HANDLANGER

BREWER: Brouwerij Kompaan, South Holland

STYLE: Double IPA

ABV: 8.2%

VESSEL: 33cl bottle

TWITTER: @KompaanBier

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Hand Langer is a lively one.  She fizzes up very quickly once she’s let loose from the bottle.  And behind all the fizz, there’s a very nice citrus fruit aroma, which is ably supported by a faint backdrop of caramel.  

In the drinking, it’s the burnt caramel that wins out.  While Hand Langer is not altogether unpleasant, there is something a little forced about it.  It doesn’t quite align its flavours.  As I drink it, I’m not sure that it knows where it belongs.  The lack of clarity leads to it languishing in, dare I say it, being incredibly unmemorable.  

Hand Langer is a beer that I will easily forget.  Funnily enough, I don’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad beer, because it’s not. I just mean that there are so many other beers out there that out strip it.  It doesn’t have a USP.  It will drift into the background.

A little like a day at work, I can say with a degree of certainty that I will very quickly forget Hand Langer.  It will fade into nothingness and I cannot guarantee that come the future I will ever remember having had it.  Oh well.

Sammy’s Rating: 63%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Beware the HANDLANGER!!! And there are a of couple reasons for this… One comes from the Kompaan Brewery themselves and one from your personal beer adviser, Jymi.

Firstly the advice from Kompaan: WATCH YOUR BACK.. They call him bitter and merciless – we call him the HANDLANGER! 

So I get scared way easier than the usual person I have to admit. I honestly look at the bottom left corner of the TV sometimes if a jumpy moment looks likely to happen in Emmerdale.

The Kompaan discription  of this beer  seems creepy to me, like the Handlanger may seek then find you at any moment. I’m sure this was not the brewery’s intention but either way, I scared me.

Now the advice from yours truly: OK, crazy creepy aside the first thing to note about this brew is it does not taste like it is 8.2%. Not even close. Unless you drank a certain amount of these you would have no idea you were drinking an 8.2% monster. Bizarrely it almost tastes weak!! DANGER DANGER…. HIGH VOLTAGE!

Kompaan’s Handlanger pours a beautiful colour with an almost soapy, lively head. There are notes of caramel throughout with the odd hint of banana. But is it the monster of a beer that it should be?

Quite simply, No

… this isn’t a monster of a beer. Far from it. I mean it’s nice enough but with the name HANDLANGER, a big ol’ ABV and the label of Double IPA I just wanted a bit more if I’m honest.

Jymi’s Rating: 73%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 68% 

 

MOB review next weekend: OXFORD GOLD by BRAKSPEAR 

 

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ENGLISH IPA

BREWER: The Three Legs Brewing Company, East Sussex

STYLE: IPA 

ABV: 5.5%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle 

TWITTER: @thethreelegs 

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Some products deliver on the exact level that you’d expect them to deliver on.  A beer branded as English IPA should be unwaveringly bold in both its Englishness and it’s IPAness.  It should be all things expected from an English IPA.  I want to have clarity around this from the outset…on some levels English IPA does deliver…

Let us begin with the Englishness.  Firstly, on the nose you get a heavy foresty odor; a little like a walk through an English woodland on a wet autumnal day.  And that’s very English.  Secondly, the taste is like burnt compost with the aftertaste of tea that has been left to brew for ten minutes too long.   English people like to garden and build compost heaps and they like to follow this activity with a nice brew of good old Rosie.  So once again, English IPA gets a big tick for its Englishness.

So English IPA is definitely English.

Now let’s consider the IPAness.  I’m afraid it’s bad news.   The English woodland nose doesn’t make for a very pleasant olfactory experience.  And as for drinking one’s garden experience in a beer…well I think you can probably guess it’s not particularly pleasant. 

So English IPA is definitely not IPAish.

Given that the IPAness should heavily outweigh the Englishness, and that’s very obviously not the case, this beer is, rather sadly, a very big fail.  I’ll stick to my real compost heap and over brewed tea thank you very much.

