Stout – American: Oskar Blue’s Ten FIDY

Ah Spring! It’s coming and it’s that time of year where you don’t know wether the heavens will open, it will snow, or the sun will be shining with a warm breeze. The same goes for Beer. I always have Stouts, Porters, Lambics, Fruit Beers and IPA’s sitting around to deal with the Schizophrenic weather.

That being said, this midweek beer is one of my favourite Imperial Stouts – Oskar Blue’s Ten FIDY. It’s brewed in Colorado. It’s nice to see Oskar Blue‘s cans popping up around the UK, as they make some really good beer and the fact that it’s becoming more easily available is never a bad thing!

Let’s start with Oskar Blue‘s Description of the beer:

This titanic, immensely viscous stout is loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee and hides a hefty 98 IBUs underneath the smooth blanket of malt.  Ten FIDY (10.5% ABV) is made with enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Ten FIDY is the ultimate celebration of dark malts and boundary-stretching beer.

Although this description really “bigs up” the beer, I think it deserves the reputation they are trying to portray. The fact it’s a big, imperial, oatmeal stout… what else could you write about it?! By reading that description, it makes it sound like an absolutely amazing beer, and we’ll find out if it is a little bit later on.

Let’s start with the Malts in this brew, Two-Row, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Munich Light, Crystal 77, Cara. Also Flaked Oats are added as a fermentable. Next up, the Hops! Ten FIDY is Hopped exclusively with Columbus. A pretty simple recipe, like a lot of Oskar Blue‘s beers… but so effective!

When you pour this beer, it’s a deep, thick Black with a Tobacco coloured head with absolutely great Head retention for this style. It even leaves sticky lacing on the sides of the glass! I don’t think I’ve had an Imperial stout, apart from this one that had such great retention and actually left lacing on the glass! On the nose there’s lots of Roasty Malt notes, Coffee, Chocolate and a light bit of Alcohol in the background. How does this beer taste? Where do I start?! Smokey flavours, Raisins, Roasty Coffee and Chocolate notes, Light toffee and a touch of sarsaparilla and molasses on the finish. The beer is quite thick and viscous, lightly carbonated and finishes Medium dry. This is a fantastic beer for colder weather, and definitely one of my favourites!

You can buy Ten FIDY in the UK at:

Brewdog Store

Bottledog, Kings Cross

I’m sure this beer is going to pop up in a lot more places soon, as the Oskar Blue’s Beers are being more widely distributed in the UK. If not this batch, the next in Autumn.

EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%

Fruit Beer – English: Samuel Smiths Organic Cherry Fruit Beer

Samuel Smith's Organic Cherry Beer

This Friday’s beer is a little different compared to a lot of beers I’ve featured, but definitely deserves a mention! This Friday’s beer is the Organic Cherry Fruit Beer, brewed by Samuel Smiths. The Brewery was founded in 1758 in Tadcaster, near Leeds and remains independent to this day. Rare these days!

Let’s start with Samuel Smiths description of the beer:

Handcrafted at the tiny All Saints Brewery set in a time warp in Stamford using the old manually operated brewing equipment. Finest organically grown barley and wheat are used to create a  complex ale which, having undergone primary and secondary fermentation with different yeasts and extended maturation, is taken to Samuel Smith’s small, independent British brewery at Tadcaster. There it is blended with pure organic cherry fruit juices and more organic beer to create fruit beers of considerable strength and flavour. The smooth distinctive character of the matured beer serves as the perfect counterpoint to the pure organic fruit juice.

Quite a humble description really, I feel like there’s a little too much emphasis on the fact it’s a Small, Manual, Independent Brewery. Although John Smith of John Smith’s Big UK Beer fame once owned Samuel Smith’s I always either get a “who’s that” or “ah yeah Samuel Smiths! Small brewery up North!” so it’s a shame they think their reputation has to be broadcasted.

The recipe is a little tough for this one, as it’s a blended beer. I’m pretty sure the beers that are blended are near identical in recipe, however. After a little research and taste testing, my take on the brew is as follows: Malt Bill: Munich Malt, Pale Malt and Malted Wheat. Fuggles and Bodicea Hops. This is then aged on Cherries for 30 Days during secondary fermentation and blended with some of the original brew, a little like a Kriek.

