Bavaria 0.0% – The Review

bavvySince I started doing Sober for October and raising some much deserved money for Macmillan, I’ve been trying a variety of non-alcoholic beverages – as you’d expect. Even though common sense and certain experiences tell me that it’s the ‘proper’ brews readers will  be more interested in, I thought it’d be a nice way to celebrate my ABV abstinence and open up a bit of a discussion on different ways to enjoy beer.

It’s an interesting proposition for me this. I know Bavaria lager quite well. It’s not bad. It’s often quite cheap, it ticks the refreshing taste boxes and also satisfies my quiet need to realign myself with my Dutch heritage. However, I didn’t know they had a no-alcohol version. With all this in mind, I can’t even say what my expectations were, other than that I thought they had a good chance of brewing a competent beer. I’ve cracked one open now, though, so let’s have a look.

Vital Stats

 

Look Well, the head went quickly, but I couldn’t say it was any different to other lagers I’ve had. It looks nice and lively, but it’s too pale for me. Especially the way it looks almost colourless at the edges, it strikes me as watery, which is a shame because it’s not. 4/10

Aroma It’s single dimensional, to be honest, but really nice. If you’ve ever been in a brewery and smelled that wet malt smell, then this beer’ll remind you of it. It’s this simple effectiveness that exemplifies why I’m so passionate about taste experiences. It manages to smell sweet, though, so it’s not all great. 7/10

Taste Straight off you get a wonderful malty mouthful, quite bready. There’s a very slight bitterness, only very slight though. Normally I’d say the lack of balance would be a bad thing, but it’s simply an enjoyable taste as it is. There’s quite a bit of sweetness, which isn’t good for me, and the mouthfeel’s odd. I can’t decide whether to commend it for managing to be creamy, or whether to condemn the strangely thin finish. Manages to classsily avoid the tacky metallic taste of non-alc lagers like Beck’s Blue. 6/10

Value £2.50 for a pack of four seems like a great deal. Admittedly I might be guilty of judging it by regular alcoholic drink prices, but, to be honest, I don’t know how much it costs to brew both types of beverage, so I don’t know if I’m being ripped off or not haha! But no, I think for the taste and the amount, that’s a great price. 9/10

Session Well, I mean, you can fill your boots can’t you? I don’t know whether I should say this [I don’t want to put anyone off or criticise a company erroneously], but I feel a bit odd after drinking a lot of non-alcoholic beer. Almost light-headed… Anyway, I’m not going to go into all my symptoms because it’s boring to read and it might be an idiosyncrasy particular to me and no-one else. Still, I have to give it a 5/10. On paper it’s a great session drink, but not for me!

I really think you should try this, just to see what you think of the flavour. I think there’s a lot of promise, but quite a few unfortunate setbacks. I may be being a bit harsh here, but I’m giving it 62%.

Alhambra Mezquita – The Review

mezI was bought this as a birthday present from a mate of mine who has visited Lunya in Manchester. Apparently it’s a restaurant and bar, but, more importantly for me, it also has a shop, so foodies and ‘drinkies’ alike can take home a small slice/drop of Spain.

I was lucky enough to be given a few bottles, all of which I’ll probably review them at some point, but today I’ll start with this abbey-style offering [yes, it’s not just Belgium that has abbeys!]. It is described as “Ideal for high quality beer lovers” – so let’s test that!

Vital Stats:

  • 7.2% ABV
  • Brewed in Cordoba, Spain
  • Superior red ale style
  • Comes in 330ml bottles

Look Darker than I expected. A bright, chestnut colour. Glassy and clear with a loose head. Looks delicious enough! 7/10

Aroma Well it practically jumped out the bottle; oaky dryness and dried wheat mix with subtle fruits and a hint of hops. Didn’t distinguish itself as terribly exciting, but it certainly had power. 7/10

Taste Very much led by the malts. You get the dry huskiness mingling with nutty flavours, which makes me think it was oak aged, but I can’t find any info to back this up… Anyway, there’s a light caramel note, leading into a bit of raisin and a touch of spice. There’s also a buttered toast element going on, so plenty to appreciate. Despite its refreshing, fizzy mouthfeel, there’s no mistaking its high alcohol content with the brandy-like warmth of it. Very long finish, which is groovy. 8/10

Value It was a present for me, so should get 10/10, but I’ve seen it online for £2.09. Especially for a beer of this strength, that’s not bloody bad. For the experience, too, it’s pretty good. 8/10

Session Obviously it was never really brewed to be a session ale, in fact they recommend it to be drunk in winter, or, if in summer, as a long drink. I couldn’t manage more than one of these in succession. It’s a heavy taste, which, when combined with the very long finish, makes it one to savour toward the end of the night. The high alcohol took its toll quickly too! 4/10

In summary, this is well worth a go for those that like barrel-aged beers, or big, higher-alcohol beverages, but not one with mass appeal ‘to try at all costs’. It has a lot more depth than some I’ve had, although there’s plenty of comparable bottles [some Innis and Gunn beers, McEwan’s Export to name a couple] if you can’t find this one.