Sammy’s Rating: 45%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

So there I was, sat sitting, a progressive beer swilling 9 year old listening to my history teacher go on and on about something in the past….. things are very different now but back when I was younger I just did not see the point in learning about stuff that had been and gone (great attitude I know). I was all up for looking forward and pressing on. Now Mr D, the aforementioned history teacher, could always sense my disinterest of the subject so used to hit me up with random questions to make sure I was awake. I distinctly remember one day a certain question came my way…. James, how long did the Hundred Years War last for? I sniggered (great attitude I know). I thought, who is this guy? What kind of ridiculous question is that? So I answered with aplomb, 100 years sir. The rest of the class sniggered.

So I approach the next part of this review with caution as clearly history didn’t work out too well for me whilst at school….

The Three Legs Brewing Company is based in Brede in East Sussex which is close to Battle which is close to Hastings (geography did work out at school). So I am concluding that we have Norman Longboats on the packaging of English IPA. Though this could be wildly inaccurate!! Huge apologies to everyone involved if this is the case.

I like this packaging… It’s very different without going down the vogue route of cartoon and wacky. I’m not sure it would stand out in a crowd as over all is quite dull in colour but that almost makes me like the look of this bottle more. Understated, subtle and classy.

As for the beer, one thing immediately struck me as I took down that first big gulp…. This IPA is one dimensional. What I mean by this is there is no real journey of taste. With most beers you get an upfront leading flavour accompanied by the nose followed by the taste after you have swallowed and then a finish. With English IPA there were no stages, just straight up beer. Kind of a, here you go, it is what it is vibe. Now I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing as the beer was pleasant enough without being great. It was almost refreshing to have a straight up non complex what you see is what you get ale coming my way for once.

English IPA, from packaging to taste it’s not singing and it’s not dancing and that is not always a bad thing in this wonderfully wild world we live in.

Jymi’s Rating: 60%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 52.5% 

 

MOB review next weekend: KOMPAAN HANDLANGER by BROUWERIJ KOMPAAN

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GAIA

BREWER: Brouwerij Oedipus, North Holland

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 7%

VESSEL: 30cl bottle 

TWITTER: @OedipusBrewing

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It’s 2018 and according to science the end of the world as we know it isn’t necessarily nigh but if we don’t change the way we as humans (supposedly the most intelligent species) currently do things it pretty much will be for the next generation to come and if not them certainly the one after that. Very recent reports on this have been in the media and they are the starkest we have ever had. We have a decade to sort this. Take a moment to absorb that. Ten years to save the world. “We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it”. What an utter and avoidable tragedy this is.

It’s 2018 and according to the President of the United States of America, and some other world leaders to be fair, climate change does not exist, fake news. Followed up (again very recently) by a budget here in the UK that failed to even mention, let alone address climate change. What a bunch of absolute clowns (The MOB swearing regulation team told me I wasn’t allowed to use a much more appropriate C word).

It’s 2018 and Jymi from Muse on Booze fame (shout out to my fans) is genuinely worried that his daughters and hopefully one day grandchildren won’t get to see the incredible planet that we live on in all its glory, if at all.

Will Gaia be able to tolerate this abuse and hold strong for much longer?

But other than a pretty stunning IPA from Amsterdam, what is Gaia?

Gaia is life. The Soul of the Earth. She is a goddess who inhabits the planet, offering life and nourishment to all her children. She is mother, nurturer and giver of life.

Whether a believer in such things or not the ancient history of our planet has a back catalogue of righting wrongs and who are we to say that the wrong that is currently very much underway will not be righted soon?

And should that day ever materialise while I’m still kicking about, as long as I had my family, friends and a bottle of Gaia by my side, I’d be alright you know.

Jymi’s Rating: 80%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Gaia comes in an average bottle, which is dressed with a purple label.  Whilst it may not haute couture when compared with some of the forward thinking designs out there, it most certainly is keeping up with high street fashion.  