When you pour this beer, it’s a deep Red with an off-Pink, almost White head. It sticks around for a little while and then fades into a ring around the glass, leaving no lacing. The fact this beer has been aged on Fruit for 30 days makes this not much of a surprise! On the nose, there’s a big Sweet and Sour Cherry aroma, with some bready yeast/malt notes and some big Sugary Cherries in the background. When you taste this beer, it’s much the same, a big Sweet and Sour Cherry hit with Red Berries, some funky Wheat notes and an almost Champagne-like Tartness. The beer is quite full bodied with medium carbonation, starts sweet and finishes tart and dry. I think this is the closest thing to a UK Kriek! Although this is a year round beer in my books, it’s always nice to have something different during the winter to break up the dark beers and I seriously recommend trying this one. The beer is also 100% Vegan, which is a nice touch when there’s so many beers that aren’t.

You can buy Samuel Smith’s Organic Cherry Wheat Beer online in the UK at:

Beers Of Europe

Fraizer’s Wine

Amazon

Beer Ritz

Beer Gonzo

Everywhere above is In Stock at the time of writing. You can also buy a case of 24 here.

EST. CALORIES: 153   ABV: 5.1%

English Style IPA – American: Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey

This mid-week offering is an English IPA, brewed in America by Left Hand Brewing in Colorado. It goes by the name of 400 Pound Monkey. I think Left Hand wanted to try to bring it back to the basics with this IPA, as there’s a hell of a lot of American Style, super Hoppy offerings in their market.

Let’s start with Left Hand‘s description of the brew:

Why does the world need another IPA? Because this one ain’t like them others. We use hops of a different color, earthy and herbal, well-balanced by bready malt. The result? An English-style IPA that separates itself from the ubiquitous bunch. Cartloads of bitter monkeys flinging wasteful amounts of bananas into the jungle … we’re so done with that.
This description has so much bravado it’s unreal! Whilst I do love American Style IPA’s, sometimes it’s nice to have a English Style one! I think both styles of IPA are great in their different ways though, and wish that Left Hand did an easily obtainable Year Round American Style IPA to compare side by side. Next time I see Warrior IPA, I’ll have to compare the two!
I usually start with Hops when doing a big, American IPA  but seeing as this is an English Style one let’s start with the Malt! Pale 2-row, Crystal, Munich and Malted Wheat. The 2-Row makes up a lot of this base. As for the Hops, surprisingly we’ve got no traditional Fuggles in here but the hop bill is impressive! Magnum, Boadicea and Sovereign Hops are used.
When you pour this beer, it’s dark Orange with a Medium White head. The head fades very quickly leaving some dotty lacing on the side of the glass and a thin white ring around the glass. On the nose there’s a lot of Orangy Citrus, Bready notes and biscuity aromas. When you first taste this beer, on the palate you get some Caramel, Biscuit and then an almost Rye like flavour followed by a Resinous Pine Finish. Left Hand have done really well with this style, and it seems like an American take on the base ingredients for a modern English IPA. The Balance in English IPA’s is always important, and it’s been done very well in this beer, Rich Malt flavours, Slightly Citrus and Piney hops with pronounced Yeast notes. The beer is very smooth and drinkable, and I’d say the Carbonation is high for this style. It finishes Medium-Dry. All in all a great Year Round offering and something I would definitely grab when I see it!
Unfortunately 400 Pound Monkey seems to be out of stock everywhere at the moment, but keep checking the below:
EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%

Collaboration IPA – English: Magic Rock, Beavertown and Siren Rule Of Thirds

Siren Rule Of Thirds

This week’s beer is one I had a little while ago, but deserves a shout. I had another recently and it’s still just as fresh! Rule Of Thirds is a Collaboration beer by Siren Craft Brew, Magic Rock and Beavertown. Three of the best UK Breweries. What makes this interesting is that they’ve taken a Third of their IPA recipes and brought them together to make this beer.

Let’s start with the description of the beer:

Take three flagship IPA’s from Siren, Magic Rock, Beavertown and combine them to create something entirely new yet distinctively familiar. That’s the goal with Rule of Thirds, each of the deliciously defining features to flow seamlessly from one to another.

