CUCUMELON SOUR

BREWER: Adnams, Suffolk, England

STYLE: Sour

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @Adnams

INSTAGRAM: adnams

DATE OF POST: 24th April 2020

JYMI SAY’S…

Well, when it comes to Cucumbers, Melons and Sours I have pretty strong personal opinions on all. So when Adnams put all three together those strong opinions really started to manifest themselves together in quite a way. Questions about how this could work and would it be a tasty brew were flying about in my… melon

Melons – I don’t really like melons. Nor can I eat them as my bod is definitely intolerant to them. My friends found out about this on a trip to Spain once. When out for an early dinner I consumed some sort of fruit salad not realising that it contained melon.

I’m sure my pals were trying to call for help as their friend was in trouble what with his throat swelling up and stuff but it just seemed to be that they were laughing too much. Once the episode was over and I told them that eating fresh oranges made my lips swell up they really lost their s**t.

Cucumbers – It’s not that I don’t like cucumbers, they’re fine, but they are not much more than that. That wet mess in the middle of them has always seemed unnecessary to me. With it removed the cumber is nice enough to consume but with it the whole experience is pretty bland.

Sours – I. Flippin. LOVE. Sours.. if done well of course. If I find myself momentarily blinded due to my body twitching so much from the high tart level of a sour then Jymi is a happy boy.

So how did Cucumelon Sour stack up?

Let’s take this sip by sip…

First sip made these thoughts happen in my head. “Blimey, that tastes like cucumber”!

From there I thought,well, this could be nice and refreshing but I wasn’t picking up any sour really. If you’re going to label something a sour it needs to be sour. So heading into sip two I thought, if I can pick up on some sour here with the refreshing taste of cucumber too we may be onto something.

Nope, sip two was a disaster. It’s not sour. It just tastes like cucumber. It’s terrible.

From there I lost my mind slightly. Whether it was based on frustration, a lockdown wobble or disappointment who knows, but I just chinned the rest of the glass in one. Bizarre. I think I just wanted it to be over… and thank gawd it is.

Jymi’s Rating: 27%

SAMMY SAY’S…

Now, sour is not everyone’s style of beer. If I were to conduct a straw poll with my friends, it would only be me and Jymi that liked them. However, we must assume that others out there do like sours because if they didn’t, then there wouldn’t be a market for them.

The idea of cucumber and melon as a sour is interesting. I’m not saying I’m against it. It’s just interesting. And it does smell of cucumber, with a little bit of melon. That’s no mean feat, to pack in such aromas in the nose.

Then, when you drink Cucumelon, you get the cucumber. And melons there too. but the sour part is absent. It’s not there. Not existent. And the problem is, cucumber and melon beer (without the sour) is pretty awful. It’s like a gimmick. A novelty. Terrible.

If you’re going to make a sour, make a sour. Do it properly. Don’t scrimp. Don’t hold back. Because if you don’t go for it, you’ll end up with something so wishy washy, it’s not worth the can that it’s held in.

And, so, here we are, Cucumelon started off so well. But it ended disastrously. I had great hopes for this beer. But they were dashed. Shredded. Trodden into the ground.

This does not even come close to the great sours out there. It’s not a sour so don’t be fooled!

Terrible.

Sammy’s Rating: 29%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 28%

 MOB review next weekend: LA GOUDALE BLONDE by BRASSERIE GOUDALE



The Virus has not helped the MOB SQUAD this time round… We have had a few words for CLOCKWORK TANGERINE but we’re understandably down on normal numbers. If you happen to find yourself faced with a tin on your next trip to the supermarket then grab one as words don’t go out for another three weeks.
Stay safe
x

WESTMALLE DUBBEL

BREWER: Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle, Antwerp, Belgium

STYLE: Dubbel

ABV: 7%

VESSEL: 33CL brown bottle

TWITTER: @abbeywestmalle

INSTAGRAM: westmallebelgium

DATE OF POST: 17th April 2020

SAMMY SAY’S…

Westmalle Dubbel is, as you’d expect for a Trappist, dark in colour. And that makes it look a little foreboding, as is often the case with this style of beer. But it’s not. It’s light and easy to drink.

In fact, I could see myself supping WD very happily on a warm summer’s day in a bustling Belgian square. Sound idyllic doesn’t it? Well, that’s what I’m dreaming of while swigging it back in my garden during our countries current lockdown.

But it gets me thinking, dreaming perhaps, of a beer trip to Belgium. Drinking the local beers in their natural habitat with not a care in the world (except about which beer next). Oh the places we’d go! The things we’d see (more and more blearily as the trip progressed and the beers flowed)!

As I said, just dreaming. But that’s what WD has done for me during this sunny spring lockdown day in the UK.

