ClubGonzo’s Get Down and Boogie Woogie

Mead, 12.5% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Get Down and Boogie Woogie, mead batch 38.

This celebratory mead has been aged on whisky barrel oak chips, I guess I should have seen that one coming!

In the glass the Get Down etc. looks clear, and it has a dark golden colour.

The aroma is moderate, and the whisky oak chips have clearly done a thorough job: the peaty whisky is quite dominating at first, and I have to swirl the contents of my glass in order to bring forth the sweet honey notes. A complex, unusual and nice aroma!

In the mouth the peaty whisky contribution is less omnipresent, it blends more in with the very sweet honey profile. This mead is brewed with maple syrup, but I’m note sure if I manage to identify it (unless it mainly creates an additional layer of sweetness).

Conclusion: a nice touch with the peaty whisky notes, but maybe a bit too sweet. 

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0
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ClubGonzo’s Agent Orange

Mead, 9.5% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Agent Orange, mead batch 36.

Orange mead in sunset.

I often like meads with added citrus, so let’s try one with juice and peel from oranges.

This is yet another clear mead, with a quite dark and good-looking golden colour.

The aroma is strong, and it clearly has notes of oranges mixed in with the honey.

The oranges are very present in the strong flavour as well, both as a solid, sweet and orangey fruitiness from the juice, and as a refreshing very light bitterness from the zest. I prefer more acidic citrus fruits like lemon and lime in mead, but oranges also works very well. It’s a sweet mead, but the sweetness is tamed by the acidity and bitterness from the fruits.

Conclusion: a well balanced and fruity mead.

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Porto Miel

Mead, 12.5% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Porto Miel, mead batch 34.

Pale amber to orange body.

So, ok, a mead fermented with souring bacteria and yeast, that ends up being oxidised instead of sour since the brewer forgot to put the lid on the fermenter. Well.

In the glass it looks pale amber to orange, a nice colour!

The aroma isn’t very strong, and it’s not as adventurous as the description on the label. It smells dryer than the typical ClubGonzo mead, and has notes of honey, oxidation, wood and port.

The flavour is quite strong, and it’s as oxidised as the aroma. Also some brown sugar. The taste is very sweet, but it dries up in the finish.

Conclusion: a fun twist with the oxidation, but not a terribly exiting brew.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.1/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Framboosenmead

Mead/Melomel, 14.5%

ClubGozo’s Framboosenmead, mead batch 33.

Deep red body.

Raspberries and beer is a lovely combination, so what about raspberries and mead?

In the glass it looks clear, and it has a very deep red colour.

The aroma is strong and laden with very sweet and overripe raspberries. There is not much tartness to be found here. Not much honey either, for that matter.

The strong flavour follows the overripe path of the aroma, with additional hints of cherry pits.

Oh, this is some serious sweet stuff! I had expected some acidity from the raspberries, but this is just pure sugary sweetness.

The texture is thick and syrupy.

Conclusion: a bit too violently sweet and overripe, but still a decent mead.

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    11/20
Ratebeer score: 3.0/5.0

Øl de Helle Cream Ale

Cream Ale, 5.6% ABV, unknown IBU.

Øl de Helle Cream Ale, enjoyed 2 months after brewing.

Whenever I visit my parents my father has always stocked up on craft beers to be consumed by yours truly. This summer he had a couple of special treats lined up for me: two homebrews from the neighbours Solfrid and Fritz! The two head brewers of Øl de Helle are quite new to the game – the Cream Ale is one of their first batches and it was brewed just a couple of months ago. I will therefore go easy on this beer… yeah right! As if! Nope, this brew is no exception, it will be judged as strictly as any commercial brew!

Before I start rating the beer I must confess that Cream Ale is far from being one of my favourite beer styles – a style that is supposed to be faint and subtle is usually not my cup of tea.

Cream Ale in a Nøgne Ø glass.

It pours a slightly hazy golden body, with a frothy, off-white, short-lived head that doesn’t lace my glass at all.

The aroma is fairly faint, but I guess that could be said to be according to style. It’s not a very exciting aroma, but it’s fairly clean, despite some very subtle hints of higher alcohols. The main elements are pale malts, citrus and some generic fruity notes, with apples in the back and hints of a Belgian yeasty peppery spiciness. Which yeast did you use for this one?