A simple and effective description. However, I feel as though they expect you to have tasted all of the IPA’s used to create this… some people may not have! But nevertheless, a good description with a good story behind it!

Now, with the Recipe it’s a hard one… They’ve said a Third of their recipes. Does that mean a Third of each full recipe? Or just parts? I’ve listed all the ingredients for all three brews, and then highlighted in Bold which flavours stand out the most. Maris Otter Two-Row Malt, Munich Malt, Cara Malt, Caramel/Crystal Malt. Simcoe, Cascade, Apollo, Summit, Target, Warrior, Magnum, Amerillo, Bravo and Columbus Hops. If it literally uses all the ingredients, the hopping schedule on this one must be insane! I think the best thing to do if Homebrewing is experiment with both!

This beer pours Golden with a white ring around the edges of the glass. On the nose there’s massive hits of Mango, Citrus, Orange Peel and Bubblegum. This really is one of the best IPA’s I’ve smelt for a while! When tasting this beer, you get loads of Grapefruit, Mango, Citrus, Lemon Zest ending with a Bitter Resinous Pine Needle finish. It really is quite Bitter, but if you like your IPA’s you’ll definitely love it! The beer is Medium Bodied and finishes quite dry with good Carbonation.

Although this beer is finished, Siren are always one to re-release their beers and if you can find one, even better! As I mentioned, I had another a week ago and it’s still just as full flavoured as when I first had it back in December. Also, Craft Beer Co locations are known to have it on tap.

Keep checking the following links for stock: Beer Gonzo, Ales by Mail.

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%

Aged Stout – Danish/American: Evil Twin/Prairie Fine Ales Bible Belt

Bible Belt - Evil Twin

This week’s beer is an excellent collaboration Imperial Stout from Evil Twin and Prairie Fine Ales called Bible Belt. This one is definitely a beer that will warm you up in this snow, 13% and aged on Imperial Stout aged on Coffee, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans and Chili Peppers. The picture above is from the first time I had it, at Brewdog’s Shoreditch bar. I loved it so much that I now have a collection of them in my cellar!

Let’s start with Evil Twin and Prairie’s Description of the Beer:

Let’s face it – we love big, flavorful stouts. As luck would have it, our friend Jeppe at Evil Twin Brewing feels the same way. We decided to brew a beer together that took elements from our favorite stouts we each produce to come together as one beer. Bible Belt takes elements we love from Prairie Bomb! and combines them with Evil Twin Brewing’s world famous stout, Even More Jesus. The end result is a smoky, spicy stout that is sure to please the pallet.

Personally, I think this is a good description of the brew. We’ve got the back story and how it tastes without a long page of blurb. Sometimes that can be a lot better than a story that is pages long – in this case it is. I like how this is a mash up of both of their Stouts, and it made it hard to figure out what the recipe could be! Speaking of recipe…

As this is an Imperial Stout, Malts are king! I think the Malts in this beer are 2-Row, Crystal 150, Chocolate Malt, Special Black Malt, Black Malt and Roasted Barley. After this I think there’s also some fermentables, Flaked Oats and some Brown Sugar. As for the hops, I think a generous amount of Magnum has been used. After this the beer is fermented, and during secondary fermentation the Coffee, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans, and Chili Peppers are added and it is aged. I’m not sure how long the beer is aged for, but I think it’s most probably around 90 days.

This beer pours dark as tar with a large caramel coloured head that dissipates very quickly to no head leaving little dots of lacing on the sides of the glass. On the nose, the first thing you notice is a huge Chocolate and Coffee aroma, almost like a Mocha. Some Vanilla notes, Dark Roasty Malts and a little bit of an Earthy bouquet towards the tail end. This beer smells absolutely fantastic! When you taste it, the first thing you get is lots of Chocolate, Coffee and Dark Malts followed by earthy and spicy Chilli Pepper that does creep up on you a little but it’s not too high a heat to deal with. There’s hints of Vanilla, but unfortunately it’s merged with the Coffee at the start and the Chilli flavours dominate towards the end. Although there’s a little bit of Chilli heat in this beer, it’s actually really really smooth and finishes medium.

