TROOPER

BREWER: Robinsons, Greater Manchester

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.7%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle 

TWITTER: @robbiesbrewery

INSTAGRAM: robinsonsbrewery

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Can Trooper be classed as a novelty beer? I’m not sure. Is it genius or foolhardy? Again, I’m not sure. I mean, a band creating a beer smacks of novelty. But then again, I get it. It’s good business. More merch for the band to sell. But for it to be viable, it has to be good. I mean the beer, not the band, of course. (Just for clarity, Iron Maiden, creator of Trooper is not a band that I like, but I’ll put that aside for the sake of this review).

So let’s start at the beginning. Trooper is packaged up like you’d expect a beer from Iron Maiden to be. And if you like that sort of thing, that’s great. I don’t, but hey-ho (not a song by Iron Maiden). I do, however, like that each lid has a different album on it. For the purpose of the review, we are talking about special edition label here.

The nose is malty. It’s heavy and earthy, a little bit like Iron Maiden I suppose. But this vibe sits better with the beer than it does with the music!

The strange thing is, this heaviness doesn’t carry through into the drinking. Trooper is actually light and almost fizzes on the tongue. It’s not got much bitterness, but just about enough, and lacks a little in the flavour department with a hint of burnt caramel taking the lead here. But, yes I am going to say it, Trooper is a nice beer.

I get this beer. It does work. It’s definitely more genius than novelty and I can see many a fan enjoying this brew at a gig. And not just Iron Maiden ones for that matter.

In Trooper, Iron Maiden have crafted some very viable merch. I enjoyed it.

Sammy’s Rating: 79%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Well after years and years of avoiding this beer due to the bizarre packaging and concept I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this week’s offering. In fact, it went beyond that. I found myself thinking, saying out loud and writing… flippin’ decent drop this. 

And it really is…

There is a superb deep flavour to this brew. This is backed up by subtle citrus knocking about as well as a soft almost creamy texture during the sip. There is also a very very good yet subtle lemon aftertaste to Trooper which kind of takes it beyond just a good beer.

Look, as mentioned, I’ve never really got this packaging let alone it being brewed with Iron Maiden’s influence. I know it all makes pure business sense so I do get it really but you almost lose your soul when you start pumping out what could be described as a gimmick beer.

However, should you see it, then grab it, pop it, then finish it.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed

Jymi’s Rating: 82%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: MOOIE NEL by JOPEN

MOOIE NEL PRE

INSTAGRAM : MUSE.ON.BOOZE

TWITTER: @MUSEONBOOZE

 

MOB SQUAD: BIG WAVE

The MOB SQUAD say...

 

Yum Yum Scrum: FRUITY, SMOOTH, DELICIOUS, LIGHT, LIVELY – 92%

Mr. Reebo: EASY, SMOOTH, LIGHT, GENERIC, DRINKABLE – 60%

Lava: FAINT, SILKY, QUENCHING, MOREISH, FINE – 85%

Capone: REFRESHING, LINGERING, SMOOTH, TERRIFIC, WINNER – 89%

Skeletor: CRISP, GRAPEFRUIT, PALE, SESSIONABLE, EPIC – 89%

Doc: LIGHT, FRUITY, REFRESHING, BITTER-ISH, AWESOME – 88%

PanthBrew: LIVELY, DISTINGUISHED, REFRESHING, NONCHALANT, ZESTY – 87%

Mrs. Reebo: NICE, LIGHT, WATERY, FRUITY, MEMORABLE – 79%

VK: CRUSHABLE, GENIUS, SILK, ZESTY, ART – 95%

Tulane: LIGHT, CRISP, DULL, GRAPEFRUIT, YAWN – 66%

cWobble: CLEVER, FRESH, JUICY, MOREISH, GONE – 82%

 

MOB SQUAD RATING: 83.09%

 

Thanks goes to the MOB SQUAD from  Sammy & Jymi for taking the time to share those thoughts. Though, let’s be fair, there are harder things to be doing eh?!

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MOB SQUAD’S NEXT OUTING IS ON JANUARY 10th 2020 AND WILL BE JAIPUR by THORNBRIDGE

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BEER IS BETTER TOGETHER

SECRET DES MOINES

BREWER: Brasserie Goudale, Hauts-de-France

STYLE: Tripel

ABV: 8%

VESSEL: 75cl bottle

TWITTER: @La_Goudale

INSTAGRAM: brasserie.goudale

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Normally, when someone stumbles across or invents something great they keep the process of how to create it to themselves so only they can produce it for the consumers of the world. I’m talking about the likes of Big Mac sauce, Colonel Saunders spice mix and Meat Liquor’s chilli burger patty mix, you know, important stuff. The Tripel we have up for review here is the same. Those crafty monks produced Secret of the Monks centuries ago and kept how they did it tucked away deep in their habits. But somehow somewhere the info getters over at Goudale got their tenacious mitts on this beer recipe and went about producing it for us, the modern day beer consumer.

