BREWER: Goose Island, Illinois, USA


ABV: 5.9%

VESSEL: 330ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @GooseIsland

INSTAGRAM: gooseisland

DATE POSTED: 17th November 2017 





.a large/medium waterbird with a long neck, short legs (occasionally long), webbed feet, and a short broad bill. Generally geese are larger than ducks and have longer necks and shorter bills.


2. informal

 a foolish person. “‘Silly goose,’ he murmured fondly”

“WHO’S THE GOOSE”?  Eddie shouted brashly.


verb;  informal

1. poke (someone/something) in the bottom.


ale; definitely informal

1. A fantastic IPA. True story.


Well, for me the words beer and American together used to evoke a mild grin if not an hysterical laugh. The main protagonists that produced these facial movements still loom large, of course they do, and they probably always will, BUT we have a player in town that seems to know exactly what they’re doing.

This is one clever drink.

Is it an old trad IPA? No. Not even close.

Is it an NKOTB hipster super duper IPA? No. Not even close.

Is it absolutely marvellous? Yes. Yes it is.

Goose Island have nailed this!

I personally don’t even like the look of the bottle , but, it just works.

It’s modern without being hipster, it’s old ale without being a glass with a handle. It’s very clever and it get’s the thumbs up from Jymi.

Jymi’s Total: 81%



Goose IPA is an American interpretation of one of the British favourite beers: India Pale Ale. Crossing over between craft and big brewery, Goose has a lot to live up to – and boy does it live up to it. This is a uniquely identifiable beer that is worthy of carrying the IPA label, albeit with Goose Island’s own spin on it.

It’s probably fair to say that Goose IPA is aimed at satisfying both lager and bitter drinkers, and it does this with ease. The bitter notes of the taste are a surprise when they’re paired with the sweet aromas. The flavours have length and leave the drinker fully aware that they are drinking a high quality product. So that looks after the bitter drinkers. Lager drinkers are taken care of by the fizz of this beer and its ability to be drank all night long, without apparently breaking any rhythm. Goose IPA truly is a beer for all occasions and for all drinkers.

It is rare that you have such a successful cross-over beer in so many aspects. Goose Island have achieved something very special with their IPA. This beer runs through the beer checklist leaving a wake of ticks in its trail. Go on – you know you want one…

Sammy’s Total: 88%







BREWER: Sharp’s, Cornwall


ABV: 4.8%

VESSEL: 500ml bottle




Sharp’s, a big brewer by anyone’s standards, has turned out some world-renowned beers. So is Wolf Rock one of these? In my humble opinion, sadly, it is not.

While Wolf Rock is not the worst beer by any stretch of the imagination, it lacks in all areas and the sum of these parts leads to an overall underwhelming whole. The poor nose from this ale is the first sign that something is amiss, and while the taste is not on the disastrous level of the aroma, it is still lack lustre and the shallow flavours leave you wanting more. It does slip down nicely enough, but having a string of Wolf Rocks is a battle that I wouldn’t want to enter into.

Although Wolf Rock will never be a trail-blazing beer for Sharp’s, or for anyone else for that matter, it does have its place and it will have its following. Unfortunately, I will never be one of them. However, I can see a place for this beer for a one-off on a cold winter’s day and I do, strangely, understand Sharp’s thinking with this one.


TASTE: 33/50

NOSE: 4/10




NAME: 4/5

INFO: 5/5

S-TOTAL: 64/100



So it’s off to Cornwall we go and to the now world famous Sharp’s brewery, but rather than starting with their flagship brew we thought we would go with the still readily available, but slightly lesser known, Wolf Rock.

I’d first like to state that historically I am generally a huge fan of a Red IPA so was very much looking forward to testing this slick looking little puppy.

I’m going to start with the beer itself…

It’s tasty. I like it, I do. Blown away by it, probably not, but I do like it. The nose is curious, almost like toffee based soap! Is that a bad thing? I’m not totally sure!! It’s really smooth but also really rich so I’m not sure too many could go down before moving on. All that said, it definitely gave me the sense of being a Cornish Atlantic coast fisherman (not that I would have the first clue what that would be like as I’m pretty fearful of the ocean as well as boats and to be totally honest fish scare me a fair bit too), coming off the trawler after a hard few weeks out to sea and getting to the nearest pub for a good ol’ ding dong with my fellow workers and friends.

Packaging wise, I think it looks great. The colours work brilliantly together and somehow give the bottle an understated wow factor. The Grey backdrop with the Red and Silver hints I think are great. Really Sharp (sorry, that wasn’t even intentional).

Now here comes my problem. The taste and packaging of this ale don’t belong together for me.

The bottle doesn’t make me feel like a rugged brave fisherman and the beer, though good, doesn’t possess a wow factor nor is it sharp.

But all in all, looks good and tastes good, and that cannot be a bad thing.  