Unfortunately, Bible Belt is pretty tough to find online in the UK, but you can get it from the following places (if it’s not in stock, ask!)

Utobeer – London

Beer Moth – Manchester

Brewdog Shoreditch – London

Bottledog – London

DogTap – Ellon, Aberdeenshire

Hopefully we’ll see this beer better represented online soon!

EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%

Fruit Wheat Beer – Hawaiian Maui Brewing Mana Wheat

Maui Brewing Mana Wheat

This Friday’s beer is not a Winter Brew by any means, but January is drawing to a close now and sometimes there’s nothing better than a nice refreshing brew after a hard days work. Mana Wheat, a Pineapple American Wheat from Maui Brewing in Hawaii is perfect for this in my opinion.

Let’s start with Maui‘s Description of the beer:

An unfiltered, freshly handcrafted American-style Wheat infused with Maui Gold Pineapple. Our crisp and refreshing wheat ale is lightly hopped to allow the fruity sweetness of the pineapple to shine. The yeast stays in suspension making the ale traditionally cloudy.

A short, but sweet description from Maui Brewing. It has a little bit of how they brew the beer, which is nice and lets you know to expect it to be cloudy but leaves the rest to the imagination. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and seeing as this is my first Pineapple Wheat Beer it allowed me to taste the beer without any preconceptions.

I had a good look for the recipe of this brew, and unfortunately I couldn’t find it anywhere! So I tasted a few of these and came up with the recipe as best I could. The malts in this beer are Wheat Malt, Pale Ale Malt and Munich Malt, with some Flaked Wheat added as a fermentable. As for the hops, I think Northern Brewer and a very small amount of Citra have been used. After this the famous Maui Gold Pineapples are added as juice and it’s left to ferment.

When you pour this beer, it pours a Cloudy Golden Colour with a Medium White head. Unfortunately, the picture I took above doesn’t do the Beer as much justice as I would’ve liked. The head leaved sticky lacing around the glass as it dissipates and really clings there if you let it. On the nose, there’s hints of Bubblegum, quite a bit of Pineapple Juice and Tinned Pineapple, Wheat, and a touch of Banana and other Tropical Fruits. This beer smells so inviting, and I honestly think although it’s fruity and a Wheat Beer you really can appriciate it year round. The Palate is more complex than I expected, with Fruity Pineapple Notes, Wheat and a touch of Clove with a fruity slightly Hoppy finish. During this, the Pineapple and Tropical Fruit carry through the flavour very well. It’s not exactly a sweet beer and finishes a little Spicy. It’s quite full-bodied for the style, finishes Medium. I recommend this beer for year round consumption, although it would be better in the Summer with a BBQ going!

You can buy Maui Mana Wheat in the UK at:

Beers of Europe

Amazon

Unfortunately both places are out of stock at the moment, but keep an eye out as this is a truely great brew!

EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%

Double IPA – American: Stone 18th Anniversary IPA

Stone 18th Anniversary IPA

This week I’m writing about a beer I had a little while ago, and may be a little hard to come by now. It definitely deserves a mention though. This Friday’s beer is Stone 18th Anniversary IPA. A beer brewed for the 18th Anniversary of the company. And, of course it’s an IPA! It’s what Stone has become known for over the years.

Let’s start with Stone‘s description of the beer.

As we compose the text for this celebratory beer‐a golden‐brown India pale ale dry-hopped exclusively and abundantly with El Dorado hops‐we stand ready to leap from the precipice of all we know into a new era for our company, our beers and, most importantly, our fans. It’s one that will see us exploring new territory, both geographically and creatively, as we evolve from pacesetters for the American craft brewing movement to cross‐planetary champions of the worldwide cause of craft, hoisting our banner to proclaim artisanal beers’ vast superiority over stripped‐down, business-driven, industrialized, fizzy, yellow mediocrity. We thank you for shadowing us for the first 18 years of our journey, and welcome you to join us for next leg and all that follows.

I won’t spoil what’s on the back of the bottle, as these are still around. Just make sure if you get one now, drink it asap! Stone’s IPA’s are never meant to last long. Quite a modest description for Stone, which I like. However, there’s still the comment about the larger brewers. It’s a good description, it celebrates their journey so far and gives you a tiny insight into the beer with the fact they use El Dorado Hops.