However, the aroma of Gaia is simply stunning.  It has to be said that it is very sweet with the standard citrus punch that we all expect with pale ales but it really is sublime.  The drinking is very spiky.  What I mean by that is acidic citrus flavours roll around at the back of your tongue and there is almost a warming spice in play too. There is a very short bitter caramel note that makes a guest appearance and disappears very quickly.  It’s a great cameo though because you wouldn’t want it hanging around too long.

For me, Gaia is a very good beer.  I would happily enjoy one of these on many (or any!) an occasion.

Sammy’s Rating: 82%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 81% 

 

MOB review next weekend: ENGLISH IPA by THREE LEGS BREWING COMPANY

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BETTY STOGS

BREWER: Skinner’s Brewery, Cornwall

STYLE: Bitter

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle

TWITTER: @Skinnersbrewery

 

JYMI SAY’S…

There has been just a sprinkling of times in my beer drinking life where everyone in the same ale house has reached a drinking equilibrium. The loudest are no longer the loudest and the life and soul are still doing their thing but are no longer the sole life and soul. The quiet are no longer quiet and the witty remain witty of course. The drunk dudes are not too drunk and the I’ll just have a few crew have a daring look in their eye. Yes, drinking equilibrium. That moment that everyone, whether in your group or not, becomes one. It very rarely comes along but when it does it really is something to savour. If not just to capture that moment where no one has lost it, but no one really has it either!

Now, after that, it may surprise you that I’m going to start with the beer itself rather than the packaging. Betty Stogs was made for moments like this. A session bitter like no other that I have tasted…

Betty pours thin, has no head and has the consistency of water. Does not sound great does it?? But it is great. It is. The taste is such a pleasant surprise with subtle tones of caramel kicking around and a satisfying bitter finish. There is literally no body to this bitter but that is almost it’s genius. It slips down so well it’s untrue and the subtle yet wonderful taste I’m sure would never get dull.

I actually wish I’d blind tested this as I truly believe that I would have written the same thing about this beer already regardless of the packaging… and what brilliant packaging it is!….. Even if it does look a bit s*”t.

It’s not necessarily depicting my drinking equilibrium scene as most folk on the label seem as done as the flippin’ dinner, but it is without doubt showcasing a good ol’ session in a proper ol’ Cornish boozer!

Skinner’s…. a job well done I must say.

Jymi’s Rating: 75%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Betty Stogs is a great concept of a beer; it is rooted in its Cornish origins.  It has a cracking name, which is well explained on the label. It is, however, very much let down by its packaging, which is indescribably bad.  Luckily for me I don’t need to describe it – you can look at it for yourself.

From the nose, you get fruity maltiness in the foreground with a background hint of floral notes, which when combined are very refreshing and very light.  Not what I expected from such a traditional beer. But it really does work.  The nose is backed up by a light taste as well.  Betty Stogs is a very thin beer, but in this case it is a very good thing. It has subtle bitter notes that are in no way overpowering.  There are acidic hints which are carried through by warming earthiness of the malt. It truly is a very refreshing bitter and I feel all the better for drinking it.

Skinner’s describe this beer as Brazen Cornish Bitter.  It most certainly is an English bitter.  But it is by no means dragged from the depths of the earth and I don’t want anyone to think that you need to enjoy this in the undergrowth of a hedge because it’s just not that type of beer.  It’s much more subtle and interesting that the first meeting might suggest.  That having been said  Betty Stogs will get one’s beard wet and it would be well enjoyed by a roaring fire. It would be very easy to slip a few of these down whilst recounting tales of old.  

Sammy’s Rating: 75%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 75% 

 

MOB review next weekend: GAIA by BROUWERIJ OEDIPUS 

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WHITSTABLE BAY PALE ALE

BREWER: Faversham Steam Brewery (Shepherd Neame), Kent 

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle

TWITTER: @WhitstableBay 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

This is a readily available Pale Ale that the majority of beer drinkers in the UK will have seen knocking about in their local supermarket. Though I have consumed WBPA before after being handed a few over the years probably whilst visiting friends, I have never purchased myself. I’m putting this down to never really being a fan of the packaging…. But now I have it in front of me I’m trying to work out just what it is that I don’t like?

