Wowsers, this takes me back.
Wowee Zowee, named after an album by Pavement, is a classic West Coast IPA, a style that over the last year or two has lost favour to NEIPAs and the like.
The result is that this beer tastes like a blast from the past and equally big and fresh and new.
It’s a beer that has transported me back to the heady days of the initial CAMRGB “fight” to enjoy beer for beer’s sake, the wide eyed excitement at a beer that simply tastes good however it is presented.
Wowee Zowee has a lovely spun sugar, candy cane, caramel waffle malt body, light and sweet, but sticky enough to hold its own behind the hops.
And what hops they are.
A classic blend of Simcoe, Centennial and Mosaic, combines to bring you zingy fresh lemon and lime zest, green and pithy garden herbs, woody rolling tobacco, a blob of orange marmalade and the tongue tingling fizz of sherbet.
This is a beer at once reminding you of past glories and tasting for all the world like the future.
Simply put, I’m rattled by the rush.
Brewed in collaboration with Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Hop Smash is a massive citrus hit of a beer.
It’s an IPA brewed with huge fistfuls of Citra, Centennial and Amarillo hops, that have been added at every stage of the brew, including the mash.
To top that off, the beer includes the addition of loads of fresh grapefruit.
The result is a beer that, if it wasn’t for the brilliantly balanced malt body, might have become too much.
But rest assured the malting is solid and sweet, thick and creamy, with caramel and brown bread, Rich Tea biscuits and runny honey, providing a strong enough backbone to allow the hops and grapefruit to run wild without running into trouble.
So, the hops then.
Tongue tinglingly sharp and pithy, you find lemon sorbet and lime zest, woodruff, hazel leaves, melon balls, peach juice, garden herbs, mown lawns and celery, all of which is wrapped in a puckeringly dry fresh grapefruit zing.
My first encounter with Black Lodge of Liverpool is this rather good IPA, a beer with a super dry finish that had me reaching for my next mouthful almost so quickly that I struggled to have enough time to write about it.
I just want another swig.
The beer’s aroma is Juicy Fruit chewing gum and honey, and taking a swig you find a solid biscuity base form the malting. It almost tastes old fashioned, you know, that digestive and toffee, honey and peanut brittle of a traditional Bitter.
It was a flavour that made me sit up and take notice, simply because it isn’t the kind of malt body I expect in a “modern” IPA.
But it really works, and the hopping cuts right through it with super sharp shards of lemon rind and green garden herbs, some woody rolling tobacco and a dab of orange marmalade that adds a subtle stickiness to the aforementioned dry finish.
I wanted to say that I can’t begin to tell you how good this is, but then I realised that that would be silly as the whole point of this thing I do is to tell you exactly that.
Or, of course, how bad something is.
3D, as I shall call it for brevity, is an Imperial IPA that pours a gloopy peachy gold and smells of candy floss and gumballs.
It’s a sweet fairground smell and it continues down into the beer as you take a swig.
Firstly you are met by a big bubblegum and toffee, doughnut, bagel and ice cream cone malt body that gives you a great big sweetness to balance out the splash of pithy herbal hops with their orange marmalade, lime zest, woody rolling tobacco and lemon sherbet zing.And all the way through a deliciously clean warm white rum boozy heat drives everything along, sticks it all together, makes it all feel just right.
Pentrich’s 3D is really really good.
Only yesterday I spent my first couple of hours in a pub for five months and tried this beer from keg.
I thought it was OK, but found the Cryo Citra a little too strong from my liking, making the finish feel a little acrid.
But the same beer in a can is just right.
Gone is the stupefyingly sharp eye watering lemon washing liquid hit of the keg, and instead you find a beer that is packed with lemon sherbet, lime zest and piles of green herbal leaves.
The malt body is soft and sweet, with caramel coated doughnuts, wafer biscuits and lashings of runny honey that creates a solid brown sugar syrup body over which all these Cryo hops – Azacca as well as Citra – do their thing.
Great in a can.