Het Anker Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker
Country: Belgium
ABV: 11%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: Exclusively Belgian hops.

Brewer Description: (from website) Every year on the 24th of February, we celebrate the birth of Charles Quint. Therefore we brew a special beer in limited edition called Cuvée van de Keizer (‘Grand Cru of the Emperor’).

This exceptional beer is a special version of the Gouden Carolus Classic, with an enriched taste pallet and mysterious aromas added. The caramelised malts and its 11% Alc. Vol. give the Cuvée van de Keizer the warm roundness of wine together with the refreshing taste of beer.

It is imperially crowned with a cork so it can be preserved for a long period of time at a constant cellar temperature of 12° C (54°F). An imperial beer to cherish and enjoy in moderation.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.56
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.5

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle. 2014 vintage with a best before date of 29th April 2024. Poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: The beer poured a dark brown colour with a slightly less than one finger tan head which quickly settles to a nice thin creamy layer leaving spotty lacing.
Aroma: Strong aromas of caramel and toffee, also lots of dark fruits, plum, raisin, prunes, dates, fig with hints of butter.
Taste: On the sweet side with dark fruits dominating especially plum, raisin, fig and prunes. Caramel and toffee are in the background and hints of banana and bubblegum sweetness at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, light warmness, medium bodied, light carbonation.
Overall: A very good beer that is a must buy for me. Even at 11%, you don’t taste the alcohol. Great for a late night sipper. I’m going to age a few bottles and see what happens!

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Omnipollo Mazarin

Brewery: Omnipollo
Country: Sweden
ABV: 5.6%
Style: American Pale Ale
Other Notes: Brewed by Omnipollo at De Proef Brouwerij (Belgium)

Brewer Description: (from website) Mazarin is my take on a “thinker’s beer”. Rather than being big and undecipherably complex I wanted to create something that would calm a hop yearning nerve without fuddling the brain too much. In other words, a lavishly hopped ale of judicious ABV – an Extra Special Pale Ale if you will.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.21
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.1

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 9th April 2016 and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: The beer poured a hazy golden orange colour with a two finger white head that has good retention and leaves a thin foamy layer with nice stringy lacing.
Aroma: Very nice aromas of citrus grapefruit, mandarin and orange followed by tropical pineapple, passion fruit and mango. It finishes with a hint of floral pine.
Taste: There’s a very light caramel malt in the background but strong citrus grapefruit, orange and pineapple. There are also hints of mango and honey while finishing with a grassy pine light bitterness. As it warms, the caramel malts and pine finish were more pronounced.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with medium carbonation.
Overall: Wow, this reminded me of Fatamorgana for a while there. Not quite as good in the end, but initial impressions were great. The aromas coming off this beer were stunningly nice and fruity. I would have preferred more tropical flavours considering the aromas, but overall this was still very good.

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Murray’s Fred IPA

Brewery: Murray’s Craft Brewing Company
Country: Australia
ABV: 5.6%
Style: American IPA

Brewer Description: (from bottle) At first glance, you might think only his mum could love him. But once you try FRED IPA, we reckon you’ll fall under his spell. FRED is aggressively late hopped with a house blend of hops from the US Pacific Northwest. A beautiful hopped up brew to be enjoyed with smoky and spicy southern US style Mexican food.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.13
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 13th March 2016 poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: The beer poured a hazy golden orange colour with a foamy two to three finger off white head that has great retention and leaves nice stringy lacing.
Aroma: Strong tropical fruit aromas mainly mango, pineapple and passion fruit. There are also hints of citrus orange and maybe grapefruit ending with pine.
Taste: Very much like the aroma. The tropical pineapple and passion fruit is there but with flavours, the pine and citrus grapefruit really come through. The malt is sweet and there is only a slight bitterness at the end.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium to light bodied with light to medium carbonation.
Overall: I have to say, this one has surprised me. It is very easy to drink and I really enjoy the tropicalness of it.

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Hawkshead Cumbrian 5 Hop

Brewery: Hawkshead Brewery
Country: England
ABV: 5%
Style: English Extra Special Bitter

Brewer Description: (from bottle) This is a well hopped golden ale which marries traditional English with modern American hops – five varieties in all, including Golding, Citra and Amarillo. The full biscuity taste of English Maris Otter barley combines with orange marmalade citrus, floral, spicy and herbal hop flavours to produced a complex modern beer.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.49
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of May 2016 and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: The beer poured a hazy golden orangey colour with a thin weak white head that leaves some stringy lacing.
Aroma: Fruity aromas, starts with melon, pineapple, tangerine and orange with hints of caramel.
Taste: A little on the weak side when you consider the amount of fruit in the aroma. Biscuity caramel malt with some citrus mandarin and grapefruit. There are hints of mango, grass and pine with a long bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.
Overall: This was quite good especially the aroma but was hoping that there was more of a punch in the taste considering the nice aromas.

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Clown Shoes Galactica

Brewery: Clown Shoes Beer
Country: USA
ABV: 8%
Style: American Double IPA
Other Notes: Brewed and bottled by Mercury Brewing Co., Ipswich, MA.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Galactica, a hop staff wielding heroine patrols in karate kick mode through the heavens. Her mission: cosmic combat to promote good beer. Dry hopped with galaxy hops, a clean malt backbone enhances the dank and luscious IPA flavors.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.96
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 12 fl oz bottle poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Strangely no bottled on date considering all my other Clown Shoes beer show it on the neck.
Appearance: The beer poured a hazy dark orangey amber colour with a slightly more than one finger off-white head that leaves stringy lacing.
Aroma: Tropical fruits dominate especially peach and apricot with hints of mango, some citrus grapefruit and light caramel malts.
Taste: A backbone of nice light caramel malts, followed by floral and citrus hops, mainly grapefruit and pine but there’s also tropical hints with peach, apricot and mango. Finishes with a nice lasting bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, full bodied with light carbonation.
Overall: This was nice, as it wasn’t overly caramel-ly. A nicely balanced Double IPA.

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