The dumpy set bottle is a break from the norm when it comes to a supermarket ready 500ml ale and I like it. The colours themselves and how they sit together are good also and the lovely little sketch of the boat on the flat as glass water is incredible! So what is it that I don’t like…?….

!!WARNING!!

YOU SHOULD PROBABLY STOP READING NOW AND NEVER BOTHER WITH MUSE ON BOOZE AGAIN AS THIS IS HOW RIDICULOUS MY BRAIN IS AND I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BE IN CHARGE OF REVIEWING BEERS.

…the label is too small. Yes, that’s it. The packaging is great but the label is too small and wrecks the whole appearance in my bizarre opinion. If the label went the whole way round the bottle it would help it along no end. Right, I’m going to shut up and see what she tastes like under professional beer tasting conditions.

The information on the label told me that I would be getting a spicy citrus nose and that information was correct. The nose is without doubt lovely and refreshing and gets you nice and ready for what you think would be that first refreshing sip…. and that sip is indeed that, refreshing. The beer is smooth and crisp (which surprised me as is very carbonated in glass). You could no doubt settle into a few of these for sure, though possibly not of a freezing winter’s evening. So all in all very positive so far.…

BUT… BUT BUT BUT, there is a negative twist..

The body to Whitstable Bay Pale Ale is so thin that anything positive that was going for it gets diluted, which is a shame because as mentioned there are defiantly positives.

Wait, what’s that? Oh no, here comes another negative!

There is definitely a woody and earthy undertone too due to the malt. For me this clashes with the refreshing citrus and almost makes the whole thing confused.

And that is exactly where WBPA has left me… confused.

Jymi’s Rating: 67%

 

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Whitstable is coastal town in Kent, a county in England renowned for its hop growing. This beer is named after that town. I like the fact that this beer is named after such a town.  It’s a good solid name and it works for this beer. 

One might expect a beer named after such an English town to be very traditional in its appearance.  But it’s not. It’s in a very tempting clear glass bottle, which is neither too modern nor too traditional.  Just as I like the name of this beer, I like the way it looks inside and out of the bottle.  Good job to the people at The Faversham Steam Brewery!

Whitstable Pale Ale only has two major stumbling blocks.  The first is the nose.  The promise of citrus fruits and spice is there but it’s so mild one has to sniff so deep to get a hint of it.  It is far too mild on the nose.  The second is the initial taste.  It’s thin and almost non-existent.  However, the very good news is that this taste improves remarkably over the following sips.  It grows and once you’re into it, it’s good.  It’s light with hints of malt and citrus, which becomes very pleasant.

Just like the hops grow in Kent, this beer grows on the consumer, so don’t be too hastily put off.

Sammy’s Rating: 74%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 70.5% 

 

MOB review next weekend: BETTY STOGS by SKINNER’S BREWERY

BETTY STOGS PRE

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FRIDAY IPA

Yes, we’re posting about a Beer named FRIDAY IPA, on a Saturday. Whatever next. The main and frankly only reason for this is simply that one of us two didn’t hand their homework in on time. Who that was however, you will never know… 

(It was Sam)

 

FRIDAY IPA

 

BREWER: And Union, Bavaria 

STYLE: IPA

ABV: 6.5%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @andUnion 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It’s not often, well ever in fact, that I want for a busy, full on and arduous day at work. It’s not that I mind getting my head down and putting in the graft, I actually I have a very good work ethic, but to say I wake up of a morning and WANT an absolute full on taxing day would be wrong.
But today was different.
The reason being today was the day I was testing the incredibly named Friday IPA. Whether a wine, beer or spirit guzzler there is nothing quite like getting home from work on a Friday evening and grabbing a drink to unwind and relax with, especially if you have had a particularly hard week.
So with a tricky week already behind me I really wanted to earn this Friday beverage like never before with a tough ol’ day of graft… And I got one! HURRAY!!!
Now during this difficult day at work, other than the job obviously, I had a few things on my mind..