The flavour is also rather faint, with notes of grapefruit, apples, pale malts, spices (especially black pepper) and a chalky dryness in the finish. Also lots of citrus zest and pips, that make the aftertaste a bit astringent and decrease the drinkability slightly.

The taste is light sweet with a fairly long-lasting moderate bitter finish. To me the bitterness level feels a bit too hight for such an otherwise mellow brew.

It has a decent mouthfeel with a creamy, smooth and quite dry texture, medium body and moderate carbonation.

Conclusion: a fairly well balanced brew, but I didn’t quite like the astringency and the bitterness was a bit too high for the gentle aroma and flavour profile. A lover of cream ales might have enjoyed this one more that I did.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.4/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Calluna Majoris

Mead, 11.7% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Calluna Majoris, mead batch 32.

Looks a bit like liquid heather honey, doesn’t it?

A single honey mead with plain heather honey, and no crazy additions. That’s a new one!

It pours a clear, pale golden body, nothing extraordinary there either.

The aroma is strong and sweet, with recognisable notes of pure heather honey. I guess it smells exactly what you would expect a mead to smell, if you’ve never tried a mead before. It’s very simple, but clean and tempting.

The flavour isn’t any more adventurous than the aroma, this is as basic and down to earth as a mead can be. It’s heavy sweet, but not cloying.

Conclusion: a mead for traditional Norwegian heather honey lovers.

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Absolutely Bananas

Mead, 11.5% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Absolutely Bananas, mead batch 30.

Not the usual golden colour, instead is pale amber.

The previous banana mead from ClubGonzo did not impress me at all, let’s see if this one is any better.

It pours a pale amber body that is crystal clear.

The strong aroma reminds me of the dreaded Norwegian banana spread “Banos”, i.e. overly sweet and overripe bananas mixed with sugar. The honey is also quite apparent, giving the mead an even sweeter first impression.

There is a surprisingly solid intensity in the flavour as well, and it’s actually not that hard to pinpoint the banana. I had assumed that there was hardly any discernible banana left, since this melomel is getting really old. I won’t claim that it’s aged well, but it’s not bad in any way (as was the case with the Melonmel that I had a few days ago). The taste is heavy sweet, and the texture is sirupy and thick.

Conclusion: a bit too old, sweet and faint, but still possible to drink. 

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    10/20
Ratebeer score: 2.8/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Clean Cocos

Mead, 11.7% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Clean Cocos, mead batch 31.

Kliiin kokos (kokos… kokos…)

Coconut is a Good Thing. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a coconut beer that is not delicious, and the one mead with added coconut that I’ve tasted so far was the best mead I’ve ever had.

In the glass it’s clear and golden.

The aroma is strong, with a quite light and sharp-ish honey quality. The coconut is not very obvious, but detectable.

The coconut is more present in the flavour that in the aroma, and it plays well with the honey.

Despite being very sweet, it’s actually quite refreshing, due to an interesting light acidity in the finish. Is that the coconut speaking? Or has the brewer put in some citrus zest into this mead without saying so on the label?

Conclusion:  nope, I still haven’t had a coconut brew that I didn’t like. 

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Pineapple Delight

Mead, 12% ABV.

ClubGonzo’s Pineapple Delight, mead batch 29.

Seen from above the Pineapple Delight looks a bit like a pineapple cut in half, right?

Tropical fruits are winners in beers, so why not in a mead?

The colour of this brew is deep golden, and the body is clear.

Strong aroma of honey and sweet, overripe pineapples, with a touch of acidity and fruity spiciness.

The flavour is also strong and it has the same notes found in the aroma. The overripeness is a bit pronounced and the sweetness is rather heavy, but the pineapple acidity prevents the brew from becoming cloying. A highly drinkable mead.

Conclusion: tasty sweet and sour. Maybe mix in some deep fried pork in the next batch?

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Chocolicious

Mead, 12.7% ABV.

 

ClubGonzo’s Chocolicious, mead batch 26.

Look at that colour!

Yay! Finally! A mead with cocoa beans!

It pours a clear, lovely, deep amber body.

The nose is dominated by strong and dry cocoa. I have to swirl the contents to bring out the sweet honey notes, that of course backs the cocoa brilliantly.

The very strong flavour is packed with cocoa, chocolate pudding, caramel, coffee and sweet honey. The alcohol is well integrated. Lovely!

It’s a sweet brew for sure, but the cocoa beans bring a dryness in the finish.

Conclusion: everything gets better with chocolate.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 5/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.5/5.0