Time you tried one I reckon…

Sammy’s Rating: 87%

JYMI SAY’s…

Craft beers used to be really hard to get hold of in the UK and some still are to be fair. Some of the relatively everyday beers from around our globe also used to be very hard to source. You may have known a guy who knew a guy that knew a shop where one could venture many miles to get some of the less mainstream and international beer offerings. But other than that, unless you got lucky, the variety available to us beer drinkers was fairly limited.
Nowadays, things have changed. I have to say I am always amazed at the selection available in most UK supermarkets. Yes you still have the classic 24 lagers for 14p offerings but now you can find a literal wall of ale, as well as an adjoining craft beer wall. The selection is vast and the price is mostly fair if not cheap. Now I don’t care if you’re a purist or not, this has to be a good thing. Tesco winning awards for independent beer retailer of the year in this field is a step too far, I concede, but quality beers well priced that are easily accessible to the masses has to be positive. It HAS TO BE. The fact you can pick up the worldy of a beer that is this Trappist Westmalle Dubbel from a supermarket for under £3 just underlines this.

This beer is an absolute superstar, I am telling you now!

Before you even get to tasting WD the senses of sight and smell get a good working over. This dubbel presents itself an incredible cherry red and the lacing up the side of the glass reassures you that you’re in good hands.

Once drinking, a beaut of a sour cherry nose leads the way into a light and soft sip with the most delicate of touches (please remember this beast is 7%, it will pay to concentrate here). During the sipping experience an almost marzipan thing comes along but even for the almond haters among us this is honestly a good thing. There is such a full dark fruit cherry flavour to Westmalle’s Dubbel but not so much that is comes anywhere near to taking your head off (it’s 7% remember so it will take your head off).

A superb beer that isn’t too complex. Dare I say a starter Belgian?
Can’t actually believe I wrote that.

Jymi’s Rating: 91%


Jymi’s Rating: 91%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 89%

 

MOB review next weekend: CUCUMELON SOUR by ADNAMS

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5/4 FAVOURITE

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5/4 FAVOURITE

BREWER: Ascot Brewing Company, Surrey, England

STYLE: Golden Ale 

ABV: 4.6%

VESSEL: 500ml brown glass bottle

TWITTER: @ascotbrewing

INSTAGRAM: ascotbrewingcompany

DATE POSTED: 10th April 2020

JYMI SAY’S…

Before I even lift the lid on this sucker I need to get a few things off my chest. Ascot ales have gone down the horse racing road of branding with their range. Pretty clever really seeing as Royal Ascot race week is world famous. Now my first and biggest issue here is that their beers are not brewed in Ascot. They are brewed in Camberley, which is 10 miles away AND not even in the same flippin’ county. Now I’m sure business wise this makes perfect sense but I just find it pretty irritating if I’m being perfectly honest. What also irritates me is the name and label. I know we’re on the horse racing theme but 5/4 Favourite as a name? Really? Surely ‘The Favourite’ or something would be better? Oh I don’t know. Also going down the jockey silks road for the label I like, but please do better if you do. Please.

Anyway, I need a beer after all that ranting!

And thank the good laaaawd that it is a good one! In fact, it’s a great one!!
5/4 Fav pours a gorgeous thick brown that then brings us a light citrus nose. When getting into the taste the amount of flavour coming from this beer tells you that you are instantly onto a winner, and I suppose at odds against that is a good thing. There is a lovely build of lemon that then turns to an almighty bitter burst. It really is delightful.

All in all, as I’m sure you have to come realise, this is a splendid beer all dressed up in ridiculous robes. But at least this Surrey brewer has got the most important part oh so very right.

Jymi’s Rating: 75%

SAMMY SAY’S…

I’ve never had much luck on the gee gees. But then, I’ve never put a bet on a favourite, especially not a 5/4 favourite. The thing is, I’ve had more luck in the beer world. I’ve had the pleasure of trying many beers, you see. Some of them good, some of them great, some of them less so. And just a few come in as a good old favourite.

I have to say, much about Ascot’s offering impresses me. I’m on board with the whole racing theme. I mean, what else is there in good old Ascot? And there is the danger that such a theme could be gimmicky and lack any sort of punch in the drinking. Happily, that’s not the case with 5/4. It’s quite a charming beer. For a golden ale, it has some great bitter notes, but not too many. And its crisp, light and enticing.

Funnily enough, 5/4 Favourite would be right at home at the races. Unlike me. But when I come across one of these bad boys on tap, I’m going to be seriously tempted into supping one down, any time of the year on any occasion.

Well done Ascot Brewing Company, you could put Ascot on the map for something other than horse racing. Except it’s brewed in Camberley, which is a different county altogether. Oh well, doesn’t detract from the beer!

Sammy’s Rating: 82%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 78.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: WESTMALLE DUBBEL by BROUWERIJ DER TRAPPISTEN VAN WESTMALLE

WEST DUB PRE

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MOBPACKS TWO

MOBPACKS TWO ARE COMING!!