How much I was looking forward to cracking FRIDAY IPA open later on.
How much I loved the simplicity and fine detail on the tin that was currently housing my ale.
And also I was wondering what percentage it would be packing. With such a name proceeding it I really hoped that it wouldn’t be below 4.5% for some reason?! I honestly think it was only because of the name that I didn’t want it to be too week as it doesn’t normally bother me as long as it tastes good.

So I returned home and approached the fridge. I came to the door, and I looked inside. I grabbed that great little red tin and …. Hallelujah…. 6.5%, BAM!!

Friday poured fairly dark amber and gave off a nose of obvious citrus, which was pleasant but nothing new nor special. Two things then struck me upon swig. Just how wonderfully creamy the head was and also how smooth FIPA was. Which is actually really pleasant because the citrus, malt and hoppy smacks really get those saliva ducts going but then it slips down the throat with an almost butter like texture. Friday tastes strong. I know I was asking for a high percentage but that was for the instant relax. However upon the taste you really can tell this is 6.5% which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Friday IPA, I like it. It’s different without being weird. Though I have to say although I got my instant Friday relax fix, it didn’t blow my socks off.

Jymi’s Rating: 72%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

A strange concept of a beer, this one is.  An IPA from Bavaria, Germany…have you ever heard of such a thing?  Well, you have now because that’s exactly what Friday IPA is.  

Friday IPA…hmm…the jury is out on the name.  Not sure if I love it or if I hate it.  One good thing about it – it’s got me thinking.

The packaging, however, I really do like.  The red can, with 3D effect and a white top, works very well for me.  It’s unique and sets it aside from the rest of the market.  

So even before drinking, there’s a lot to talk about with Friday IPA.  But we all know its about amber lining the throat that’s the important thing.

On the nose, it’s exactly as you’d expect for a craft IPA.  There’s the unmistakable hoppy punch, which plays the main role here.  In support, we have the usual tropical and citrus cast.  All in all, well balanced and very pleasant. 

As much of a strange mix it may be (Bavarian IPA), it is a cracking beer.  There’s an unbelievable balance of bitter and sweetness on the palate, with hops and citrus notes working in perfect harmony. Neither one over balances the other and the length of the taste is fantastic.  

Friday IPA is a corker.  It has firmly staked its mark in the ground as being a stand out, special beer that is well balanced on all fronts.  I’ll be reaching for it again.

Sammy’s Rating: 81%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 76.5% 

 

MOB review next weekend: WHITSTABLE BAY PALE ALE by FAVERSHAM STEAM BREWERY 

WBPA PRE

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DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO STUPID AMOUNT OF MANGO

So here we are.. One year on from reviewing Landlord ,it’s our FIRST BIRTHDAY!!

Now the intention was to bring a gift to you for the great celebration (unconventional we know). That gift was to be an all singing, all dancing swanky new website. BUT…… its not ready yet!! :-()

But fear not, it is coming on and as soon as it’s ready you will be the first to know…

But for this week all we have now is an understated 9.3% Mango IPA from Denmark named quite simply….

DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO STUPID AMOUNT OF MANGO

 

BREWER: To Øl, Copenhagen

STYLE: Imperial Mango IPA

ABV: 9.3%

VESSEL: 50cl tin

TWITTER: @toolbeer 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Dangerously Close To Stupid Amount Of Mango really is some name for a beer! My first thoughts were., that’s very descriptive and very different….My second thoughts were, that’s totally rubbish and trying way too hard to be different.

Trouble is this off the wall Danish brewer got the name wrong. It’s not dangerously close to stupid amount of mango. It is a stupid amount of mango! And that would indeed be a more accurate name.

Now we come to the packaging… I’m all for breaking the mould and something a wee bit different but I’m sorry, this stinks of trying just that wee bit too hard to be different once again. There have been some marks awarded in this department for sure as I quite like the piece but don’t think it sit’s brilliantly on a tin of beer if I’m honest. Though it certainly makes it intriguing as you have to go searching the tin to find out what on earth is going on.