TASTE: 39/50

NOSE: 7/10




NAME: 4/5

INFO: 5/5

J-TOTAL: 78/100








BREWER: Two Cocks, Berkshire

STYLE: English Bitter

ABV: 3.8 %

VESSEL: 500ml bottle 




“Now what on earth do we have here”?  I thought to myself, staring at the bottle of Leveller whilst eating scrambled eggs at 5am on a Monday morning.

I knew I had a few days to get the review done so there was definitely no rush, but…

Day 2

I  sat down once again, this time with a bowl of  Rice Krispies, and stared this new feathered acquaintance straight in the proverbial eye and said, just what are you all about?

I got no answer…. Bit rude , I thought.

Days three and four, I have to say, were pretty similar to day two (other than the choice of breakfast).

Then came test day.. Friday.

I bowled in from work, said hello to the family and settled down to test. After all my musing I had finally decided that I was undecided…. as much as I loved the feather as part of the packaging there was something just a little pretentious about it.

The only way to get round whether the packaging was going to score zero or get full marks was this…

Before pouring this utterly fantastic ‘caramelly’ smelling ale into the glass, I decided to take my first sip from the bottle. If the feather tickled my nose in any way it was going to be a zero, if there was no hooter contact it would be a ten…. It was a ten. And let’s be honest, rightly so, it looks fantastic!

And so, on to the beer…

This is a total champion of an ale. My initial notes had the words POWER ALE written very heavily in 9B pencil and those words were not wrong. The lack of head once poured was a little odd I thought but the taste was fabulous. A classy yet classic Sunday bitter!

Fantastic beer, fantasic and individual packaging. Very well done Two Cocks, I must say.


TASTE: 40/50

NOSE: 8/10




NAME: 4/5

INFO: 4/5

J-TOTAL: 84/100



Every now and then you come across a beer you’ve never heard of, and that’s exciting enough. Even more rarely, you come across a beer that you’re just not sure what to make of before you even begin the tasting journey. Leveller fits into the latter of those categories. The packaging is the first point of trepidation: a feather secured into the label…

Once poured into the glass, it’s blatantly evident that this is a high quality bitter. It fills the nasal cavity with strong, chocolaty aromas that tempt you to drink straight away. The first sup is such a treat…smooth and complex. And the next one is no less disappointing, neither the one after that. Leveller achieves so much. It really is a joy to behold. Quite frankly, it’s a cracker of a beer.

In hindsight, had I been savvier, the feather is not a point of trepidation, it’s mark of small batch quality. Only an ale that is produced on a small scale could include a real feather in its packaging. Having the confidence to do so, highlights that the brewers have the highest belief in the quality of their product. And they are so right to do so. Leveller is unique, deep and keeps on coming. A must try for all beer drinkers. This beer deserves all accolades that are heaped onto it.


TASTE: 41/50

NOSE: 8/10




NAME: 5/5

INFO: 4/5

S-TOTAL: 85/100







BREWER: Gipsy Hill, South London, England


ABV: 4.6%

VESSEL: 330ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @GipsyHillBrew

INSTAGRAM: gipsyhillbrew

DATE POSTED: 27th October 2017



So, we’ve all had those moments in our lives that will stick with us forever. Whether it be getting a shiny new bike for your birthday as a youngster, meeting a new addition to your family for the very first time or in my case being given a pair of multicoloured tie-dyed silk pyjamas as a teenager.

Life seemed so simple before these came into my possession but just by the sheer look of them I knew that there was a far more complex world out there for me to discover.

Fast forward 20 years and that complexity came to me under the guise of Hepcat by Gipsy Hill, and my, was I glad that it did…. This is one incredible tasting IPA! Simply stunning.

The look of the bottle, though pretty cool, didn’t do a lot for me if I’m honest but once involved with the actual beer itself it was only good news.

The smell is unassuming and pleasant. The initial taste is breathtaking (note: please don’t take breath whilst consuming). Taste overall is of complex citrus tones and is very good indeed.

Then comes the absolute pièce de résistance, it is soooo smooth! An absolute delight.

Hepcat is a major player when it comes to modern hipster IPA’s. It’s as complex as a pair of tie-dyed silk pyjamas and as smooth as a……. pair of tie-dyed silk pyjamas.


Jymi’s Rating: 80%



In recent years, the world has become awash with craft beers. You only have to walk down the beer aisle of any mainstream supermarket to see how this phenomenon has taken off. This is fantastic news for the consumer but brings struggles for the, often small-scale, brewers to find their place in this overcrowded and highly competitive market. To survive you have to be good…

It’s when you first pour Hepcat into a glass, and are hit by the tropical aromas, that you get an insight about the incredible taste journey you are about to be taken on. From the first sip to the last draining of the bottle, Hepcat is truly outstanding. It manages to pack a complex, fruity punch into every sip. The depth of flavours roll around the tongue and leave the drinker’s mouth wanting to go back for more straight away. And each time, you are never left disappointed.