And I for one am glad they did. Because, you can tell why this was kept a secret for so long. Going back to the beginning of this blurb, it’s because it’s great. In fact it’s beyond that…

Hidden behind the abundance of bitter sweet fruity flavour is a subtle aromatic spice that leaves you so very content with every sip. The taste is strong which isn’t surprising from an 8% blonde but doesn’t detract from the outstanding flavour. The colour in the glass is a fantastic pale gold that makes Secret des Moines look irresistible. All coming out of an incredible looking traditional 75cl pop lid bottle.

Unlike a Big Mac this is not something to devour in less than 30 seconds but one to sit back and savour whilst reflecting on the amazing things that this world can bring us. Secret des Moines being one of them.

Jymi’s Rating: 86%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

In 2017, Secret Des Moines was the France winner of the World Beer Awards. That’s quite a reputation to live up to but it does give an insight into the quality of this beer even before it is opened. And, like some other continental traditional beers, it comes packaged with no attention to quality spared. The 750ml bottle with the Grolsch style opener makes for a great sharer and adds to the sense of occasion.

The nose is light and sweet, which reminds me of a summer’s day in a floral garden. It conjures up images of freshly cut grass, bees humming in the background all topped off with a gentle cooling glass of the finest beer. All of this is made all the more real by the fantastic colour in the glass. It’s pure temptation.
Secret Des Moines doesn’t hold back in the flavour department either. The sweet, sugary front-up taste is quickly supported by the short sharp bitter honey after burn. Together, they make a great combination and thoroughly enjoyable beer.
It’s not hard to see why this beer is so highly acclaimed. Secret Des Moines is a class act and is one to be cherished on many a special occasion. Share it, or enjoy it alone, and you won’t be disappointed. Pick up one of these as the first beer of the evening and you’ll be very happy. More than that may be a little too much.
But there’s always the next night…

 

Sammy’s Rating: 88%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 87%

 

MOB review next weekend: VOE by SWANNAY BREWERY

VOE PRE

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OLD GOLDEN HEN

BREWER: Morland, Oxfordshire (now owned by Greene King, Suffolk)

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.1%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle

TWITTER: @greeneking :/

INSTAGRAM: #morlandbrewery  ,  will have to do :/ :/

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I’ve known that we we’re going to be testing this ale at the end of the Summer for a while now so every time I’ve walked down a beer aisle of a store I’ve made a point of more than glancing at Old Golden Hen to get an idea on my thoughts on how it’s packaged up.

From very early on one thought kept coming into my mind. It was a thought that made me think… can I really say this in my review of OGH?
But yet the thought kept coming.

So as I settle down to write I’m now at the horrible moment of whether I come out with it or not….

PISS BOMB

There, I said it, though maybe regret it a little now.

For those of you that don’t know what a PB is, it’s where you take a bottle and….. errrr you know what it is don’t you.

In all seriousness I’ve never really been a fan of the look of Golden Ale’s in a clear bottle. Even if the label is great (see our Spitfire Gold picture) it still kills the over all look of the packaging dead.
Now what Morland seem to have done is take what is already an awful looking clear bottle of ale and stick a label on it that possess a huge yellow outline.
Just a massive error in my opinion as it really cheapens what is actually a pretty decent beer to drink… let’s get on to that shall we.

OGH is crisp and refreshing, yes it is lacking a little depth but you can forgive it for that because it is a real joy to drink both in taste and texture. It is all quite subtle but the taste is tropical and fruity and the texture is lovely and smooth with a hint of the galaxy hops coming in at the end.

A good, easy drinking beer this. Disaster packaging aside, I’m a fan.

Jymi’s Rating: 66%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Old Golden Hen is not groundbreaking by any means. But then there are many beers that aren’t ground breaking. And, to be fair, you don’t have to be groundbreaking to be good.
No, what OGH is, is solid. It’s good for many occasions. You’d be as happy sipping one on a cold winter’s eve as you would on a warm summer’s day.
It’s pleasant on the palate and is fairly light and crisp. There’s not much to write home about with regard to USP, but, hey, who cares?
It’s probably not going to be the top of your to try list. However, if you’re offered an OGH, you’d be mad to turn it down.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 68%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 67%

 

MOB review next weekend: ONION JACK PALE ALE by VOIE B

ONION JACK PALE ALE PRE

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SPITFIRE GOLD

BREWER: Shepherd Neame, Kent 

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.3%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle 

