Tag Archives: mikkeller

Beer-vent Days 9&10 -Going Stateside.

*Star Spangled Banner starts to play*

Mikkeller hitting it out the ballpark with this classic American-style IPA. Stateside packs a punch at 6.9%, and has a big citrus and pine aroma. I wish this was a little fresher (it’s been sitting around in my stash for at least 4 months) but is tasting pretty good still, considering it’s in middle age for an IPA. 

More of the same citrus and pine coming through but with some booziness at the end. I’d grab one again. Especially if it was new.

Time for one of the actual American beers I have -this is a blackberry sour from Black Market Brewing Company in California.

The smell of it reminds me of cough syrup. Sweet, fruity and artificial.  It’s not got that E-number quality to it that you can get with beers (or any consumables, really), and tastes like sour Ribena. It’s decently sour without making your face feel likes it’s melting, and leaves an aftertaste not too dissimilar to a red wine. At the same time, it feels like I’m drinking a tart cider. There’s nothing I can really pick out that I dislike, but it’s not blowing me away.

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Beervent Days 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 -Playing Catch-Up/Brettanomyces Ate My Beer.

I’ve been getting home in the early hours of the morning for the past few days (yay for working night shifts) and as such, haven’t had my daily beers. I’d like to say that these three beers all happened to be fairly strong by coincidence, but it think it’s highly likely that 90% of all of them will be over 7%. Cause screw you, session beers.


On the second day, God gave us Siren. Jesus could apparently turn water into wine, and I’d be more than happy if this is what he had in mind; over a White Zinfandel, at least.

This isn’t the blood of Christ, nor can I imagine this being supped by a plaid shirt wearing yokel sitting in the back of a truck. No, this is a sophisticated IPA. It’s a slap in the face aroma of passion fruit, pine, and a vanilla sweetness. It’s an attractive beer -hazy and amber, and the fruit particles in it don’t detract from that, for me. On first sip, it’s more of the same. Boozy tropical fruit, a little sweetness and a mild oakiness. 

I’ve had this for a couple of months now but decided to chuck it in my calendar, because of how many rich stouts and porters I have already amassed. So, Day 3 is a Mexican affair with Mikkeller’s Mexas Ranger, a stout brewed with masa harina (tortilla flour), horchata syrup (horchata is a sweet rice drink made with cinnamon and often other spices), black turtle beans, chocolate, avocado leaves, epazote (a Mexican herb apparently similar to oregano) and chilli.
It’s a pretty extensive and unusual list of adjuncts, which is always intriguing. Even moreso when I have to Google what ingredients are. I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one side, this is a rich, bitter stout with a little chilli heat at the end and pretty enjoyable to drink. On the other, any of the various flavours aren’t discernible and seem a bit gimmicky.

Day 4 is Siren II: V.I.P.A. It comes fresh from IndyMan and is inspired by Vimto. They can’t actually say that, though, so it’s referenced as “a famous fruity soft drink”.

Copyright issues or not, this is a great homage. You only have to pop the cap for the raspberry and blackberry to be unleashed. The use of Belgian yeast gives it a bit of a saison-y quality, which is lovely. There’s a really tartness at the end which isn’t a bad thing, but I’d maybe want some lactose in there to soften that and add creaminess. Definitely looks the part, either way.

I’ve sampled many a To-├śl beer now, them being a firm favourite of mine. Day 5 gives us Frost Bite: a December seasonal pale ale with orange and pine needles. 
This is my kind of Christmas beer: not overly done, and in a considered, complimentary way. The flavours are fairly mild. Orange comes through in the aroma which is not exactly unusual in an pale ale.The pine needles are much more subtle, but again aren’t too unusual with the piney flavours found in various ‘Merican hops. It makes for an extremely drinkable ale and can probably be summed up in: I drank it in all of 7 minutes.

This is the third and last Siren effort of this Beer-mas. Day 6 brings this collab with Omnipollo and is one of 2000 bottles.

It’s a peach cream IPA aged in Chardonnay barrels so should have all these amazing fruity, delicate flavours, but… Oh, you, Brettanomyces. You’re so greedy. It’s not all gone as there’s some peach in the aroma and the aftertaste is fairly wine-y, but the taste is all Brett. 

At least it’s still drinkable. The Fatamorgana I had was like horse wee. Silly Brett.

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What’s that noise? It’s the Yeastie Boys!

The Yeastie Boys of New Zealand have been around for a little while now with their multi-multi-multi award-winning Pot Kettle Black Black IPA, but have recently become a lot more prominent, due to a nice little agreement with Brewdog to brew three of their most popular beers for them up in Aberdeenshire (the rest are still coming out of New Zealand -it will say on the bottle). The Scottish beer-lords have previously done something a little similar with Mikkeller, but gained exclusive import and distribution rights rather than a brewing arrangement. While the demand of Mikkeller rose sharply, no doubt because of the massive publicity that any association with Brewdog brings, I can see this partnership being even more lucrative.

Prior to 2015, Yeastie Boys’ Digital IPA was a highly rated 7% beer. It’s now been taken down a notch or two to a more widely-palatable 5.7%. It’s probably a smart business move, and I could see it becoming the “new” Punk IPA. To have a commercially-viable beer is a good way to gain ground, especially if you’re putting it out there in somewhere like Brewdog -a place that you know will have decent beer, but also has something to cater for your Heineken-drinking mates. Yes, it’s a nice little IPA, but there isn’t really much else to say about it. Something of a decent quality to have a few of and not pay much attention to.

Stairdancer is their 4.4% Pacific Ale. I don’t want to be lazy, but it’s a little more of the above. The label describes it as a “lawnmower beer” and I think that’s pretty accurate. It’s got a good malty flavour to it, and is very refreshing, but it falls a little flat at anything more.

I always like a bit of an odd beer, and so I was looking forward to having Gunnamatta, their Earl Grey IPA. I’ve always been interested in teaspired beers since Fyne Ales did a limited edition green tea beer, which was lovely. I don’t recall ever having had Gunnamatta, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s got a lovely floral, fruity flavour, which develops into the tea notes at the end. I don’t think it’s one for everyone, but I like that. Not everyone has to like everything you brew.

A few years ago, around 2011, Dark Star ran their anti-Hophead campaign. It was to encourage people to not drink their own beer, because they had so many other fantastic, not-just-another-IPA beers. I can’t actually find anything pertaining to the exact logic behind it and I’m just relying on my own memory, because it seems to have been deleted from their archives. On one hand, I feel like something similar should be encouraged against the overload of 4-5.5% pales currently that are often indistinguishable from one another. On the other, the influx of DIPAs from the likes of Cloudwater v2 and the upcoming v3, the aforementioned Beavertown Double Chin and Skull King and BBNO 55/01 are more than making up for it. I guess I’ll settle.

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