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

 

HOPPIT

BREWER: Loddon Brewery, Oxfordshire

STYLE: Bitter

ABV: 3.9%

VESSEL: 500ml

TWITTER: @Loddonbrewery

INSTAGRAM: loddonbrewery

 

JYMI SAY’S…

It must have been 4pm on a leafy Monday when Reg from the Muse on Booze beer sourcing department (MOB²SD) called to let me know that this week we would be reviewing Hoppit from Loddon. I distinctly remember this because of just how much his description of what was coming over piqued my interest.

Reg told me that the label wore a great purple dragonfly and the drink we were being given to test was a classic bitter. ‘Swwweeeet’, I said to Reg. He then tried to say something about not getting too excited and I definitely interrupted with something along the lines of ‘hey hey Reggie boy, settle down, when you make it to the dizzy heights of beer reviewer I may come a knockin’ at your door for some sort of input but until then, leave it to the experts buddy’. He then began a retort but I just hung up as I had heard enough.

The next morning I awoke before dawn, made a high powered coffee and settled into my day. There was a knock at the door.  The beer was here. “Cheers matey”. Door closed.

I opened the package.

“What the f*’k is that”??  I said, out loud to myself.

My first thought was that Reg had misled me. But no, what he said was correct but I didn’t listen to that clever fella trying to tell me what was really going on. The great purple north-west heading dragonfly IS fantastic but what on earth happened to the rest of the label design? Disaster.

However, what remained was the fact that this was still a classic bitter so as long as it was then things had to take a positive turn.

Meh.

Ok, the taste of this beer is better than the packaging but still isn’t particularly good. A lot of the early notes I made included the word average but the further I got into the drink the more I’m not sure that was even the case. On a positive note there is an OK soft hint of caramel in the middle of the sip but honestly, that’s it for the positive thing. It’s a little harsh on the palate during the swallow and there is a dank aftertaste that didn’t really do it for me.

I wouldn’t say I hated Hoppit but I’m really not that much of a fan either.

…and apologies to Reg for me behaving like a diva beer reviewer.  We all know one ai?!

Jymi’s Rating: 48%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

So, you’d think the name would say it all: Hoppit. You’d be expecting hops, right? But on the nose you just don’t get smacked in the face with it. You have to sniff deep to find those aromas. And even then, they’re hardly there.

But in the drinking, the hops do come through. They’re prominent. They’re there in the beginning and they’re there at the end. This is where the beer lives up to it’s name: Hoppit.

But the question has to be is this a unique brew? For me, the answer has to be a no. It’s good, and it’s well balanced. And to be fair, it has a lightness, which is pleasant in a bitter. The key thing is, it’s just not stand out. It doesn’t do enough to separate itself from the pack.

Like many bitters, Hoppit will definitely have its fans. I really do get why this is the case. It’s warming in a British way. And, for a fairly newly established brewery, I like the way Loddon is sticking to traditional flavours and blends. This is a plus point. But Hoppit is just not the one for me.

That being said, would I order it in a pub? Most definitely. I have done and will do again.

Sammy’s Rating: 72%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 60%

 

MOB review next weekend: TROOPER by ROBINSONS

TROOPER PRE

56 DAYS UNTIL THE NEXT MOB SQUAD THOUGHTS SO YOU HAVE LOADS OF TIME TO GET PURCHASING, SIPPING AND RATING

THE BEER IS JAIPUR by THORNBRIDGE

 

 

 

 

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?!

WANT TO BE A MEMBER OF THE MOB SQUAD? IF SO THEN DROP US A MESSAGE AND WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. 

You can contact us via:-

E-MAIL – museonbooze@gmail.com

TWITTER – @museonbooze (direct message) 

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

MOB SQUAD JAIPUR PRE

GET INVOLVED!!

BEER IS BETTER TOGETHER

BIG WAVE

BREWER: Kona Brewing Co., Hawaii

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 4.4%

VESSEL: 355ml bottle

TWITTER: @KonaBrewingCo

INSTAGRAM: konabrewingco

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Big Wave has to be one of the most understated beers that I think I have ever consumed let alone reviewed. I have known in the back of my mind for some time that Kona brew some decent pop as I have had the odd one over the years and the word on beer street is that these specific Pacific kids know precisely what they are up to. So when I broke the lid off of the beautifully embossed bottle and finally got stuck into my test and review two thing immediately hit me.

First off, where had half of my beer gone?

Well, oddly, I had drunk it. To say this Golden Ale is refreshing, juicy and instantly crushable is an understatement (literally three visits to the glass and it was GONE).

Secondly, I was a little taken aback by the lack of hard hitting flavour. It tasted great but wasn’t all up in your face like I had maybe expected it to be. I had to go searching a little for what Big Wave was offering up flavour wise but once discovered oh very my my was I taken aback once more!!!

This is an insanely good brew!!

