Brewery: La Sirène Brewing
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.
Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
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.
Brewery: Bad Martha Brewing Company
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.
Brewery: Big Muddy Brewing
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.
Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing
Style: Double IPA
Other Notes: Brewed at Two Roads Brewing Company, Stratford, CT, USA for Evil Twin
Brewer Description: (from bottle) Did you like Before, During and after Christmas, maybe you thought it poured brilliantly, the alcohol was admirable will hidden and you loved how the arrogant amounts of hops numbed your mouth. This beer will knock your tongue off – it’s a tour de force in hoppiness and by far one of the craziest beer ever made by Evil Twin Brewing.
My rating: 1
My beeradvocate.com rating: 2.43
My ratebeer.com rating: 2.3
Intro: Poured from a 12oz bottle into La Chouffe tulip glass. 169:14 is printed at the bottom of the neck of the bottle so I assume that bottle date is the 169th date of 2014 which happens to be 18 June 2014.
Appearance: It poured a nice orangey gold colour with less than one finger head which receded quite quickly leaving some lace on the glass.
Aroma: Sweet malts with some light citrus and orange coming through.
Taste: Sweet. Too sweet. Like lightly carbonated orange cordial, some honey and maybe bubblegum. One thing going for it is that even at 13%, you don’t notice the alcohol at all. Some of the hoppiness does creep through the sweetness at times but not much.
Mouthfeel: Sticky, full bodied, light carbonation.
Overall: Now around 9 months from date of bottling, maybe some hoppiness was lost? But this was way too overly sweet for me. At first I thought that maybe I could enjoy half a bottle every so often, but the more and longer I think about it, I really couldn’t. Way too sweet.