TWITTER: @ShepherdNeame

INSTAGRAM: shepherdneame

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Spitfire is the cornerstone of Shepherd Neame’s brewery. This, of course, is not Spitfire but rather it’s Spitfire Gold. Does the use of the word ‘gold’ in the name simply mean its a golden ale, or is it a little more than that?
In the bottle, Spitfire Gold looks good. The use of a clear bottle with the gold packaging, which is a shift from the iconic red and blue, works well. Once unleashed, the nose is a little non-existent, but is not unpleasant for a golden ale.
In the drinking, it’s perfectly pleasant. It’s light with a sweet first taste followed by very slight bitter after taste. Overall, for me, the maltiness is well-balanced with carefully selected hops and this lead’s to a very good golden ale.
Spitfire Gold has much going for it. It’s definitely sessionable and sits well as a lighter offering than a bitter. It might not quite live up to being a gold beer, but it’s definitely a great golden ale and I happily reach for it.

Sammy’s Rating: 82%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

To the Garden of England we go and to a brewery older than the legacy of some very old AND bold Spitfire pilots. Shepherd Neame are based in a county famed for its abundance of hops so it’s no wonder they have been churning out some power ales for over three centuries. I’ve enjoyed many a regular Spitfire over the years and it has never let me down regardless of time of year nor setting and I trust Spitfire Gold to follow suit (though it’s not off to the best start as I’m not particularly enjoying the way it’s packaged up. I mean who presents a Golden Ale in a clear bottle?!).

Beer wise what we have is pure class in approach and dare I say understated brewing. This isn’t smacking you left, right and centre with hop explosions and clever turns. This isn’t making you question what you thought beer was and where the HELL it is going?? This is straight up quality brewing….

Crisp, light and a truck load of flavour. Really, really tasty and would quickly become a chum before blinking. The bitter / sweet subtle tones of this beer are just brilliant as it comes across as huge… but it’s not huge, it’s clever, and you need to go drink one.

Jymi’s Rating: 83%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 82.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: ANCHOR STEAM BEER by ANCHOR BREWING CO.

ANCHOR STEAM PRE

TOTAL CHAOS OVER AT THE MOB GIN HOUSE NOW… we’re on Instagram @muse.on.booze and Twitter @museonbooze should you wish to witness the last 3 weeks of disorganisation

#MOBSOG2

3 MONTS

BREWER: Brasserie de Saint-Sylvestre, Hauts-de-France

STYLE: Lager

ABV: 8.5%

VESSEL: 33cl

TWITTER: No account 

INSTAGRAM: Très désolé mais il ne semble pas y avoir de compte instagram non plus

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It was a very rainy Saturday morning. It was also 5am. I was also off the back of a frankly ridiculous week at work. However, spirits were high as today was the day the MOB boys and their families set sail for their holiday in France!
Though we live about 20 miles apart, the plan was simple, depart at 7am and head for Folkstone EuroStar. Now this is where the genius came in. There was no planned RV point, we didn’t need one. Why? Because we had flippin’ Walkie Talkies didn’t we. The range on these suckers was 5km so the genius thinking was switch them on once we both hit the M25 and as long as we were both running to schedule surely we would be in range of each other?

07:23    Balding Eagle, this is Poached Egg, do you read me?
Nothing

07:24    Balding Eagle, this is Poached Egg, do you read me?
Nothing

07:25    Clare, this is Poach….. Are you receiving me? Over.
Nothing

07:26    Sam???!!! Are you flippin’ there man??
Nothing

So my wife, whilst shaking her head slowly, wondering quite how her life had come to this, called Sam’s wife on something called a mobile phone to see how progress was.

Turns out we were close to one another! So we pulled over at Maidstone Services, worked out how to use the Walkie F**kin Talkies, and then proceeded with much intent to Folkstone and the train to a week of max relax.

The plan was to test and review a French beer whilst we were away as it seemed the right thing to do. So after things were settled at the most incredibly quirky and eclectic abode that we had rented for the week Sam and I set our sights on the supermarché to get supplies.
Now, this is never a particularly good idea as together and excited usually results in the ridiculous we didn’t fail to deliver. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say Sam lost his head in the fromage aisle, we bought everything, but nothing of real use (rabbit pâté being a prime example), but we did however manage to grab some beers which included a few 3 Monts to sit back, savour and review.

After some pretty rapid chilling that moment arrived. Blazing sunshine, children playing in the pool without a care in the world, way better halves chillin’ n chattin’, and Sammy boy and I with beers in hand ready to test away. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Especially when I could see on Sam’s face that he was clearly a fan of this Biere de Flandre. The horror then dawned on me… I was about to wreck this wonderful moment because…. I flippin’ hated it!!

