St. Mars Of The Desert Barba Vs. Fuma

Barbapapa (10%)
This Imperial Stout does all the things you might ask for if you were to make a list of things you might want an Imperial Stout to do.
There’s a deep rich malt body full of treacle tart, black coffee, burned wholemeal toast and sticky runny honey.
Then there’s even more malts bringing thick dark bitter chocolate and custard cream biscuits.
You also get a welcome slap of fresh bitterness from the hopping, all autumnal woodland walks, red leaf litter and black cherry stones.
And then in the finish the beer goes thick and dark with liquorice, Demerara sugar and warm Jamaica rum.
This is a beer to wallow in.
Super stuff.

Fumapapa (10%)
So this is, I’m guessing, the same beer with an addition or substitution of smoked malt.
There’s a lot of good stuff in here.
Dark chocolate and black coffee, treacle tart, cherries, prunes and, simply put, Black Forest Gateaux.
The smoked malt adds a warm woody, rolling tobacco fug, comforting and inviting in equal measure, while there’s a deep boozy heat that makes the finish of the beer feel very sexy indeed.

Source: Pop’n’Hops

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Signature Brew Co. Anthology 21 & 20 Remixed

Well now, here’s a thing.
Not only have Signature brewed their 2021 version of their Imperial Stout, but it turns out they’ve also stuck a load of their 2020 version in Tennessee Bourbon barrels and left it to soak in the good stuff from its wooden bedroom.
Here’s what we have as a result:

Anthology 2021 (9%)
This year’s version of Anthology, Signature’s Imperial Stout is a great big drunken hug of a beer.
I decided to enjoy it with one of my very favourite LPs, to sink into the music and the beer and wallow in the sounds and the flavours.
Rum and raisin chocolate aromas drift up as I take my first swig where I’m met by deep dark chocolate, vanilla pods, lashings of coffee and freshly baked treacle tart.
This is a beer with a pastry rich, dessert of a body.
There’s a little red leaf litter pithy dryness from the hops that add a prickle of sharpness to the edges of the beer, but with the push of the boozy warmth, this is a drink all about its round rich malting.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a record to listen to.

Anthology 2020 Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (11%)
Take an already brilliantly made Imperial Stout packed with liquorice and treacle tart, deep dark coffee, tobacco leaves, burned toast and rich dry bitter chocolate, a beer that’s already bristling its boozy muscles, a beer that’s wearing a rather snazzy waistcoat of hoppy orange and red autumnal leaf litter crunch, marmalade stickiness and pithy herbal leaves, and wrap it in a dark and damp woodiness that’s heavy with brandy and bourbon, prunes, plums and a hint of woodland mushroom and you’ve got a sensational beer and a review that has managed to be written in one breathless sentence, which is kind of like listening to the LP I’ve pictured this beer with.

Source: Signature Brew Co.

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Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren: ABK In The UK

After enjoying a couple of beers from Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren (ABK) in the past, a German brewery with a seven hundred year heritage, it was with excitement that I was contacted by Drinks Aisle who told me that they would now be distributing the ABK range in the UK.
And so I smiled politely and asked if I might be able to grab a bottle or two for review.
They said yes, and I’m very pleased that they did.
I mean, look…..

This Radler (2.8%) is just what I needed after my forty mile bike ride this morning, and is also very apt as a Radler is a cyclist.
For those of you, and I’m guessing there’s not many, who don’t know, a Radler is basically a Shandy, a 50/50 blend of Helles Lager and Lemonade.
And this one is crisp and sweet with a soft honeycomb and biscuit malt and lashings of sweet and lightly zingy lemons.
There’s not a lot else to say here really, other than it’s gone down a treat.


ABK’s Hell (5%) is a superbly balanced Helles Lager that pours with a lovely frothy head and an aroma full of lightly spicy honeysuckle.
The malting is creamy and smooth, with caramel and wafer biscuits providing a sweet biscuit base, while there are some darker earthy notes from the yeast and then that slap of hedgerow herbs, zesty lemon and nettles that Noble hops bring.



Edel (5.8%) is an altogether more malty affair.
A golden Lagered beer with a fluffy head, the hops here take a back seat to the almost Best Bitter chewiness of the malt body.
Toffee and biscuits, runny honey, salted caramel and waffles give this beer a great big sticky kiss of a backbone.
The hops lurk in the background but provide a much needed smack of prickly hazel leaf and lemon rind brightness, whilst there’s a boozy warmth that grows as you make your down down the glass.
I like this one a lot.

I do like a Weissbier (5.3%) at lunch time and this one does everything I could ask for.
The body is soft and smooth and creamy, with hints of banana and vanilla ice cream from the yeast, along with caramel and biscuits from the malt bill.
There’s a nice snap of pithy greenery from the hops, all nettle tea, garden herbs and a twist of lemon zest.
In the finish you find a touch of boozy warmth, not too much but enough to make the beer feel big and satisfying.



‘Tis the season for a Dunkel (5%) and this one is packed with dried fruit, plums, coffee and chocolate.
There’s some lovely rum and raisin flavours going on, and the smoothest creamiest body you could wish for.
The aroma is round and rich, all Christmas cake and honeycomb, and towards the finish you find a much welcomed snap of hoppy hedgerow undergrowth that adds a bright snap to what is a delightfully satisfying, warm and puddingy.



Source: Drinks Aisle

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Attic Brew Co. Levels (6.6%)

This NEIPA from Attic of Birmingham is very good.
Full of fruit from the aroma to the finish, it’s soft and round and very satisfying.
It pours a deep gold and smells of strawberry and melon.
The malting is sticky with runny caramel, waffles, heather honey and syrupy pancakes, while hops bring green foliage, orange marmalade, nettles and lemon zest.
I’m the background the yeast is deep and rich, juicy peaches and a hint of something spicy that is boosted by the warmth of the alcohol in the finish.

Source: Pop’n’Hops

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It’s So Sad When Beer Is Bad

Over the last couple of days I’ve had the disappointment of beer I was really looking forward to letting me down.
I’m not entirely sure whether the two examples I’m going to give are bad due to a canning problem or are just inferior products that perhaps shouldn’t have been let out of the brewery.

But if they’re the latter then it’s odd that everyone on UnTappd is giving them high marks.
Or is that just because people want stuff to be good if they’ve, 1. paid good money for them and, 2. don’t want to be seen to be dissing a cool brewery?

Anyhow, this is what I drank this week:


Brouwerij Kees Triple IPA Batch No. 2 (9.5%)
As much as I love Kees, this beer needs calling out for not being right.
Overly sweet caramel, sticky almost granular brown sugar and not a trace of hops.
Which is a surprise given that this has been brewed with Chinook and Cryo-Citra.
Unfortunately nothing can fight against the weight of brown sugar sickliness in this little can.
Add to that the fact that this can at least is completely flat and you’ve got a teeth rotting beery nightmare right there.
This went down the sink.

Neon Raptor Brewing Co. Capulets (8.2%)
Oh man this isn’t good.
The aroma is sour and acrid, pickled peaches like fruit and vinegar.
There’s a deeply unpleasant chemical tang to the flavour that bullies whatever sweet malts or sharp hops might have been thrown in here and in the finish the sour bitterness returns.
More like Crapulets.
Another one down the sink.


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