Big Dub is so very smooth and so very crisp with lime and grapefruit notes subtly meandering around the whole tasting experience. There is a soft sweetness to this masterstroke of an ale that is then finished off by a very slight almost undetectable bitter hint. The whole invention just works in perfect harmony and is just an absolute wonder of a thing.

This may not be a big obvious hitter but what it is is total genius and I really can’t say more than that.

Liquid Aloha ♥

Jymi’s Rating: 90%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

I’m going to start by saying that I’ve never been to Hawaii before. It’s not that I don’t want to; I’d love to. But, let’s be fair, its a long way to go and quite costly at that! However, if I had of been to Hawaii, then I reckon Big Wave would be a pretty good reflection of such a trip.
Big Wave looks like it comes from Hawaii and it sounds like it comes from Hawaii. And that’s a good thing. But it has much more going for it than just it’s clever marketing…
You see Big Wave has it all. Its got a great nose, which is actually incredibly refreshing. It’s not heavy on tropical aromas and you may find this surprising for a beer that you might think would have a tropical aroma, given its origin and all. It’s also quite unusual to describe an aroma as refreshing, but that’s exactly what it is.
And then you drink Big Wave. And wow, it’s good. It’s subtle on the flavours, which some may find a little disappointing, but not me. But this light flavouring makes it incredibly refreshing. In fact, a couple of sips in and I’m heading to the fridge for another. It’s well balanced with light fruity hints that are almost non-existent. They’re there just enough to keep you interested.
Big Wave has it’s roots in Hawaii and that’s exactly what it tastes like. And I love it.

Sammy’s Rating: 92%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 91%

 

MOB review next weekend: HOPPIT by LODDON BREWERY

HOPPIT PRE

MOB SQUAD’S VIEWS ON BIG WAVE ARE COMING…NOW!!

Take a look. It’s a new idea we are going to run with for now. Let’s see where we end up. If you want to get involved with MOB SQUAD then send us an email (museonbooze@gmail.com) or hit us up on Instagram or Twitter and we will let you know the next steps.

BEER IS BETTER TOGETHER

 

 

KNIGHT OF THE GARTER

BREWER: Windsor & Eton Brewery, Berkshire

STYLE: Golden Ale

ABV: 3.8%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle

TWITTER: @windsoretonbrew

INSTAGRAM: windsoretonbrewery

 

JYMI SAY’S…

So next week the MOB SQUAD turn up to offer their thoughts on BIG WAVE by KONA BREWING CO.

The way it is going to work is that Sammy and I will do the same as we normally do each week but running along side of that will be a collective team named MOB SQUAD, obvs. They will be putting forward their individual thoughts on BW but in only 5 words, plus a percentage score that will go towards a collective percentage rating. It’ll make more sense once live next week.

So to get into the spirit of this I’m going to limit my review of KOTG to 5 words per topic I want to bring up. Even though the MOB SQUADERS are limited to 5 words total it’s kinda on script…  kinda.

Anyway, KNIGHT OF THE GARTER

PACKAGING: Disappointing, Underwhelming, Unnoticeable, Weak, Fun.

NOSE: Beery, Prominent, Classic, Fresh, Nostalgic.

TASTE: Light, Smooth, Citrus, Sessionable, Great.

Go get one!! And if in that there Windsor get to their tap room, it will not disappoint.

Jymi’s Rating: 75%

 

SAMMY SAY’S… 

Golden ales can be middle of the road. Often at times they sit somewhere in the beer wilderness, not doing too much. They can be beery but lacking in personality. This may seem a little harsh, but it’s true.

And then we have Knight of the Garter from Windsor and Eton Brewery. It most certainly isn’t middle of the road. It’s an exceptional golden ale. Actually, it’s an exceptional beer full stop.

Windsor and Eton Brewery has packed citrus flavour into this brew. It’s crisp and refreshing, perfectly balanced with hops and acidity. And this runs all the way from the nose through to the sipping and onto the aftertaste. This magical balance makes Knight of the Garter really drinkable. It’s a pleasure to have in hand.

Just a note to the creatives at W and E – the label could do with a little bit of a brush up. Apart from that this is a top drawer beer.

Knight of the Garter epitomises what a beer should be. And I cannot wait to have the next one!

Sammy’s Rating: 89%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 82%

 

MOB review next weekend: BIG WAVE by KONA BREWING CO.

BIG WAVE PRE

… and yes, the freshly assembled MOB SQUAD will be offering their words on this beer too.

 

GYLE 59 IPA

BREWER: Gyle 59, Dorset

STYLE: IPA 

ABV: 5.3%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle 

TWITTER: @Gyle59brew

INSTAGRAM: gyle59

 

JYMI SAY’S…

I’m really loving how different this beer is from packaging to taste and nose to look in glass. It’s not weird different. It’s not controversial different. It’s not trying too hard different. But it is… different.