Hepcat is a craft beer that packs a punch. This is one for all seasons, any time of the year. As soon as you (very quickly) empty one vessel, you’ll straight away be reaching for the next. It’s one of those – you’d be happy to have this as your forever beer.

Sammy’s Rating: 86%






BREWER: Fuller’s, West London, England


ABV: 5.3%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @Fullers

INSTAGRAM: fullers

DATE POSTED: 20th October 2017



I once knew a chap called Phil*. Now, my first impression of Phil was not a good one. I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but there was something about him that didn’t sit well with me. I think it was his dress sense. However, once we got chatting it soon materialised that he was a really good guy, dry sense of humour, but a really good guy….

Which brings me seamlessly to the Bengal Lancer.. The MIGHTY BENGAL LANCER!! Now, much like Phil, the packaging is hideous and not appealing whatsoever. I think it’s the purple, though it’s my favourite colour, it’s just not working here. But, once you delve deeper things start to improve considerably!

This is an exceptional ale. I truly adore it. There is just something about it that puts it above your everyday ‘classics’. It comes across quite dry, which is what I like about it, and I’m sure I picked up some hints of coriander along the way.

Awful looking but let us not forget that it’s what’s inside that really counts, and what’s inside is fantastic.

Phil, should you ever read this, I am not implying that YOU have hints of coriander.

*Phil is not Phil’s real name, and there is a small chance he doesn’t actually exist.

Jymi’s Rating: 74%



With big breweries come big beer ranges. And while that means there’s a wide range of selection for the consumer, it also means that each beer runs the risk of being easily lost amongst the crowd.

Bengal Lancer is strong in all areas but stands out in none. It has a good nose and is easy to drink one after the other and it doesn’t lose its appeal. The taste is deep, while not commanding any domain of its own in the beer world, and will leave a wide range of different beer drinkers feeling fully satisfied. And therein lies, perhaps, the biggest strength of Bengal Lancer: it will appeal to a wide range of ale drinkers, from the seasoned pro to the newby. But it’s probably fair to say that, save for a small handful, it won’t be topping the favourites list.

So does Bengal Lancer fall off the metaphorical beer cliff without leaving a distinctive mark of its own? It most certainly doesn’t, it stands tall amongst the huge Fuller’s range and will not disappoint on any level. That having been said, Bengal Lancer has no unique quirks about it, which launch it to the level of being a standout beer. But hey, very often being good at being normal has its strengths. Bengal Lancer is well worth its place in the Fuller’s fleet.

Sammy’s Rating: 75%





BREWER: Timothy Taylor, West Yorkshire, England

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 4.1%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @TimothyTaylors 

INSTAGRAM: timothytaylorsbrewery

DATE POSTED: 13th October 2017



There’s no escaping it – the packaging and marketing are dated, even with recent updates. And although this may be a conscious decision by the creatives at Timothy Taylor, it leaves Landlord as a brand that is aimed at the older generation and appears to be left behind the growing beer pack. This may seem counterintuitive…but behind the packaging is a beer that stands tall and packs a punch with the best of them.

Let’s face it, an ale like Landlord couldn’t really be left behind – the name says it all. It is the Landlord of the Timothy Taylor brewery and when you’re the flagship of such master brewers you’re at least keeping pace with the rest…the taste is deep and has lasting complexities. It has an aroma that could only be that of a British ale – and a stand out one at that.

This ale is one for all and, dated marketing aside, it’s a mainstay of the ale elite. This beer is one to be enjoyed for all occasions. So whether you’re settling down for an evening in the pub with old acquaintances (of which Landlord is one), enjoying a Sunday afternoon sup or socializing at a barbeque Landlord will be a trusty friend in all cases.

Sammy’s Rating: 71%



If you’re lucky enough to have an old man, and an old man that took you down the pub back in the day when you were maybe, I dunno, fourteen?? Then you’ll understand what I’m about to say.

TT Landlord tastes like a PROPER ale. A PROPER PROPER ALE!

Is it the best bottled pale ale in the world? No, of course it’s not. But when it comes to a classic tasting British ale that you could happily sup in front of an open fire or whilst eating or preparing your roast dinner of a Sunday then you will not go far wrong with this beaut. TRUST ME.

Packaging is dated (even with the recent update) and frankly, I love it! In all honesty, I preferred the previous packaging but that’s probably just me.

Landlord is great, make no mistake.

Classic ‘ALE’ in taste and look.

Jymi’s Rating: 82%



Welcome to Muse on Booze…

Muse on Booze

Welcome to our blog where we …errr, have a muse on booze.

Sammy and Jymi are just a couple of dudes who love the odd drink and also love to rate stuff, as we all do hey? So why not combine the two.

We review a beer every week and post it each weekend. So keep those eyes peeled now won’t you. As time ticks on we’ll be doing a few other booze related bits and bobs too, so again. EYES. PEELED!

See soon..

TWITTER: @museonbooze