I mean the first half of the sip was fine, nice even. Very French, very refreshing, all good… but then I swallowed that sip and my world fell apart. Firstly, 3 Monts tastes too strong in the brew. Yes, I know it IS strong but for this style of beer to survive taste wise you cannot let that strength shine through in the taste. Also, I got a thick marzipan aftertaste from 3M which didn’t work out at all well in my brain.

Magical moment, mess of a beer.

Jymi’s Rating: 51%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

First up, the nose on 3 Monts conjures up memories of holidays in France. It sends me instantly to a continental square that’s wrapped around with different bars all in sun-soaked heat thronging with local town life. Nice. That’s reassuring, considering that it is a French beer (or bier) and it’s got to be a good thing.
Again, unsurprisingly, 3 Monts tastes as you might expect. Exactly like a French beer. It’s unashamedly French. It’s crisp and refreshing and there’s nothing else that you’d want for on a holiday in France.
Although 3 Monts pulls no surprises, it is well balanced with sweetness. This is especially worth noting considering it’s 8.5% alcohol content.
So, while 3 Monts is quite simply what you’d expect from a French beer, it’s also of interest because of its strength. Perhaps not one for a whole night’s session, it’s definitely worth pulling on a few whilst cooking meat over the coals in the sunshine. Or, alternatively, have one as an accompaniment to soaking up some rays and local town life. It makes life a little better.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 76%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 63.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: SPITFIRE GOLD by SHEPHERD NEAME

SPITFIRE GOLD PRE

AND WE MEAN IT THIS TIME!!!!!!

 

 

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T: @museonbooze

 

LEMON AND THYME SAISON

BREWER: Partizan Brewery, South East London

STYLE: Saison

ABV: 3.8%

VESSEL: 330ml bottle

TWITTER: @PartizanBrewing

INSTAGRAM: partizanbrewing

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Lemon and Thyme work really well together. They work so well together, in fact, that you can even get lemon thyme. I have to say, I’m a fan and I’m not alone in my fanness. There are many a culinary dish that I, and indeed others, like to cook with them. You could possibly even have enough concoctions to necessitate a cook book entitled “Lemon and Thyme: Recipes for this Timeless Combination”. I don’t have enough in depth knowledge to write such a book, but I can have a go at trying this beer.
On first meeting, the aroma is very light. It only just tickles the olfactory senses. It has a sweet note, but I don’t get much hint of lemon and thyme. It’s in the drinking that you pick up both lemon and thyme. It’s a little more heavy on the lemon side as opposed to the thyme but they’re both definitely there.
The thing is, considering the beer it named Lemon and Thyme Saison, I think it should pack more of a flavour punch in the direction of these ingredients. However, where I find this beer really wanting is in the brew. I don’t think that the hops used in this ale play a good enough support role to the lemon and thyme. They don’t let them shine through. The hops compete with them too much.
The end result is all a bit underwhelming. It’s not to say that this is a disaster of a beer because it’s just not. Lemon and Thyme Saison could be improved through better matching of the hops with the main players. If that happens, Lemon and Thyme Saison may well appear as an ingredient in the cook book previously mentioned.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 55%

 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Other than yellow having 3.8% tattooed on their neck and the horribly smooth plactic nature of the label, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PACKAGING. There is just something about it that has a timeless yet conclusive message of all out love and adouration. Look at blue totally content with life as well as the current embrace. Look at yellow, eyes open, surprised and overjoyed and the current embrace, mind blasting everywhere with what the future could hold. I absolutely love it.

Love, excitement, contentment, settled yet dreaming all in one simple sketch.

Beer wise it’s always necessary to approach a saison, much like yellow, with open eyes. Especially one that names itself Lemon and Thyme Saison. With a Saison not traditionally packing a hit you have to be careful not to under grade it. Blah blah blah. The fact this Saison’s name is basically a description of what you’re gonna get puts pressure on this SE London brewer to deliver.

Once cracked and sniffed it was very clear that this was a lemon Saison from the very light citrus aroma drifting from the glass and up the snoz. Thyme wise though I was still waiting. As from nose alone I was not picking anything up from the herb world.

After the very first sip what struck me was how refreshing this was to taste as well as in the mouth. Light and cleary brewed well for sure. Flavorwise, though a Saison is never going to blow your mind apart (that’s not it’s purpose in beerlife) I do feel LATS was lacking a bit. Some nice subtle Lemon touches in cheeks and at last a hint of Thyme in the aftertaste but definitely left me wanting a bit more.

Overall a pleasent beer and a pleasent Saison that would certainly fly down on a warm weekend garthering of souls. But it’s nothing more than that.

Jymi’s Rating: 67%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 61%

 

MOB review next weekend: HOP ART by VANDESTREEK

HOP ART PRE

The second Muse on Booze Summer of Gin is ticking along nicely, next up OPIHR

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