The packaging is fantastic. It’s neither breathtaking nor thought provoking. It’s not daring or unconventional and there isn’t a skull in sight (this isn’t a dig at Beavertown, I tried to give Gamma Ray 33 points for packaging I seem to remember). But it is striking. The subtle Gyle 59 circles logo, shape of bottle and gorgeous green label make this brew a real sight for sore eyes.

In the glass this IPA hardly looks like a beer at all but more like a high end freshly squeezed apple juice.

Texture wise this brew is again not really like a beer but more like chilled quality still water. The mouth feel is absolutely exceptional.

Now the taste of this ale is a really tricky one. I like it, in fact I really like it, but it is very bitter. And I mean VERY BITTER!! To be totally honest there is tonnes of flavour coming out of Gyle 59’s IPA but picking out what that flavour was proved impossible for me as I couldn’t get beyond the cheek splitting bitterness. But as I said, I really like it.

This IPA is a total move away from the norm without being out there. Gyle 59 have dared to be different and my has it worked out.

Beaver cocked.

Jymi’s Rating: 77%

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

A lot of thought has gone into Gyle 59’s IPA. Before even chilling the bottle, you can’t help but notice the detailed information on the bottle. What this says very clearly, is this company care about their beers. This in turn, builds hope because companies that care about their beers, usually brew good uns.
It is notable that Gyle 59’s IPA is bottle conditioned. On opening, you’re hit with the most earthy, sweet and hoppy aroma. And the colour as you pour it is mid-amber. But the biggest give away to the quality of the beer is the cloudiness.
This IPA is great to drink. The lack of carbonation is a welcome break (a little like the service station) from the norm. The liveliness of the flavour, which is sharp upfront, followed by long bitterness, changes with each sip. You’d expect nothing less from such a well thought out product. This is genuinely a revelation to drink and it’s refreshingly different.
For something a little different in a bottle, this is well worth getting your hands on. Gyle 59 are clearly proud of their products, and so they should be. The quality of this brew and this product shines through.

 

Sammy’s Rating: 85%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 81% 

 

MOB review next weekend: KNIGHT OF THE GARTER by WINDSOR & ETON BREWERY

KOTG PRE

ON NOVEMBER 8th THE PIONEERING MEMBERS OF MOB SQUAD WILL BE LETTING YOU KNOW THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE BEER THAT SAMMY AND JYMI WILL ALSO BE REVIEWING

 

 

 

VOE

BREWER: Swannay Brewery, Orkney

STYLE: Stout

ABV: 5%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @SwannayBrewery

INSTAGRAM: swannaybrewery

 

SAMMY SAY’S…

Surely everyone loves some bright colours? And if you don’t, then go and have a quiet word with yourself and try to understand why you should like them. It’s plain to see the team at Swannay Brewery like them – and rightly so. They’ve made them stand out on Voe and it really works.
But then you open the can and pour it out and you are faced with a stout. Which begs the question, do bright colours belong on a stout can?
To begin with, I find it slightly misleading…
But then I get into the drinking and realise that it does work. These bright colours do belong with this stout.
Voe has bags of flavour. It’s on the sweeter side for a stout and that makes it different. It’s slightly nutty and has a light burnt coffee taste. Overall, it gives a light warming feeling.
Usually, stout is an autumnal/wintery beverage for me. Voe, though, could work anytime of the year. And that means its bright colours are well-earned. Good job Swannay Brewery – you’ve brought some colour to stout!

 

Sammy’s Rating: 78%

 

JYMI SAY’S…

Stout, in a bright multicoloured tin, really?

Well yeah, really, it’s happening in front of your very eyes so you better believe it.

I love it!!

But not all will. I guarantee if our pal Ralph the landlord was gifted a tray of these to trial on his local customers he would in fact chuck the whole tray in the canal (followed by some cash in sealed weighted bags that he was trying to hide from the tax man and retrieve at a later date).

This packaging really won’t be for the traditionalists and many will say it’s just the craft beer lot being zany but for me it’s good to see the breaking of a mould. It’s so different that you could understand folk idling by thinking that this wasn’t a stout at all. It’s only when you read the small words printed on the label, Smooth Oat Stout, that you realise what you’re in for.

And what you’re in for is very good indeed!

Voe brings you a very smooth, very light and very tasty drinking experience. This is yet another surprise to be fair as the nose is of deep cherry chocolate. The initial taste could probably be described as thin but this is fine because it is followed by a creamy delight and then a faint smoky aftertaste.

This is a lovely beer, yes it’s lacking a flavour explosion but that is almost it’s genius.

Jymi’s Rating: 83%

 

MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 80.5%

 

MOB review next weekend: GYLE 59 IPA by GYLE 59

GYLE 59 IPA PRE

MOB SQUAD IN THREE WEEKS