As I’ve already alluded to, this beer has too much mango going through it. It is way too sweet for my liking and I have to say from first sip to last (though it did improve a little as it went along) I was not at all a fan.

However one thing very positive did stick out, DCTSAOM is super, super smooth and slips down very well which suggests it has been brewed with a lot of care and attention to a very high standard. It is just not for me.

As smooth as the Fonz and as sweet as Richie Cunningham but just not Happy Days for Jymi.

Jymi’s Rating: 45%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

To Øl brewery (a micro brewery from Denmark) have a range of Dangerously Close to ales.  All come tinned up with artistic designs on the can and I happen to be really drawn to them.  They are class and unique: first box ticked.  It is hard to search out the name, but that gets you looking at the can closely and I like that interplay with the product. This particular one is an imperial India pale ale mixing it up with mangoes.  

The nose is as you might expect from the name – tropical fruitiness with bags of…mango. It has to be said that the colour of the beer is incredible.  It’s a tempting light golden, which promises of greatness…big expectations…

The taste has a light sweetness that is incredibly refreshing.  There’s so much going on when you drink this.  The sweetness gives way to a short bitter after taste.  All of this leads to a cracking beer.  It’s exciting, different and challenging.  To Øl have demonstrated their brewing credentials with Dangerously close to Stupid Amount of Mango.  

I have no doubt that there will be those of you out there that find this too sweet. But make no mistake…this is a good beer. 

Sammy’s Rating: 73%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 59% 

 

MOB review next weekend: FRIDAY IPA by AND UNION 

FRIDAY IPA PREVIEW

Here’s to many more years of beers and reviews!

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BANKS’S AMBER BITTER

BREWER: Banks’s Brewery, West Midlands 

STYLE: Bitter

ABV: 3.8%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle

TWITTER: living under the umbrella of @MarstonsBrewery 

 

JYMI SAY’S…

So I once knew a bloke called Ralph. Though we got on he wasn’t necessarily a friend as such. Now Ralph was well over 6ft tall and probably 7ft wide. He was covered tattoos (I can’t rule out one of them being a Lion wielding an axe), had military short hair and just looked like a right tough b*****d. But there was one thing in particular that really stuck with me about this man mountain. His handshake. I distinctly remember when I first met him and shook him by the mit. I remember almost bracing myself and thinking, “come on Jymi, you can handle this”. I hadn’t have worried. Because I had gone in the with strongest handshake I could muster and Ralph had the handshake of an empty marigold I pretty much crushed all the bones in his right hand to tiny little pieces. I have a feeling this is why we never made it to friends status.

This brings me seamlessly to Banks’s Amber Bitter. Great name by the way chaps, blimey!

The packaging, when it comes to the font, colours and artwork make’s this brew seem like a bit of a tough lad. So you might think what is going on inside the bottle may well follow suit. Well, you would be very wrong. The nose is weak and almost no existent, though not at all unpleasant if you do manage to pick up anything. The taste is thin, weak and a long way from exceptional but again not at all unpleasant. I genuinely think this would work well as a session beer due to the percentage and it actually tasting alright

There isn’t much more to say really…. Bye!

Jymi’s Rating: 50%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

What we have here is a very average British bitter.  I’m stating that right from the outset.

Banks’ nose is malty with a very, very subtle hint of citrus.  It is neither offensive nor is it especially pleasant.  I suppose it is fair to say, like everything else with this beer, it is very run of the mill.

The drinking is incredibly middle of the road (what a surprise) with malt and dried leaves as the main fore-flavours.  Bitterness plays a secondary role here, leading to Banks falling slap bang into the middle of the session ale category.  It has a slightly off texture, which leaves one with the feeling of having had beer flavoured mouthwash once swallowed.

You can’t help but feel that Banks belongs somewhere in the late seventies.

In my opinion, there is no other way to write a review of this beer, than to fill it full of idioms and clichés.  To be fair, the best way to describe Banks Bitter is to imagine a cliché in beer form, well then you will be close to Banks. 

