De Molen Mout & Mocca

Brewery: Brouwerij De Molen
Country: Netherlands
ABV: 11.6%
Style: American Imperial Stout
Other Notes: Brewery suggests to enjoy within 5 years

Brewer Description: Could not find any information on the website or the bottle other than to enjoy within 5 years and its name self description of malt and mocha.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.79
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: Apparently there are two versions of this beer pre-2011 and the 2011 onwards. The pre-2011 version is 9.5% ABV while the 2011 and onwards version is 11.6% ABV. This beer was bottled on 31 January 2013 along with a note saying to enjoy it within 5 years. So currently this is still well within their suggested limits. However normally with coffee flavoured beers, I prefer to drink them fresher when the coffee flavour is usually more pronounced.
Appearance: A 330ml bottle poured into a snifter glass pitch black with minimal head that disappears quickly leaving some spotty lacing.
Aroma: Smelled of biscuit malt, some chocolate, leather and light coffee and toffee/caramel.
Taste: Similar to the smell, it leads with coffee and dark chocolate with a bitter finish. For such high ABV, there is almost no alcohol to taste.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation and slightly sticky.
Overall: The lack of alcohol taste and nice coffee and bitter chocolate flavours make it easy to drink. But perhaps there is a lack of depth in flavours and also would prefer a bit more carbonation in it too.

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La Sirène Saison

Brewery: La Sirène Brewing
Country: Australia
ABV: 6.5%
Style: Saison

Brewer Description: (from La Sirène website) La Sirène Saison is a beer that is special to our hearts and is a tribute to the style born in the Wallonia region of Southern Belgium where these Farmhouse styles were brewed to quench the thirst of field workers. Our classic award-winning Saison pours a deep golden ornage with aromas of wild fruits. Complex rustic flavours of spice and a little funk (courtesy of our yeast) combine deliciously to finally deliver a dry crisp finish. Santé!

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.3
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: Don’t really like it when a beer doesn’t have a bottled date or even a best before date, and there were none here. Poured from a 375ml bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance: The beer poured a very hazy golden orange colour with a thick fluffy two and half finger head that had pretty good retention leaving a quite thick lace ring. There was also quite a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
Aroma: Crisp funk with citrus orange, lemon and pear
Taste: Tart sourness, funk, orange, lemon, apple then leaves a lasting pear aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, light with good carbonation.
Overall: A nice crisp saison that I would probably buy again. Very refreshing.

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Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale

Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 6.9%
Style: Winter Warmer
Other Notes: Only available in winter (September to February)

Brewer Description: (from Anderson Valley website) Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.

(from bottle) Brilliantly clear dark copper color with a dense tan head. Caramelized malty and spicy aromas redolent of cinnamon, allspice, black currant, and black licorice. Pleasantly creamy, with a silky body, sweet caramel flavor, hints of seasonal spices and a clean, malty finish.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.77
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: 12oz bottle which has a best before 10 June 2016 sticker on it (seems a bit long too me…).
Appearance: Poured into a pint glass a slightly hazy deep amber colour. One finger tan head which disappears slowly.
Aroma: Strong vanilla, caramel and malt in that order followed by some light toffee.
Taste: Very much like the nose. Prominent vanilla and toffee followed by caramel. Not too sweet which I like.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy with some light carbonation.
Overall: This one surprised me in a good way. Although the aroma was a bit weak, the taste was nice as the vanilla, toffee and caramel tastes mixed well together. I would buy this again, but definitely for the winter while its cold and not during the warm spring as it is now.

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Bad Martha Martha’s Vineyard Ale

Brewery: Bad Martha Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 5.3%
Style: Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
Other Notes: Uses grape leaves from Martha’s Vineyard. Brewed and bottled for Bad Martha Brewing Company by Mercury Brewing Company

Brewer Description: (from neck of bottle) Get seduced by our flagship ale. The finest English malts, New England hops and grape leaves from Martha’s Vineyard give this Extra Special Bitter a devilish honey hue and smooth caramel flavor.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.41
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.4

Intro: Another beer brought back to Hong Kong for me as part of a filler for a six pack. Bottled on 2 October 2014. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a hazy dark amber colour with an extremely light head that disappears fast leaving small spotty lacing.
Aroma: Apple and grape tea followed by caramel malts.
Taste: Sweet-ish but not too sweet, grape, plum, light caramel.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with nice carbonation.
Overall: It was interesting and I have to admit better than expected. The reason being that the bottle itself looked rather dull. If I was picking, it would not be a beer I would pick off the shelf. Having said that, I enjoyed the carbonation and the fact that it wasn’t too sweet.

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Big Muddy Saluki Dunkeldog

Brewery: Big Muddy Brewing
Country: USA
ABV: 5.4%
Style: Amber Ale

Brewer Description: (from Big Muddy website) This is what happens when an American Amber meets a German Dunkel. Aromatic and Munich malts yield a slight sweetness balanced with a hint of chocolate roast. The result is a very approachable beer with a smooth distinctive taste.

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 2.84
My ratebeer.com rating: 2.9

Intro: A friend handpicked this beer as one of three fillers for a six pack to bring back to me in Hong Kong. Poured the 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear dark rusty amber colour with a one finger head that dissipates quickly and no lacing.
Aroma: Smells of malt, maybe plum and apple, but a hint of metallic at the end ruined it.
Taste: A bit light and thin. It was like watered down plum juice with an unfortunate light metallic aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Light, goes down easy, medium carbonation.
Overall: It’s not bad and it feels great in my mouth, but the flavours could be more pronounced and the beer would improve plenty without the metallic smell and taste that lingers at the end.

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