Smoked Rye IPA – Welsh: Celt Experience Celt Brigid Fire

This week’s beer is Brigid Fire, brewed by the Celt Experience. I haven’t featured a beer from Wales before, and I’ve heard good things so I thought I’d give this one a go! The beer is brewed in South Wales in a town called Caerphilly. Smoked Rye IPA sounded like something I would definitely like – and I never post beers I don’t like so this seemed like the one to try!

Let’s start with Celt Experience‘s description:

A gripping spice backbone held by a piney bitterness. Brewed with oak smoked wheat and borrowed Biere de Garde yeast.

Through eternal flames, wisdom has become conscious. St Brigid was seen as a rousing healer.

I like how the Brewery named the Yeast they’re using, a lot of Breweries keep their Yeast secret when in actuality you can get it from any Homebrew shop. Hints at the flavours and the recipe too, which is always nice when you’re shopping for a beer you want to clone at some point. It seems all the Celt Experience Beers have the mystical names, which is understandable seeing as Wales is full of Celtic history and legend. Afterall, their Flag even has a Dragon on it!

Let’s start with the Malts in Fermentables in this one. I’ve managed to get hold of some of the recipe, but other parts I’ve put together judging by taste. There’s the Oak Smoked Wheat and Rye as Fermentables, on top of this I think 2-Row and a touch of Carapils Malts are used. As for the Hops in this one Brewers Gold, Citra, Marynka and Nelson Sauvin (Dry Hop only) are used. This is then Fermented with a yeast from Flanders, often used to ferment Saisons which is quite interesting!
When you pour this beer, it pours a Cloudy Dark Orange with a Medium bright white head. It dissipates quite quickly leaving a white ring around the glass and a thin White Cap on top of the beer that lasts the duration. There was quite a lot of Lumpy sediment in my one, so be sure to pour this carefully! On the nose hints of Citrus, Toasty Rye and a little bit of Smoke from the smoked Wheat. On the finish there is a slight hint of Pine. On the palate, you get a big initial hit of Smokey Wood flavour and toasty Rye. After this some Spicy hop notes and Citrus. As the hop flavours come through, the Smokey and Toasty malts carry them throughout. It’s well carbonated and Medium-Bodied. It finishes Dry. I can imagine this beer would be a perfect companion for some slow cooked Steak on a Wood/Charcoal BBQ, or indeed any BBQ’d meats. I definitely recommend you try this one during the summer!

You can buy Brigid Fire in the UK at:

Eebria

Beer Gonzo

EST. CALORIES: 189   ABV: 6.3%

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Smoked Beer – English: Beavertown Smog Rocket

Beavertown Smog Rocket

This week’s beer is a Local one, I think I’m very lucky being quite local to the Beavertown Brewery. Over the last years they have been making a storm in the beer world and have quickly turned into a World Class Brewery in my opinion. Today’s offering is their Smog Rocket, a Smoked Porter.

Let’s start with Beavertown‘s Description of the Beer:

Inspired by London’s Industrial Revolution when Smog filled the air and the Porter was the Beer of the People. An original Home Brew Recipe using 9 different Malts including a good chunk of smoked Rauchmaltz from Bamberg, Germany. Big flavour hits of Molasses, Raisins and Caramel are cut with the Resinous US Hop Chinook. Smokey aromas fly, reminiscent of the smoke stacks of Industrial London.

I like how they’ve used their Hometown, London as an inspiration for this brew. Porter really is a beer than runs deep into London’s history and the smokeyness inspired by Industrial London is a nice touch. There’s a few notes on the flavours, but nothing in depth which is something I like. I think it’s always important for people to make their own decisions on a beer tastes.

As this is a dark beer, let’s start with the 9 malts used. In this brew we have Best, Smoke (Smoked Rauchmaltz), Caramalt, Crystal, Munich, Brown, Chocolate and Black… The last Malt is what I call a Fermantable – Oats, but I they usually produce a great mouthfeel. The hops in this Beer are Magnum and Chinook – an interesting mix for a London Inspired Porter! A simple, but effective recipe from Beavertown, and not one to be sniffed at!

