Mikkeller Single Hop Series Citra (6.9%)

Another great beer from Mikkeller, but then would you expect anything else?
This one simply does what you want an IPA hopped with Citra to do, but gets it absolutely right.
The malts create a solid toffee and spun sugar, brown bread, biscuit and honey base, it’s round and satisfyingly chewy, and the Citra gets to work all over your face, giving you lemon bonbons and grapefruit zest, a little marmalade and some refreshingly bitter herbal leaves.
All this makes for a beer that’s a delight to drink and that leaves you with a superbly clean bitter finish.

Source: Hippo Beer

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Blacks Brewery World’s End (8.5%)

My third beer from Blacks of Kinsale and I continue to be impressed.
This is an Imperial Stout brewed with cocoa husks and vanilla pods and it’s very good indeed.
The beer pours an impenetrable black with a little cappuccino head and smells of chocolate ice cream and BluTak.
Taking a mouthful you find a big round mouth filling beer that’s all about its malting.
Great slabs of dark chocolate coated in honey, wholemeal toast and toffee, a hit of espresso and a spoonful of bran flakes make up the body of the beer.
You find some crunchy autumnal leaf litter hopping too, maple syrup and marmalade and twist of lemon zest.
And while all this is going on the cocoa husks create a woody, almost powdery chocolate hit and the vanilla pods take the drink into a deeply sensuous and satisfyingly rich finish.
I want more Blacks beer.

Source: Imperial Beer Club

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Metalman Brewing Co. Heat Sink (5%)

I was expecting this to be super and sadly I was expecting far too much, because this is really disappointing.
There’s a descent enough chilli heat that grows in the finish and the beer looks pleasant in my glass, sitting a deep dark purple brown, but the aroma of chocolate and cardboard boxes isn’t great.
Taking a swig the most noticeable thing is that there’s a massive gap right in the heart of the beer.
There’s just not enough body.
If you’re going to stick Chilli in your beer, and I for one love a chilli beer, then you need to temper it with a thick and creamy body, something of substance, but there’s nothing here.
A little bit of chocolate and a tiny bit of black coffee, the merest hint of toffee and that’s your lot.
It’s just not heavy enough to stop the beer feeling empty save for its little chilli hit.
What a shame.

Source: EeBria

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Mescan Brewery Westport Extra (9.3%)

Mescan, based in Ireland, brew their beer using traditional Belgian techniques and, most importantly, they do it very well indeed.
Westport Extra is a rich and creamy Belgian style Quad that pours a bright gold with a big billowing head and smells of candy canes and lightly spiced bread dough.
The body of the beer is a Demerara sugar syrup, waffle, shortcake and bruised apple core malt delight, and the hops jump out of this sweetness with a super fresh herbal leaf metallic hit, lemon zest and orange juice.
In the finish the yeast pops up with a warm and earthy spiciness that adds an extra depth to the satisfyingly boozy end of this lovely beer.

Source: Imperial Beer Club

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Green Flash Brewing Co. Cosmic Ristretto (8.2%)

I like Green Flash a lot and this Baltic Porter with espresso makes me like them a little bit more.
And it’s all about the balance.
Where a lot of Porters with coffee lean so heavily on the coffee hit that they become thin and stomach churning, Green Flash ensure that the beer is thick and round and rich and that the coffee is an added extra rather than the main event.
And so you find a solid treacle tart, spun sugar, honey and brown bread malt, some rum and raisin chocolate and hint of tamarind from the malts, along with a good bitter hedgerow and hazel, lemon zest and redwood hop hit.
The beer pours a deep purple brown and smells of malt loaf and honey with freshly brewed coffee at its edges, and that’s where the coffee sits as you drink.
It slides in from the edges adding a delicious woody warmth to the end of the beer, a rich and delicious fresh espresso hit that works with the brandy warmth of the alcohol to give a finish that’s deep and satisfying.

Source: Hippo Beer

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