RESERVE YOUR PACK OF 8 RECOMMENDED BREWS FROM THE MOB ARCHIVES BEFORE 1ST JUNE TO QUALIFY FOR A DISCOUNT.

Yes, the second wave of Muse on Booze recommended beers are currently being weighed up by Sammy & Jymi and will be leaving the depot on 1st July!

 

The beer budget must be over flowing due to lockdown 😉 

 

TO RECEIVE 1st JULY MOBPACK, SHIPPED TO WITHIN 30 MILES OF ASCOT – £20 (more than 30 miles £30)

or FOR THE THIRSTY, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RESERVING MOBPACK THREE NOW AND SAVE YOURSELF £5 IN THE PROCESS!!

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HOW MOBPACKS WERE BORN…

10th April 2020

So there I was, sitting in sunny isolation letting one’s mind drift… thoughts of how nice it would be for beer lovers to be able to sample some of the splendid beers that Sammy and I have reviewed over the years. Some are very easy to come by, others not so much. But in isolation most are a flippin nightmare to come by, let’s be honest. But drift on did go my mind and it’s next stop was, “What if I got hold of a selection of some cracking brews that we have reviewed for the Muse on Booze readers”? What a great way that would be to pass the time, some decent beers to sit back and ponder on.

So I did get hold of a selection of cracking brews!!

The rest, is history…

 

TWITTER: @museonbooze

INSTAGRAM: muse.on.booze

BEER IS BETTER TOGETHER PEOPLE – LET’S DO THIS

PUPA

BREWER: Vibrant Forest, Hampshire, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @Vibrant_Forest

INSTAGRAM: vibrantforest

DATE POSTED: 4th April 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

There are things in life that are good. They fit the bill. They tick boxes and make you happy. But they could be better. They almost hit the mark; they’re close but you feel they’ve left something in the tank. And then the whole overall experience, while being ok, is just a little bit of a let down.

Pupa is like that.

It’s got lots going for it. And I like it. But it somehow just falls short. It’s light and crisp. And the nose is great. But the drinking, it’s just not packing enough of a punch. And for some beers, that works really well. But for Pupa, it feels like it stops too early. It’s got more to give but it’s held back.

I don’t want to be hard on it because Pupa is good. It could just be better. And that’s a bit of a problem for it because there are beers out that in its class that are better. A lot better.

Oh well, you can’t have everything….

Sammy’s Rating: 77%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

The New Forest, a quintessentially English region of Great Britain. It bares such quaint towns like Lyndhurst and Lymington, as well as hundreds of idyllic English villages. Relatively left alone on the south coast, if you ever have the good fortune to drive through certain areas of the New Forest, wild horses roam freely across the roads, whilst seemingly endless landscapes are in abundance. It really is just a splendid part of England’s green and pleasant land.
Now, Vibrant Forest have waltzed along with their rather multicoloured neon flag and jammed it straight in that New Forest ground. A pretty brave move. This packaging is hardly quintessentially English and I’m sure this beer isn’t going to be either.
The packaging is fantastic however! So sinister yet bright, dark yet…Vibrant. FANTASTIC!

Let’s see if the beer is…

Well it’s not fantastic, but it is very good.
It all starts with the olfactory thrill of passionfruit up the schnozz. It makes this pale alluring beyond belief. Next is that first sip… well the passionfruit does not transfer from hooter to moosh but the flavour is still good and one of citrus. Pupa is also lovely and dry which complements the flavours nicely. However, where this brew falls down, I believe, is in the body. It’s too thin for me and detracts from all the positives already mentioned. It just needs to be a bit fuller to take it up a wee notch towards greatness and beyond.

But all said, this is without doubt a good beer and if I saw it again I would happily dive into a few.

Jymi’s Rating: 80%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 78.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: 5/4 FAVOURITE by ASCOT BREWING COMPANY

5to4 PRE

We do hope whoever is out there reading this dross in the wild world we call home is well and looking after themselves and all around them who may be in need. These are bizarre and trying times. Sammy and I have a bit of a beer backlog to wade through so will hopefully see us through to the end of this and not interrupt scheduling. Meanwhile, the next MOB SQUAD offering comes in 6 weeks. Clockwork Tangerine thankfully is stocked in most UK supermarkets. So if during your next shop you happen to happen across one then grab and get involved. Drinking one and telling us your five words to describe your experience will at least pass about 10 minutes of your time!

Stay safe. See soon.

x

 

 

 

CH’TI

BREWER: Castelain, Hauts-de-France, France

STYLE: Biere Blonde

ABV: 6.4%

VESSEL: 33cl brown bottle

TWITTER: @Biere_CASTELAIN

INSTAGRAM: brasseriecastelain

DATE POSTED: 27th March 2020

JYMI SAY’S…

Pretty ugly looking little brute this isn’t it?!