Final score: 70/100

Manchester pale ale (MPA)

PaleAleJPG

I’m a scouser born and bred, i’m so Scouse that when i grow my hair i start to look like the men off harry enfield, i’m that Scouse that i look like a parody of my own Scouseness, i have the curly hair and yes i do have a funny way of saying “chicken and chips”. This has seen me reviewing some beers from my city recently but for this one i ventured to our neighbour in the east, Manchester to see whose beer is better. I’m going to let you in on something, its Liverpool but then i could be a little biased.

Vital stats:

Look:

in the glass the beer was toffee in colour, it was somewhat active but had a very little head, id describe it more as an ale rather than a pale ale in look, i guess no one let them know it was suppose to be pale in colour. despite that it looked like a pretty solid ale.

7/10

Aroma:

Not only did it look like ale is smelt like ale as well, nothing really stands out in the aroma of this beer it just smells like a generic middle of the road ale.

2/10

Taste:

This is a pretty solid standard ale that you could have in any pub on this fair island, this isnt a slight on the beer, sometimes this is what you need, much like a comfort blanket sometimes you want to go in, order a drink and know exactly what you getting. that is this beer all over its not amazing but its not offensive either. Although you do get a slight taste of lime in the aftertaste. This is a very middle of the road beer.

4/10

Value:

This is a very inoffensive beer, you get what you pay for here, its neither brilliant or bad it just is and theres nothing wrong with that. sometimes you just want a beer cold at the end of the day and this fits the bill and can be found reasonably priced nearly everywhere.

6/10

Session:

This is a pretty solid session beer, i have nothing to say about this beer due to it being totally unremarkable and that actually helps it in the session, you can literally drink this all night long and not even realise,

7/10

As i have said throughout this review, this beer is rather unremarkable, its very middle of the road and plain, saying that though it does offer more than generic larger “A” that you’ll find in most pubs. it looked ordinary, smelt like an ale and even tastes like one. if this was a colour it would simply be egg shell white, ordinary but with aspiration of grandeur.

52/100

Jack hammer

IMG_0725

Another week, another Brewdog beer, Brewdog made their name doing these big bold flavoursome beers. This is a hit and miss strategy for me. Some of their beer are amazing while others fall flat. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground in this regards, this beer is most definitely on the latter end of the scale falling flat with a rather strange taste.

Vital stats:

 

Look:

This beer claims to be a IPA, i don’t understand what Brewdog’s obsession with them is but every other beer they produce seems to be an IPA, despite this being an IPA this beer was very clear in the glass, not very lively and looked quite flat, not to mention a complete lack of head. very strange considering this is an IPA from Brewdog and normally they pride themselves as being over the top.

5/10

Aroma:

The aroma is where this beer starts to fall apart, naturally i got the bitter hops that the bottle promised but i think they over delivered and added a little too much, the more i smelt this the more the beer started to smell like stinging nettles, not a good quality in my opinion.

4/10

Taste:

so i thought that nettle smell was an anomaly and it turns out it wasn’t, this beer tastes of nettles as well, very bitter nettles, this tastes like something Hugh Fernley Whitingstall would serve to people on his TV show while he stands over them while they fake satisfaction sounds. This just isn’t for me, if thats you cup of tea fine but its not mine.

3/10

Value:

Coupled with the unusual flavour, this beer was expensive, i bought it in my local Brewdog and after drinking it i thought i paid too much.

2/10
Session:

oh the session, that part of the review were we discuss the process of drinking lots of this particular beer, this is not a session beer by any stretch of the imagination. that bitter taste kept coming back over and over again and its not pleasant on the first mouthful let alone the tenth.

1/10

In conclusion this beer fails to deliver for me, on the Brewdog website they claim this is bitter and i agree but there is such a thing as too bitter for me and this is most definitely too bitter, both on the tongue and the nostrils, due to this bitterness i didn’t enjoy drinking this beer and cant recommend it to any one currently.

30/100

Liverpool Craft Love lane

CC7_SQHW0AA0D6x

So today we continue our look at the beers of Liverpool Craft beer, this follows on from the highest rated beer we’ve ever reviewed (here) and surprisingly our lowest ever (here), both of which come from this brewery. i’ve also said that this is my one of my favourite brewerys in liverpool, that being said though we dont have too many brewiers up here on the banks of the mersey. this beer has often become my default beer in my local and something i recommend everyone try.

Vital stats:

  • pale ale
  • brewed in Liverpool, England
  • 4.5% APV
  • drank on draft from the grapes liverpool

Looks:

in the glass this beer was golden and very active, almost as active as a five year old hopped up on artifical colours, it also had a bold and bombastic two finger head that clunge tot he glass for dear life throughout the life of this beer.

8/10

Aroma:

This beer also delivers on the nostril, it was bold, packed full of citrus and incredibly hoppy.

