Beer Me! Jaipur vs. Jaipur X – Clash of the Thornbridge Titans?

Jaipur1After the self-harm that was playing the recently released Bloodborne, I needed some form of beery respite to calm the goddamn hell down, and to stop me looking uneasily into every shadow.

Thankfully i’d left a couple of lovely beers in the fridge to top off an incredible Sunday roast dinner (Pork joint, awesome roasties, and proper homemade Yorkshire puddings, just in-case you were wondering….sorry).

An interesting one this – Thornbridge’s 10 year anniversary is upon us, and to celebrate they have brewed an anniversary edition of their first beer – the delight that is Jaipur. Reletively little introduction is needed to Thornbridge, they were one of the first to really kick the UK craft beer scene into action, so they are rightly held with some high regard. I thought it would provide a good opportunity to revisit the classic, and give the “X” a good go, having missed it on draught on release.

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First up is the classic, Jaipur, clocking in at 5.9%. The instant you pour the light flax-like beer, it froths into it’s beautiful cream-ale style head, chilled to perfection.

Quickly, and without having to go near it, your head swims with passionfruit, pomegranate seeds and a hit of lime. There’s this light spiced ale aroma to it, reminding me of a passage from an old Star Wars novel (sorry, nerdcore) where Han orders from a dive bar – amazing memories. It’s Wit-like, but with a bigger bready malt quality, without the coriander.

It slips down the throat too easily – citrus juice explodes like taking a bite out of a breakfast grapefruit, with every part of the pucking aftertaste, big lemony undertones, overplaying the lime aroma.

It’s just made my cat do her typical “Ahmergherd, Alcohol” face. I have not yet posted a cat picture. I may yet. I am thankful she isn’t into beer, for it’s my one vestige of defence of food and drink that she won’t steal. FInally a small alcoholic hit dissolves into the juicy aftertaste and it’s done. Too easy drinking really.

Round 2 – ding ding.

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Onto the “X”. It pours a little darker, as expected, but is unexpectedly light bodied for a 10% beer. It retains a light froth, clinging to the glass like fine lace – beer clean glass? Yes, Sir.

There’s a huge alcoholic punchiness on the nose, yet there’s no denying it’s roots. A lot more strong lime, almost a cordial element – with a weird touch of liquorice that might just be me going crazy.

The first taste overwhelms, and gives a huge toasty caramel sweetness, almost giving a berry tartness. Syrupy. The sweetness is massively overplaying the classic Jaipur bitterness, giving a mandarin or orange squash (from concentrate, natch) swirl to the palate.

There’s no huge aftertaste, but there ‘s more juice in this fruit. The alcoholic warmth is there, only.

“If it ain’t broke” applies to this situation, but as a beer in it’s own right, its…fine? Glowing Endorsement as that is.


DISCLAIMER: I work for BrewDog and sell BrewDog, Mikkeller and Stone Brewing Co beers into the “North” of England.

Beer Me! Westbrook Brewing Co – Gose

Back again, and this time with a beer that’s certainly been doing the round on the hype-train – Westbrook Brewing Co’s Gose. Now, this is a style i’ve never had before, so really have no point of reference, but wow, was I blown away…

Guff on the website:

GOSE

4% ABV     5 IBU

This is our interpretation of Gose (pronounced “Gose-uh”), a traditional German-style sour wheat beer brewed with coriander and salt. Once nearly extinct, this very refreshing style is making a comeback.


Initially it hits a fine line between musty and fresh but actually, going back to it, it’s incredibly bright and fragrant – just a different style of aroma than I’m used to.

It reminds me of Lemon Ice tea, wheat beer ester-style yeast display – and heavily opaque in colour – it has a light lemon-juice yellow look to it (much unlike the 1000 filter production i’ll inevitably post on here).

There’s a weird Umami beef tomato warmth that hits you – it’s so slight but it underlies the aroma

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Taking that first taste, and it’s all overpowering – Lemon, lime and indian tonic water – almost a gin note to it – I expect from the coriander, but no creaminess that you expect from the wheat.

The effervescent nature of the beer swirls around on the tongue leads it to play with your senses, giving you sparkling cava and sour gooseberry.

WB_Gose2Then as it finishes and falls down your throat, there’s a big lime salsa monster circling around your esophagus, flailing around with his arms of subtle chilli heat but without the spiciness.

It’s a liquid tank of childhood sweets. Sour Haribo tangfastics, with salt highlighting your tongues papillae and making them sing in chorus.

A truly excellent beer that I will continue to search out on the run-up to hot summer drinking nights.


DISCLAIMER: I work for BrewDog and sell BrewDog, Mikkeller and Stone Brewing Co beers into the “North” of England.