When you pour this beer, it’s Black with a Tan head that dissipates quite quickly, leaving dotty lacing and a cap on top of the beer that sticks around for the duration. On the nose, there’s lots of Peat Smoked Malt, Roasty nuances, Coffee, a touch of Pine and a little Oat. This smells like one of the best Smoked Porters I’ve had! When you taste this beer, you get a big initial kick of Peat Smoke, then it moves on to Coffee with a touch of Chocolate and Molasses, finishing with some Caramel and Pine resonates through the entire flavour courtesy of the Chinook hop. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied, thanks to the Oats and the beer finishes Medium-Dry. A great beer, and definitely another that can warm you up during the winter but also one you can chill out in the summer weather with.

You can purchase Smog Rocket in the UK online at:

Honest Brew

Beer Merchants

Beer Ritz

Eebria

All retailers are in stock, and generally you can buy Smog Rocket from anywhere that stocks a selection of Craft Beer that isn’t a supermarket.

EST. CALORIES: 162   ABV: 5.4%

Smoked Beer – American: Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers

As the weather is turning cold, but still crisp and people are heading towards darker beers, this week I’ve picked Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers. I think this beer is a great go-between between the summer sun and the Autumn months. This is a smoked porter, brewed with Chipotle Peppers. Smoked Porter is a fusion of the English Porter style and the German Rauchbier (Smoked Beer) style. Malt used in the mash is first roasted on an open flame, imparting some smokey flavours.

Let’s start with Stone Brewing‘s description of the beer:

In 2006, Chris Carroll, a longtime member of Team Stone, took that adage literally, proposing that we produce a one-off version of our venerable Stone Smoked Porter made spicy from the addition of chipotle peppers. We gave it a shot and found that those smoked jalapeños melded quite naturally with the smoldery peat-smoked malt that gives the beer its flavor and moniker, creating a deep, roasty quaff with a carefully restrained tingle of tasteful capsaicin heat in the finish. The marriage of ingredients was so nice that it has become an annual summertime staple, released each May in honor of Carroll’s initial idea that Stone Smoked Porter w/Chipotle Peppers serve as an artisanal alternative to the industrialized adjunct-laden cerveza billed as the perfect fluid accompaniment to the sunny season. Cheers to variety and a quality alternative to mediocrity.

A nice sarcastic style description from Stone as usual, with a little bit of a dig at Corona it seems. It’s to be expected of Stone, and this is one of the little things that separates them from the rest. Although drinking in Summer is suggested, I personally think this time of the year in the UK is perfect.

After trawling through the internet and doing some research (as well as taste research!) I think Stone went all out American for this brew, using Pale 2-row Malt, Peat-Smoked Malt (as we said earlier, but this malt was smoked with Peat like a Scotch Whiskey giving a distinctive flavour), as for the hops, although Stone have let the Chipotle Peppers and Malts sing in this one I think they’ve used Columbus and Mt. Hood. These hops give it a bitterness as well as that American hop aroma buried in there that we have all grown to love over the recent years.

When you pour this beer, you get the usual dark Porter colouring and a lovely tan head. The head has great retention… maybe there’s wheat in this beer but I’m not sure! You can’t smell this beer until you first put it to your mouth, you get a lovely amount of sweet malts, a little cigar smoke and a hit of spicy Chipotle peppers. With the taste, first you get a nice smokey kick from the peated malt, next the sweet portion of the chilli peppers, some fruity flavours brought on from the hops and the peppers and finally the heat. Initially it’s strange having a bit of Chilli heat in a beer, but once you get used to it it’s actually a great addition to this already great porter. The mouthfeel is silky, smooth and finishes sweet and spicy. Once you’ve got over the heat from the peppers, you’ll notice all the subtle flavours from them. I appreciate this beer probably isn’t for everyone, but it’s great on a cool, crisp afternoon to remind you of summer past.

You can buy Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers in the UK at:

Bottledog Kings Cross (The only place I’ve found it!)

If any of your friends are traveling to America, I seriously recommend you ask them to hunt this beer down for you.

Unfortunately, Stone do not distribute properly to the UK at the moment, but for anyone that would like to stock their beers I’d contact Beers Of Europe as they usually have a great selection.

EST. CALORIES: 177   ABV: 5.9%