8/10

Taste:

To say i like this beer would not be doing it justice, when i first had it it quickly entered my top 10 and may have rekindled my love for the pale ale. the flavour of this beer explodes in the mouth with just the right hit of bitterness.

I love this beer. Its one of my go to beers.

8/10

Value:

This beer get a solid buy from me, i bought it, i enjoyed it and would happily buy it again.

9/10

Session:

This is a great session beer, ive been known to drink it all night with zero problems. i also recommend it to who ever will listen.

9/10

In conclusion this is a solid beer from Liverpool craft. it looks fantastic, is great on the noise, delivers on the flavour and you can drink it all night long. yes i did just do that. i naturally consider it great value for money and would highly recomend it to anyone who will listen.

84/100

Craft Liverpool rye pale ale

59e522aa16f4c17fedea10a9e4694a7a_320x320

So we continue our look at the beers of the Liverpool craft brewery, after the truly stellar beer that was their west coast pale ale (review) comes their Rye pale ale. To say these two contrast would be a huge understatement, im a fan of the rye pale ale, i actively seek it out and have been trying to review as many of them as possible recently but this left we with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Vital stats:

  • brewed in liverpool
  • a rye pale ale
  • available in Keg/Cask/Bottle
  • bought at brewdog liverpool
Look:
this beer was cloudly and looked like apple juice in the glass, it also had no head to speak of and it was very flat. if im honest ive made homebrew that looked quite similiar, but i am adversed to filtering my beer as i like to bottle ferment. this beer was not bottle fermented so they cant even use that as an excuse for this horrid looking beer. this looks more a kin to a glass of scrummpy than a pale ale.
 3/10
Aroma:
delivered nothing, so i have nothing to say.
1/10
Taste:
on the tongue though this does at least offer something, you do get a kick of rye and a hit of citrus but not much, shame there both buried quite deep down. im really struggling with this beer im not going to lie, im trying so hard to find things to say.
3/10
Value:
As i said in my previous review i consider Liverpool craft to be one  of my top brewerys and this beer is just a shame, they make two of my favourite beers (more on the second later), if i see one of their beers on tap im likely to pick it up but i can honestly say i didnt enjoy this beer in any way, sure i can find some good things to say, if i look hard enough and believe me im looking pretty damn hard because i dont want this to be true but i cant recommend this to anyone.
2/10
Session:
to top it off the Flavour of this beer doesn’t travel too well, the more you drink the more bitter it becomes, perhaps its feeding the bitterness in my soul but each mouthful of this was worse than the last.
2/10
this beer was a huge disappontment for me especially as their last beer was so great and the beer to come is one of my go to beers. this looked like homemade cider only without any real aroma. what little taste their was bitter and overpowering, all of these factors mean that this isnt good value for money and i cant call this a very good session beer. a true shame.
22/100

Liverpool craft West coast pale ale

IMG_0622After last weeks bevy of Brewdog beers i’ll be taking a look at some beers closer to home, we’ll be looking at Liverpool craft beer company’s beers, this review is for West coast pale ale and as a little preview this has become one of my favourite beers to enjoy in sunny liverpool.

Vital stats:

  • brewed in Liverpool
  • comes in 330ml bottles
  • californian pale ale
  • 6.2% APV

Looks:

this beer comes in a a 330ml bottle with a simple green and white label, it was was incredibly lively in the glass, when i poured this out i guestimate it was 90% head, lovely frothy white head. when i got the head down to a resonable size the beer was cloudy and toffee in colour.

9/10

Aroma:

something has changed for me in recent months, i seem to be craving hops, wonderful bitter hops and when i put this to my nose thats exactly what i got, beautiful hops with a little citrus thrown in for good measure. it was very yeasty yet also inviting even if it did make the eyes water slightly.

9/10

Taste:

this is a beer full of bold flavours, its very hoppy and yeasty, perfect for the beer garden if you ask me. despite this big bold flavour its still somewhat delicate on the tongue, although its big on flavour its quite quick to disapate, it gives you just enough to want more and never overstays its welcome.

9/10

Value:

i personally think this is fantastic value for money, especially at this time of year. there is a link between the weather and beer if you ask me, a beautiful sunny day does so much to improve your over all mood that its not hard to assume that it also improves what ever your drinking, this is why you’ll think estrella is the best larger ever when your drinking it on a beach in Spain but even the most beautiful beer can be a truly miserable experience if your cold and wet. i’ve tried this beer alot and each time ive love it, in winter ive even been known to use this to remind me of sunnier climates.

9/10

Session:

this is a great session beer, honestly i cant say enough good things about this beer. ive had it alot, ive had one at the end of the day and several in a day session with friends. i love it and would recommend it to you all over and over again.

9/10

this could be the highest rated beer we’ve ever done had on all hail the ale and obvisoulsy its hit all areas for me.  its starts by looking great, follows this by hoppy and lively aroma and follows this with powerful hoppy goodness that i’ve come to love, because it delivers in all areas naturally its great value for money and honestly i could drink hundreds of these without ever getting bored. it deserves such a great score and i recommend it to everyone who will listen.

90/100