The slogan for this beer should be: Quite Quaffable!

Sammy’s Rating: 55%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 52.5% 

 

MOB review next weekend: DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO STUPID AMOUNT OF MANGO by TO ØL

DCTSAOM PRE

WOULD YOU ADAM n EVE IT, IT’S MOB’S FIRST BIRTHDAY NEXT FRIDAY!!

YES INDEED, IT WAS ONE YEAR AGO THAT WE TOLD YOU OUR OPINION ON LANDLORD BY TIMOTHY TAYLOR’S. AND 52 REVIEWS ON WE’RE TASTING THAT CRAZY THING ABOVE! ↑↑↑

WILL BE POSTING A TOP 10 SO FAR MIDWEEK AND HOPEFULLY HAVE SOMETHING SUPER COOL LINED FOR YOU KATS BY FRIDAY! 

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GUNNAMATTA

BREWER: Yeastie Boys, Wellington Region 

STYLE: Earl Grey IPA

ABV: 6.5%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @yeastieboys

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Right, let’s get a few things straight.  Yeastie Boys is an inspired name for a brewing company and a fantastic nod to a fantastic band (of course, I understand, this is a matter of opinion).  The whole brand is strong with Gunnamatta: it’s attractive and it pulls on one’s inner coolness.

So then when you get to the nose of Gunnamatta be prepared for slight disappointment.  Sure, there are hops in abundance and you get the sense that this is a well brewed ale. But there is a slight after smell, which is a little acrid, and, dare I say it, a little off putting.

Once you get over the scent the beer is, well, it’s very decent indeed.  There’s the definite backdrop of bitter notes with a floral foreground.  While these flavours don’t linger on the palate with Gunnamatta, it works well for this beer. You don’t want the taste to hang around. That’s not because it’s not pleasant, it’s just perfect washing around for the length that it does.  It is a very refreshing and light beer, and while it’s not a big hitter, it is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the multitude that are on the market. 

The thing is, while Gunnamatta is good, and it is well worth a try, there are others out there that just outshine it.  That’s not to say I’d say no to one because I’d most definitely say yes! 

Sammy’s Rating: 70%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

So these boys from NZ have gone for the approach of having their very catchy brewing name leading the way on the packaging for Gunnamatta. This seems to be common across their current range, I’m not sure how much I like it, but let’s face it, it does look pretty cool and if you’ve come up with a name to brew under as good as Yeastie Boys, then you may as well flaunt it!

But with all this song and dance, will Gunnamatta be possessing a licence to thrill?

Let’s have a look…

Well, I have to say, the packaging is super simple but actually quite striking. Really enjoy the cartoon waves which I assume are depicting the waters of the Cook Straight. All dropped onto a great yellow, and with the black font too, nice work.

Once Gunnamatta was in the glass two things hit me. How good it looked and pleasant the aroma was. Certainly not tea like but a nose of citrus and pine. Very good indeed and got me even more ready for that first sip. I have to say I was pretty excited… The can was telling me this IPA had a long dry finish and the fact it’s an Earl Grey IPA suggested that was going to be the case.

Now did The Gunna deliver? Well, quite frankly, yes.. This is a wonderful tasting IPA. The taste upfront is quite in your face and packing a punch with bags of pretty complex flavour and that 6.5% boot in the chops. But then it smooth’s right out. This could be confused for lacking a bit of body but for me it totally works and compliments that upfront flavour explosion. Then comes the long dry finish bringing with it at last those hints of Earl Grey.

Gunnamatta is out of this world. Some might say…. Intergalactic.

Jymi’s Rating: 86%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 78% 

 

MOB review next weekend: BANKS’S AMBER BITTER by BANKS’S BREWERY

BANKS'S PREVIEW

IT’S ALMOST BEEN A YEAR SINCE WE STARTED MUSING ON BOOZE AND WE’RE HOPING TO HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL LINED UP FOR YOU ON OUR FIRST BIRTHDAY 🙂 

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CHIMERA

BREWER: Drygate Brewing Company 

STYLE: India Pale Lager 

ABV: 5.9%

VESSEL: 330ml tin 

TWITTER: @drygate

 

JYMI SAY’S…

POSITIVES: The taste and being told on the back of the tin the name of the artist who created the piece for the packaging.