Let’s start with the malts in this one, 2-Row Pale, Crystal with a small amount of English Brown Malt and Briess Dark Roasted Malt. This is how it gets it’s colour and also some of the complex flavours that I will talk about a little later. As for the Hops, as it says in the description:- El Dorado Hops are used in both the boil and Dry Hop during Fermentation. El Dorado Hops are relatively new to the table, and I think it was quite brave of Stone to only use them in such a high profile offering.

When you pour this beer, it pours a Ruby colour with Golden sides and a medium white head. It really does look nice in the glass. It leaves dotty lacing on the glass as the head dissipates to a Thin Foam on the top of the beer. On the nose there’s loads of Lemon, a little Liquorice, Pine and some slight Cocoa. The way this beer looks and smells makes you want to drink it straight away, I haven’t written about a beer that looks this good in the glass for a little while! On the palate, the first thing you get is Toffee and Liquorice, followed by a big Lemony Citrus kick, ending with some bitter Orange peel and Pine. The Lemon flavour carries through the entire time, tied in with some complex coffee and toffee undertone. This beer feels quite light in the mouth, is medium carbonated and ends quite dry. What a fantastic beer, one that I wish Stone would brew again! I’d recommend it if you can get hold of one now, but in a few months it may be worth passing up.

I purchased Stone’s 18th Anniversary beer at Bottledog in Kings Cross, unfortunately I can’t find anywhere online in the UK to grab one of these. Even if you can’t this time, I’d recommend looking around August time for their 19th Anniversary beer, they’re always good!

EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%

New Years Post – Imperial Amber/Red Ale – Scottish: Brewdog Mashtag #2014

My first Blog post of 2015, but I’m starting off with a great beer from last year – Brewdog‘s Mashtag 2014. Mashtag is a Beer that Brewdog ask the public to nominate ingredients for. They did one in 2013, and 2014 so I’m hoping it happens again this year! I’ll let you know a little more about the recipe later on but I really do think this is a great idea. I’m surprised the combination in this one came out so well!

Let’s start with Brewdog‘s description of the Beer:

#Mashtag 2014 – a beer for the people, by the people.
The #Mashtag concept is simple. We invited the public to vote on each aspect of the brew, from hops to malt to the special twist and even the label design, and from the thousands of possibilities this presented, the result is an imperial red ale, brewed with copious speciality malts, a global blend of hops, and blood orange, lemon peel and orange peel.
On the nose, there’s a riot of citrus, in many forms, from orange pith to lemon zest, via lime juice and even lemongrass. Fresh, bright resinous notes blend with light toasty malt aromas.
The palate is intense with toffee, with tiny hints of tobacco smoke coming through in little bursts, but the star attraction is an all-out bitter orange avalanche. A slightly psychotic, orange-that-thinks-it’s-a-grapefruit character builds upon and intensifies the hop bitterness, squaring up against the rich sweet malt base. The result is a huge red ale with a drinkable quality you’d expect in a beer half this strength.

I quite like this description, it’s not like a lot of the Brewdog’s other (now banned) bottles. It makes me sad in a way, but on the other hand I think it’s an apt description for a beer voted for by people around the world. It has a little back story on how the Public voted for ingredients and then a little insight on the flavours which really do sound incredible!

The Malts used in this beer are Extra Pale, Cara, Crystal, Dark Crystal and Black Malt – A different mix for a Red Ale, but it contributes to the appearance and flavour a lot. Next up, the Hops! Amarillo, Motueka and Mittelfrüh. Definitely a Citrus bomb with the hops, given the other ingredients; a large helping of Blood Orange, Orange Peel and various other Citrus fruits. After this, it’s Fermented with Brewdog’s usual yeast, which is a Dry English Yeast strain.

