Light and soft this may be, but it has enough flavour and character to keep my interest right down the glass.
Pouring a bright straw gold, the aroma is honeysuckle and strawberries and a little earthy yeast.
There’s a yeasty bite in the flavour as well, it’s gently salty and it adds an extra layer to the soft caramel, sugared doughnut and honey of the malting and the dry and pithy herbal greenery of the hops.
And with a finish that’s long and crisp and dry, Buckskin Blonde is a beer I could drink all afternoon.
Wowsers, this is good.
Obsidian is a Blueberry Stout, a big bold beautiful blueberry Stout that pours an inky black with a purple tint and smells like a Cadbury’s Flake and a glass of Ribena.
Rather like an after school treat if yo can remember that far back.
Taking a mouthful there’s a great big digestive biscuit, rum and raisin chocolate bar, honeycomb and waffle malt and a very pleasing bitter and pithy snap of nettles and hedgerow from the hops.
They’re green and fresh and lightly herbal and they make bright slashes across that dark malt heart.
And then there’s the blueberries.
They’re plump and juicy and really rather sexy, adding a meaty berry pulp to the beer and making the finish rich and ripe and fruity.
Obsidian is delicious.
You know me, I like to be honest even if the people that my honesty is directed towards aren’t altogether happy with what I have to say.
This time the people who may not like what I have to say are my fellow beer geeks.
And that is because this little IPA from Innis & Gunn is a really decent beer.
It’s got a good mandarin and honeysuckle aroma and it sits all bright and perky in my glass.
The hops, Mandarina, Centennial and Cascade, are fresh and lively, with mown lawns and lemon zest, steely herbal leaves and a splash of orange juice, and there’s a soft and subtle caramel wafer biscuit malting to provide some sweet backbone.
This may not be a Magic Rock or a Kernel, but it’s worth checking out and can be found on the Innis & Gunn webshop and in their I&G Kitchens.
Mother’s Ruin is a Juniper IPA and I absolutely love it.
It’s crisp and clean and clear, the juniper berries giving you a gin brightness in both the flavour and the aroma.
You find a decent caramel wafer, honey and shortcake body from the malts that reminds you that this is indeed a beer, and the hopping brings pithy dry mown lawns, dewy woodland undergrowth and a cup full of nettle tea.
The orange rind that’s also been thrown into the beer adds a pleasant zesty zing, but it’s the crystal clear Juniper that makes this beer so very good.
Well now, let me start at the very beginning.
This is a Black IPA.
But not any old Black IPA.
No, this is a Black Forest inspired IPA, brewed with hand picked Spruce tips and forest blueberries.
Does that sound good?
It ought to.
Now, strap yourselves in because here we go.
Before opening the beautifully labelled bottle I picked a slab of prime mind altering 70’s German Rock in the form of Faust’s “IV”, let the opening song, “Krautrock” kick in, and then sat back and poured.
The liquid slid an inky black, slipping into my glass like a black hole in a Moorcock book.
The smell of the beer is warm and Stouty, with a rich fruitiness, brambles and honey, but as I lifted the glass to my lips and took my first sip I realised that Mets is far more IPA than Stout.
There’s an immediate rush of spiky green pithy hedgerow, bitter lemons, lime leaves, woody tobacco and the driest most metallic garden herbs I could imagine.
The malting is over-baked fruit cake and treacle tart, providing a dense chewy backbone while those Spruce tips make the beer super sticky, pine needles prickling around the juicy flesh of the blueberries that add a softness to the killer dry finish.
By the time Faust IV reached its third song, the drifting mind expanding throb of “Jennifer” I was absolutely smitten.