fade has wavered, the low length stays for a long time.

An incredibly refreshing drop, Kaleidoscope would be great at any point in the year.  

Definitely worth a go – many will love this!

Sammy’s Rating: 81%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80.5% 

MOB review next weekend: VISCOUNT by TWO COCKS BREWERY

TWITTER : @museonbooze

MOOR STOUT

BREWER: Moor Beer Company, Bristol, England

STYLE: Stout

ABV: 5%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @drinkmoorbeer

INSTAGRAM: drinkmoorbeer

DATE OF POST: 12th December 2020

 

JYMI SAY’S…

When this can landed in my hands, without anything to instantly pull me in or intrigue me, I kind of just… put it in the MOB test cupboard and forgot about it.

But when test day eventually arrived things were suddenly a little different to those initial thoughts. The packaging was way better than I had initially given it credit for. It’s subtle yet complex, not striking but understated and classy.

And I have to say this theme rolls on into the beer too. There is no fuss. No fanfare. No snazzy flavour bursts or trying too hard to be different and be noticed. Nope, none of that, just a flippin good stout. There is a soft and light texture to this beer but the flavour is not compromised because of this. As a negative I think I want a bit more punch from the aftertaste to really underline the quality of this beer. Do not get me wrong, the aftertaste is good, just needs to be a little bigger – so to speak.

A very decent offering from Moor Beer Company and one I would love to get stuck into by a fire in a cosy west country pub.

Jymi’s Rating: 79%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Simply named this beer might be. But simple in design, it ain’t.

Let’s begin with the name: Stout. It says it as it is. Job done. No messing around. Name it as it is and get on with the real business of designing and brewing a beer.

So, the design: Stout is naturally carbonated. It’s a live beer. Store it upright for the best results.

It’s clear to see that the Moor Beer Company are putting all their eggs into one basket. And that basket is clearly the taste one. How does Stout stack up?

Well, the nose is heavy in burnt coffee. It’s dark and tempting and has all the hallmarks of a stout.

Stout is most definitely complex. It’s well brewed and has depth of flavour. Rich oats come through with the dark taste of coffee. And this is good. However, Stout’s strength is somehow it’s weakness too. The live nature of this beer adds so much to the flavour but it also makes it one for the odd occasion, not for an everyday beer. Still, this is a good stout. It’s just one you might reach for on the rare occasion or one to show off to your friends.

Sammy’s Rating: 80%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 79.5% 

MOB review next weekend: IMPERIAL STOUT by NØGNE Ø

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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

follow us on Twitter – @museonbooze

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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