Põhjala x To Øl Ginie (In a Bottle)

Brewery: Põhjala x To Øl
Country: Estonia
ABV: 4.2%
Style: German Gose
Other Notes: 5 IBUs. Malts – Pale Malt, Wheat Malt, Oats, Cara Pale and Melanoid. Hops – El Dorado and Motueka.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) A gin-inspired Gose brewed by Põhjala and To Øl. This mildly sour beauty of a beer is spiced with pink Himalayan rock salt, coriander, juniper berries, spruce tips, rosemary, ginger and rose petals.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.4
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 12th July 2017, poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a hazy orange colour with a less than one finger white head that dissipated quickly and left only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Mango, lemon, lime, touch of ginger and floral notes.
Taste: Lightly salty, lemon zest, lime juice, berries and lightly spicy.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with low to moderate carbonation.
Overall: This was a bit disappointing considering the last Põhjala x To Øl collaboration I tried (Taanilinn Cognac BA) was a stunner. Perhaps it was the high hopes… The fruitiness was nice but carbonation was too low for a Gose.

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Spencer Trappist Ale

Brewery: Spencer Brewery
Country: USA
ABV: 6.5%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Other Notes: Hops – including Willamette and Nugget. Malts – including 2-row, 6-row and Munich.

Brewer Description: (from website) Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish) in Belgium. These sessionable beers are brewed by the monks for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast that naturally carbonates the beer in the bottle and keg and contributes to the beer flavor and aroma.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.61
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle with a best before end date of AG 217 meaning 5th August 2017. Poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy amber orange colour with a two finger off white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.
Aroma: Banana bread, overripe banana, clove with a touch of caramel and mandarin.
Taste: Quite similar to the aroma with banana, clove and bready malt along with hints of mandarin, citrus peel, spice and nuttiness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: This was quite good but perhaps also a bit normal. Not quite as complex as other Trappist Belgian Pale Ales.

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Clan Brewing Imperial Stout

Brewery: Clan Brewing Company
Country: Scotland
ABV: 8%
Style: American Imperial Stout
Other Notes: Matured in Lowland whisky casks for up to six months

Brewer Description: (from bottle) A rich, dark and intensely flavourful Imperial Stout, packed with burnt coffee and lemon scents, skilfully balanced by sweet sherry and raisin flavours derived from a short period in Lowland malt whisky casks. A smoky, slightly acrid mouthfeel, and a long burnt finish.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.37
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.2

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of end of February 2019 and poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark dark brown colour with a less than one finger tanned head which dissipates fast but left lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Chocolate, dark malt, hints of raisin, cream, light whisky and maybe a touch of caramel and lemon on the finish.
Taste: Chocolate, molasses, toffee, hints of dark berries, very light whisky, maybe some slight char but not much barrel.
Mouthfeel: Very light for an Imperial Stout, maybe too light in my opinion. Barely medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation and dry.
Overall: If this was a Stout, I think I would have rated it higher, but as an Imperial Stout, it’s just not quite there. Everything just seemed to be too light whereas I was looking for more punches as an Imperial Stout. This was especially true with the barrel aging, which did not seem to impart as much as it could have in both aroma and taste. It is by no means a bad beer, but I had both BCBS and KBS in the last week which is perhaps setting a rather high standard.

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Sierra Nevada x Mahrs Bräu Oktoberfest 2016

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. x Mahrs Bräu
Country: USA
ABV: 6%
Style: German Oktoberfest/Märzen
Other Notes: Fall seasonal, one time only

Brewer Description: (from bottle) We’ve partnered with Mahrs Bräu, one of Germany’s most highly regarded brewers, to create a golden-hued festival beer right here in the USA. Using traditional techniques, heritage German barley, and the Record hop varietal – a nearly forgotten German-grown hop – we’ve created the most authentic take on the style this side of the Atlantic.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.27
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.2

Intro: A 12 fl oz bottle packaged on 14th July 2016 and poured into a Mikkeller pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear golden colour with a less than one finger white head that dissipated quickly with minimal sparse lacing.
Aroma: Grassy, hay, grain, sweet bready and maybe a touch of honey.
Taste: Grassy, grain, slightly sweet honey, pilsner malt, lightly floral and bready.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, light to medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation.
Overall: Slightly sweet for me, and I was expecting more carbonation, but not bad.

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Epic Utah Sage Saison

Brewery: Epic Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 7.6%
Style: Belgian Saison
Other Notes: Malts – Pilsner Malt, Maris Otter, 2-Row Brewers Malt, Rye Malt, Wheat Malt and Barley Flakes. Hops – Centennial, Citra and Calypso. Others – Fresh Sage, Thyme and Rosemary

Brewer Description: (from website) Three out of the four ingredients in Simon and Garfunkel’s third album make this Belgian-style farmhouse ale a perfect golden beverage with festive herbal notes.

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.57
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.3

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bottle, Release #26, brewed on 11th March 2015 and packaged on 6th April 2015. Poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a bright but hazy golden orange colour with a just under two finger white head that dissipates slowly and leaves lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Sweet orange citrus with touches of tropical apricot, lemon, orange marmalade and a herbal character (although I’m not sure if its sage, maybe thyme).
Taste: Orange honey sweetness, sage, pepper spice, almond biscuit and a bouquet of herbs.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: It’s quite different to any other beer let alone Saison that I’ve tried. It’s perhaps a touch to sweet for me, but the biscuity, almondy, herbally finish is interesting.

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