NEGATIVES: Everything else.

Let’s start with the positives hey? Seeing as it’s starting to get a bit gloomy outside (in the UK) and some folk need that proverbial shot in the arm just to crawl out of bed….. Chimera tastes pretty good you know. It’s super soft and delicate in the mouth but then tee’s off with bitterness. There is plenty of flavour coming out of this puppy but nothing particularly distinctive. It didn’t necessarily blow me away but I found it a very pleasant drop I have to say. For once with a crafty like this you can taste the fact that it’s a pretty big hitter at 5.9% and I quite like that. I’d actually say it points towards more of a spiky ale rather than a lager to be honest, but I don’t particularly care (I actually do, just saving it up for the negative bit), it tastes good so…. well done!!

So the other positive is being told who did that quite distinctive (I really hate it, just saving it up for the negative bit) art work for the can. I was pleasantly surprised to see this as have been disappointed with other breweries not flying the flag of the artist on their products, though don’t want to name names (Beavertown). I enjoyed the nod to the name of the beer in the art work too.

Oh blimey, here come the NEGS!!

Ok, this packaging has annoyed me a lot!! The art itself is pretty cool and very much my thing but just comes over as trying a wee bit too hard to be different. It’s also been let down by landing on a shiny silver can!! Those colours on a black, or even white backdrop would help it along no end. Obviously would cost more to produce but for me would make it stand out from the ever more zany crowd. But as it is it just looks, awful.

INDIA PALE LAGER… IPL…. Seriously? Are we really doing this?? What on flamin earth is INDIA PALE LAGER? I mean the origins of India Pale Ale have never really been got to the bottom of so why of why chuck an India Pale Lager tag into the mix?? If it’s just because it’s pretty hoppy well then…. pah, I’m done with this. And it tastes like an ale too!!! Oh , I’m still ranting.

Now back to the taste and experience. I’ve already eluded to the clever bitter finish which I enjoyed… the trouble is it hangs around forever and seems to build long after the sip which was frankly… troubling.

Drygate could do so much better with a lot of aspects of Chimera but all in all it’s a good lager that I definitely enjoyed.

Jymi’s Rating: 63%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Chimera India Pale Lager had me intrigued from the moment I first stumbled across it down the beer aisle of my local supermarket (yes it is a readily available brew).  My curiosity wasn’t drawn because of the tin; these quirky designs are ten a penny nowadays (one can hardly describe them as quirky anymore).  That’s not to say that I don’t like the design because I do.  It just wasn’t the factor that drew my attention. What did tug my inquisitiveness cords somewhere in the grey matter was the fact this is an India pale lager. We’ve all tried an India pale ale. However, we very possibly haven’t all tried an India pale lager…

The nose has hints of citrusy, fruity notes, although not as potent as one may expect from an India pale ale.  The notes don’t hang around for too long and after the initial sniff it’s hard to pick out anything of distinction.  

It has great colour once in the glass, much more aligned with a pale ale as opposed to a lager.  Chimera is very amber, as one may expect from a lager, but it’s cloudy, as one may not expect from a lager.  

Drinking Chimera is interesting.  There’s some bitter orange hints on the palate, which are supported by some good hop flavours.  But they are so short lived and the aftertaste is very much that of a lager. I find it a little confusing. That’s not to say it’s unpleasant, and it is exactly what it says on the tin: an India pale lager.  

I’m not convinced that pale ales and lagers should be mixed and for me, that means my initial curiosity around Chimera has been satisfied and in the future I will be happy to pass it by in the beer aisle of my local supermarket.

Sammy’s Rating: 66%

 

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 64.5% 

 

MOB review next weekend: GUNNAMATTA by YEASTIE BOYS 

GUNNA PREVIEW

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