Beer me! Fourpure Brewing Co’s Southern Latitude

I’m a huge fan of Fourpure – they popped up on my radar last year, and their simply designed, minimalist graphic cans grab your attention as you wander the craft beer aisles of your local emporium.

Kicking off with a simple 5 style concept, they’ve since expanded, producing limited runs and seasonal specials, as ever in the world of craft beer, you can’t rest on your simple concept for long, the public demand more and quickly.

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Southern Latitude is probably my favourite of their recent run, although on closer examination, rather than the previous “Mmm….” before chugging its contents into my pie-hole, I’m not quite as big a fan as previously thought.

In my, admittedly patchy, memory, this was a beer with a huge voice, operatic, and ranging through big juicy high notes, to baritone depths. It made me sit up and say “wow” to the hop varietals contained therein – Galaxy, Topaz and Centennial, sweetly playing along with the American Pale Ale vague descriptor – one that is bastardised all over the UK with its variant of innards.

This, however, was nothing of the sort.

I doubt it’s age – it’s only been a couple of months since it’s release, and canning, as we are now starting to wave the flag for more rapidly, is more likely to preserve its inner quality. Maybe, with the squinting eyes of someone trying to subjectively talk about a beer, it’ll affect the palate, purely by focussing on what you’re subjecting it to with magnifying-glass-like focus.

FourPure_SL2

As you can see, it’s completely opaque. An orange cordial that primary-aged children would make, given half the chance. A huge frothy head clings to the glass desperately, giving off HUGE juicy orange peel aroma. It smells like Umbongo. Not a bad thing at all.

The taste is not in line with its aroma – expectations of sweetness a given – instead swiftly dealing  an initial cold, harsh, possibly even brash initial bitterness that very much belies its light and thin mouthfeel. Watermelon rind. You feel there should be grassy particles, as the aftertaste gives way to an almost chlorophyllic hit right at the back of the mouth.

It’s certainly tangy, and easy drinking, but not as nice as I remember. A shame.


DISCLAIMER: I work for BrewDog and sell BrewDog, Mikkeller and Stone Brewing Co beers into the “North” of England.

Beer me! Stone Brewing Co’s Japanese Green Tea IPA (2015)

So it’s been a while…

I used to write a lot, now I mainly tweet. I believe time and a lackadaisical attitude to social media will do that to a person, but it’s been too long and I feel the need to do so once again.

I’m a passionate beer drinker, in fact I believe friends and colleagues alike would say i’m Mr. Enthusiasm, but my growing fascination with beer has developed into first geekery, and then a job. I’m pretty pleased with how it all worked out to be honest, and it’s opened my eyes to an ocean of possibility regarding beer and beer styles. I still recognise my knowledge of beer is low, but i’m hoping through doing this and beavering away studying for Certified Cicerone, it’ll work wonders!

My geekery of beer has certainly stepped up a gear recently, where I am now purchasing specialised glassware, purposefully designed to impart more aroma and experience to the pallet as possible – I grin every time I use it. It also has the added benefit of looking slightly rude. Hur hur hur.


I guess this will be my first proper attempt at getting down and dirty with discussing a beer – and I’ve brought something rather special to the opening party – the updated version of Stone Brewing Co‘s Japanese Green Tea IPA.GTIPA_1

This is a collaboration brew, not only with Baird Brewery’s Bryan Baird, but with Toshi Ishii, a former brewer at Stone, and now founder of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co. Lovely to have the story written there on the back for you to see, I love that about the beer industry, the collaborative, and in some cases, weirdly incestual nature of where people work and work with.

Sooo, first impressions: Looks a little hazy. That’ll be all the sexy flavour in there.

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Smells of musty hay, belgian yeast-like but with higher notes to it, obviously green tea, avocado? Avocado maki sushi rolls! Awesome. Really light aroma considering its 10.1% abv.

Tastes bright and herbaceous as the guff on the back states, but they’re absolutely right, more botanical/tropical bright hop vibes. It tastes like a visit to a Botanical garden – inhaling the warm air as you rove through the vibrant plants and rainbow-hued insects.

I know this sounds poncey. Sorry.

Long aftertaste where the bitterness really kicks in and you get green grass and pine – but not too dry which makes a change for this “style”.

It barely tastes 5% let alone 10. This is instantly quaffable, so i’m incredibly glad I bought two bottles, the second being saved for my next ADVENTURE IN BEER (read: getting sozzled) with a good friend.

Final word: Nom.


DISCLAIMER: I work for BrewDog and sell BrewDog, Mikkeller and Stone Brewing Co beers into the “North” of England.