To Øl Black Malts and Body Salts

Brewery: To Øl
Country: Denmark
ABV: 9.9%
Style: American Black IPA
Other Notes: Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij. Malts – Pilsner, Cara Crystal, Black Malt, Flaked Oats, Melanoidin, Chocolate, Rock Candy. Hops – Centennial, Tettnanger, Simcoe.

Brewer Description:
(from bottle) We present to you a black IIPA made with french press coffee.

(from To Øl online store) When a brewer is stirring the kettles while steam arises from the mash and when we actually do put some effort into our work, an occasional drop of sweat will drip down into the mash. So this is a salute to all the hard working proletarian brewers around the world. Giving you the perfect amount of body salts, mixed with french press coffee and IIPA’ish amounts of bittering, flavour and dry- hops… Perhaps a slightly schizophrenic beer, but still damm good!

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.77
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.6

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 1st December 2019 and poured into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: The beer poured an opaque black colour with a really nice two finger brown head with good retention but leaves wonderful stringy lacing. It eventually settles to a creamy thin layer.
Aroma: Initial aromas of bready buscuit malts and espresso coffee followed by tropical mango and pineapple fruits. Maybe even some liquorice in the finish.
Taste: Starts strong with bitter espresso coffee, slightly smoky with a hint of dark chocolate which then turns fruitier with dark berries followed by citrus grapefruit before ending with bitter coffee again.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation.
Overall: This was really good as it has a very balanced yet complex aromas and flavours and of course coffee flavours. The 9.9% ABV is well hidden and it just goes down really easy. It is a must buy beer in my opinion.

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Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Saison – Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 7.5%
Style: Belgian Saison
Other Notes: 24 IBUs. Specialty Ovila series brewed in collaboration with the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, CA.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) An homage to the monks’ noble work, this unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.7
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.6

Intro: A 12.7 fl oz corked and caged bottle packaged on 5th February 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: The beer poured a clear orangey copper colour with a one finger white head that slowly dissipates resulting in a thin soapy layer and stringy lacing.
Aroma: Orange and honey aromas, some Belgian yeasty notes and ginger.
Taste: Sweeter than I expected but not too sweet which is good. I get citrus orange and lemon upfront followed by honey and caramel. There is some spice in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, dryness.
Overall: Of the SN Ovila series that I’ve tried before (the other two being the Tripel and Quad w/ plums), this was the best one. Its unlike the other saisons that I’ve tried, but still a solid beer.

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Tongerlo 6 Blonde

Brewery: Brouwerij Haacht NV
Country: Belgium
ABV: 6%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Abbey beer brewed with the approval of the Norbertins of Tongerlo. This beer was refermented in the bottle for a more refined aroma and a broader, richer taste palette. Contains barley malt.

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

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before end date of 4th June 2016 and poured into a D’Achouffe tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy copper colour with a huge three finger head. Most of it dissipated within a minute but it left some thick lacing on the glass.
Aroma: Some slight funk at first followed by some fruity banana and apples, caramel and honey. There are also some bread, cracker malt aromas.
Taste: Flavour is sweet banana and honey first, but there’s definitely candied sugar, bubblegum and caramel mixed in.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, sticky.
Overall: This was not bad but perhaps slightly too sweet for me. Leffe is also a tad too sweet for me, but I still may prefer Leffe slightly more.

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Black Isle Smoked Porter 2014 (small batch)

Brewery: Black Isle Brewing Co.
Country: Scotland
ABV: 5.5%
Style: Smoked Beer
Other Notes: aka Black Isle Organic Smoked Oktobeer.

Brewer Description: (from website) Initially brewed for Jocktoberfest, where it was by far the biggest selling cask beer, we thought we would make this more widely available for those that missed out (this does not mean that if you were present at the event that you can’t relive the experience in the comfort of your own armchair!)

This is a blend of German roasted malts and our local smoked barley which might even put a smile on a disgruntled German Chancellor’s face. Balance is what this little beauty is about, something that takes great skill from the brew team and boy they have achieved it here in bucket loads, or we should say conditioning tank loads, one to be specific.. and even then not a full one.

Grab it while you can, it won’t be around forever.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.9
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 330ml bottle from the 2014 small batch, bottle number 6488 of 8480 with a best before end date of October 2015. It was poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark brown with a thinnish cream tanned head that did not stick around too long.
Aroma: Aromas of roasted malts with a bit of chocolate, licorice and slight peat smoke.
Taste: Starts slightly sweet caramel and chocolate maybe even some toffee, but finish is definitely smoky, bitter and lingering ash.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation
Overall: I’ve had quite a few smoked beers before and although this was not at the top, it was still pretty good. I would buy this again.

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Abashiri Oto no Shizuku (Cherry Drops)

Brewery: Abashiri Beer
Country: Japan
ABV: 5%
Style: Fruit Beer
Other Notes: Happoshu based. Brewed in Hokkaido.

Brewer Description: Its in Japanese, which I unfortunately cannot read…

My rating: 1
My beeradvocate.com rating: 2.19
My ratebeer.com rating: 1.9

Intro: A 330ml bottle dated best before 28th October 2015 and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: The beer poured a slightly hazy dull pinkish red colour with a half finger head that disappeared almost immediately.
Aroma: Strong aromas of candied cherry, some bubblegum, cherry syrup.
Taste: Immediate taste of candied cherry (like cherry soda) but then all of a sudden less than 2 seconds later, it all disappears. You’re expecting some sweetness or something, but its not there at all. It pretty much becomes like extremely watered down cherry water.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with light carbonation.
Overall: I saw cherry, and I didn’t need any more persuasion to buy this beer. This beer was happoshu based and there’s nothing wrong with that. I also enjoy cough medicinal flavours, and this kind of had this at first, but then it disappeared even quicker. Watered down cherry water, that’s what I got… it started off fine and then just fell off. I don’t know how I finished the whole thing… It was also damn expensive at around USD4 a bottle. Not worth it at all, save your money!

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