When you pour this beer, it is a dark Ruby colour with a thin off-white head. It dissipates pretty quickly leaving dotty lacing on the glass, which is a nice touch. On the nose, absolutely loads of Blood Orange, some Honey, Pine and Citrus notes follow. After smelling this beer you want to drink the entire thing straight away, but this is definitely not to be taken lightly as it’s just shy of 10%. The first thing you get when you taste this brew, is yet more Blood Orange, it really dominates this brew but it’s not a bad thing! After this, some Citrus Notes with a little bit of Grapefruit until the Caramel, Honey with a touch of Smoke comes through from the malts. The flavour in this beer sounds completely extreme, but it’s so balanced and that’s not an easy feat! The carbonation isn’t as high as you’d expect in a beer like this, finishing Medium/Dry with some Bitter Orange Peel notes.

This is a beer I’d definitely recommend seeking out before it goes completely! There’s nothing wrong with drinking a beer from last year this year! Let’s look forward to this years Mashtag!

You can still buy Mashtag #2014 at:

Ales By Mail

Beer Gonzo

Beers of Europe

All three of these places are still In Stock at time of writing, and the beer has a pretty long date so don’t worry about that.

For any Bars/Shops looking to stock this beer you can Contact the Brewdog rep in your area for more info.

EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%

Belgian IPA – American: Green Flash Le Freak

This week’s beer is Le Freak, brewed by Green Flash in San Diego. A Belgian IPA at 9.2%, it’s definitely one that can keep you warm during the winter!

Let’s start with Green Flash‘s Description of the Beer:

Le Freak™ is the first-ever hybrid ale of its kind: the convergence of a Belgian-Style Trippel with an American Imperial IPA. Spawned over barstool pontifications between Publican and Brewmaster, this zesty Amarillo dry-hopped, bottle-conditioned marvel entices with fruity Belgian yeast aromatics and a firm, dry finish. Experience a legendary beer phenomenon.

I like this description, Green Flash claim to be the originators of American Brewed Belgian IPA. It also doesn’t give too much away about the beer, apart from the fact Amarillo hops are used to Dry Hop during Fermentation. Belgian beers are notoriously hard to get right, and lets hope Green Flash have!

Apparently, Le Freak uses the recipe for Green Flash’s well known Imperial IPA. The malts in this beer are two row pale barley, Carastan, a British crystal malt to help the beer’s body, mouthfeel and colour and crystal malt. Quite an American mix of malts apart from the Crystal! Next, the hops. Now I know I always say the hops are what makes an IPA, but with this you have the yeast to think about too seeing as it’s a Belgian Style Imperial IPA. Hops are Summit and Nugget, and it is then Dry-Hopped with Amarillo during Fermentation. Sounds like a pretty standard IPA, right? Wrong. This is where Green Flash work their magic, using their house yeast and White Labs Belgian Yeast to ferment the beer together. The Belgian yeast is put in for the first 2 days of Fermentation, then the American House yeast is added 2 days later. It’s then Bottle Conditioned with Fresh Yeast. Triple Fermentation? Yes! And that’s why it’s over 9%! I think this is a great way to make an American/Belgian beer.

When you pour this beer, it’s Amber coloured with a thick white head. It eventually Dissipates to a thinner head, but it is ever present during drinking the beer. It looks like an IPA, so how does it smell? This is where the Belgian Yeast comes into play, with Pepper, Coriander (Cilantro), Banana Bread with some Floral and Citrus aromas in there too. It’s something you definitely want to dive into once you smell the slight Brett notes in the background too. The taste is a lot like the nose, Banana Bread, Coriander, Pepper, Dried Orange Peel, Melon with that West Coast Citrusy IPA finish. This beer really does taste absolutely like a cross between American and Belgian beers! Like a Trippel crossed with a West Coast IPA! The mouthfeel is quite thick, leaving bitterness under the tounge and a sweetness on top of the tounge. Truely a great brew, and something that’s on my list for when I visit San Diego next year!

I really do recommend this beer, whether you’re drinking it in the sun, or snuggled up by the fireplace on a cold Winter’s night.

You can buy Green Flash Le Freak in the UK at:

Beers of Europe

Ales By Mail

The Bottle Shop

Beer Gonzo (IN STOCK AT TIME OF WRITING)

Unfortunately, Green Flash beers are not widely distributed in the UK at the moment, but this is hopefully set to change soon as they have teamed up with a Belgian Brewery!

EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%