Can you imagine… you’re laying there in your deck chair enjoying the mid afternoon French sun when the thought crosses your mind. “I fancy a bloomin beer I do”. So you mop your brow and reach for one of those little bell things that rich folk have in the movies. You ring said bell and Bruno your trusty butler appears from nowhere to tend to your need. “What can I get you sir”? “Can I please have an ice cold beer my good man”. “Of course sir”. Bruno then whizzes inside with alarming pace to fetch your request. Upon his return the mood turns rather sour. It’s not Bruno’s fault, he didn’t design this thing. Bruno can see the disappointed look on your face and you spend the next 2 hours explaining to him that although the look of a beer bottle doesn’t effect the taste of the beer it certainly goes a long way towards a beer being appealing or not. Eventually you get to the moment where you crack this gloomy looking mess open only to discover that sunshine does lay inside.

Ch’ti, as is to be expected from a French blonde, is light, crisp and smooth with a touch of sweetness knocking around. It is about as classic as it gets really when it comes to this style of beer. And it is certainly good. But it is not great. It does the job. However there are superior brews out there in this style that are simply doing a better one.

Jymi’s Rating: 67%

SAMMY SAY’S…

I’m going to get it out there straight away: as an English speaking person, this is a pretty awful name for a beer. I mean, I’m sure in it’s native France, it’s pronounced in a perfectly acceptable way. But here, you can’t escape the giggles that follow as soon as the name of this beer is uttered: Chti…

As a product, it’s very acceptable. It’s quite light, it’s easy to drink and it has a pleasant sweetness about it. Chti (still giggling) is what you’d expect from a French beer.

However, for me, it doesn’t do too much to impress. It’s got no, how do you say it? Ah yes, je ne sais quoi.

Would I have one again? Most definitely.

Would it be top of my list? Most definitely not.

Are there better beers out there? Yes.

Are there better French beers out there? Yes.

Sammy’s Rating: 74%

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 70.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: PUPA by VIBRANT FOREST

PUPA PRE

SEVEN WEEKS UNTIL CLOCKWORK TANGERINE FOR YOU MOB SQUADERS OUT THERE

BEER IS BETTER TOGETHER

 

URBAN

BREWER: Jubel Beer, South London, England

STYLE: Flavoured Lager

ABV: 4%

VESSEL: 330ml brown bottle

TWITTER: TOO COOL TO TWEET

INSTAGRAM: jubelbeer

DATE POSTED: 21st March 2020

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Urban suggests something cool, on trend, hip even. Yet this Urban is cut with elderflower. And let’s be honest, that’s not very urban at all, is it? Actually, it’s quite rural. And, almost a little bit gimmicky.

But let us not shoot it down before the lids even been popped off of the bottle…

Smelling like elderflower cordial is good, if you’re looking for an elderflower cordial. I’m not sure it works so well on a beer, particularly one called Urban. Not quite getting the vibe of this yet.

Look, when you drink Urban, it’s not terrible. But it’s not good. It’s quite watery and not really beer like. I’d say it’s more like a shandy with elderflower laced through it. And that folks, ain’t how I like to drink my beer.

Would I drink it again? Hmmm, possibly yes, as a replacement for a thirst quenching shandy. However, the thing is, I’d rather have a thirst quenching beer. Like a proper beer. After all, that’s what this whole blog is about. Urban is like, well, it’s like a cordial. It’s gone in seconds but I’m not left feeling satisfied after the whole experience.

Urban is not very urban. And it’s most definitely not for this cat.

It don’t look like beer. It don’t smell like beer. It don’t taste like beer. So I’m declaring that it ain’t a beer.

Sammy’s Rating: 40%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I like beer me.

One does also like the delicate and quaint taste of the elderflower. Wonderful.

But do I like BEER CUT WITH ELDERFLOWER as Jubel so obviously tell us? No, not really.

I have to say as soon as I knew this was coming up to test my head thought that Elderflower beer could defiantly NOT work unless it was a super light ale or a lager. Thankfully when I read the slightly off the wall writings (I know, I can’t talk) on the back of the bottle I was told that Urban was a lager. So it had a chance of at least working. But it didn’t.

The taste, well, is one of elderflower at the start and then cuts to lager. Though not disgusting it really isn’t what you want from your brew. The only positive that can be drawn is that in a super hot setting like a beach chill or over at a pals for a BBQ, as long as super cold it would go down well, almost like a soft drink. However it would actually become very sickly very quickly.

This is just a confused beer really, if you can even call it a beer. I admire the bravery and innovation here but sorry Jubel, I’m just not a fan.

Jymi’s Rating: 47%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 43.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: CH’TI by CASTELAIN

CH'TI PRE

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