ClubGonzo's Greek Fire

Greek Fire by ClubGonzo, India Pale Ale, 6.3 % ABV, 61 IBU.

ClubGonzos Greek Fire a.k.a. Solo Batch no. 4

This single hop beer has a very dark amber colour, unusually dark for an IPA. The body is hazy, and no lumps of yeast or hops can bee seen in my glass: either the Bergen brewers have shaped up recently, or I’ve finally learned how to pour a beer without whirling up the sediments. The head is creamy, light brown and stays as a thick layer until my glass is empty. The before mentioned glass gets covered in lacings by this long-lived head.

The aroma is strong, sweet and very inviting! I get huge amounts of fruits and berries, actually quite much strawberries, that’s a new one! Also sweet tropical fruits, mainly peach and mango and a firm kick of bitter grapefruit. This is really, really nice!

The taste is moderate sweet, that’s quite much sweetness for an IPA. This lovely caramelly malty sweetness is perfectly backed up by a moderate to heavy bitter long-lasting finish, and what a pleasant bitterness it is! Without having brewed any beers myself I get the impression that it’s quite easy to produce a very bitter taste, but it’s much more difficult to make a pleasant bitterness. The flavours are strong, and again I get a quite obvious strawberry feel. The mango is still there and quite definitely the grapefruit. Vague alcohol in the finish, but that’s nowhere near disturbing. Given the quite sweet taste and the sweet strawberry notes, a gentle alcohol bite is very welcome.

A very dark IPA with a nice creamy head.

Resilient head with lacing capabilities.

The body is medium, it has a nice oily texture and a fitting soft carbonation. When my glass is almost empty I start noticing something far into the aftertaste that isn’t that pleasant, it’s something about that bitterness that doesn’t seem perfect anymore. That might of course be due to the palate fatigue, after all it had to endure violent abuse from the horrible Dandy Lion earlier this evening, but still I need to go all the way down to a 3 for the Palate.

Conclusion: A lovely single hop beer with truck loads of delicious fruits and berries both in the aroma and in the flavours. The bitterness is pronounced and pleasant, and the heightened sweetness level is pleasant, even though it might not be exactly according to style? And who cares about the slightly too dark colour?

Aroma:     8
Apperance: 4
Taste:     8
Palate:    3
Overall:  14
Ratebeer Score: 3.7


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JoKr Brewers Dandy Lion

Dandy Lion with its huge head.

Dandy Lion by JoKr Brewers, Saision / Spice/Herb/Vegetable, 7.8% ABV, 32 IBU.

The Dandy Lion pours a beautiful, medium orange, nearly opaque body with no visible particles. The head is huge, creamy, off-white and very long-lived. It eventually ends up as foamy islands resting on a thin layer of foam, and my glass is draped with lacing. Nice!

Dandy Lion by JoKr Brewers. Batch no. 12.

The aroma is strong and absolutely lovely! It’s quite belgian-like, I’m immediately thinking Duvel and triples. Delicious yeasty notes, sweet light fruits like banana, but also slightly overripe fruity notes and even some fermented apples. Also flowers, herbs and spices with sweet honey in the back.

Now, the taste… Oh my. My wife thought I was sick or something when she heard my reaction when I took the first sip! This is absolutely awful! My palate is violently attacked by the most massive wall of alcohol I’ve ever encountered in any beer, this is like drinking pure vodka! What on earth has happened here? 7.8% ABV? Are you sure it’s not 78% ABV? Initially it is difficult to say anything about the taste and flavours, everything is completely drowned in alcohol. After a few sips however I think I can detect quite much sweetness in here, also some light acidity and a very light bitterness in the finish. It is also possible to find other flavours than alcohol: the first 0.5 seconds are actually quite nice, with very pleasant yeast, sweet fruits and honey. But then the alcohol kicks in and actually makes it difficult to swallow the beer. In the aftertaste, after the alcohol has faded out, I get some slightly rotten floral notes, and far far far in the aftertaste the dandelions start to show up: I can actually taste the white dandelion sap bitterness! That’s cool!

It doesn’t help that the body is medium, the moderate to soft carbonation is fitting and the texture is pleasant creamy to oily when everything is completely spoiled by the harsh alcohol finish. This is the definition of an unpleasant mouthfeel. I actually couldn’t finish the tiny 25 cl bottle.

Conclusion: An utter confusing beer. Wonderful aroma, some nice flavours but with a mouthfeel straight from the darkest pits of Hell. I guess I should have kept this in my beer cellar for a few more months?

Aroma:      8
Appearance: 4
Taste:      4
Palate:     1
Overall:    7
Ratebeer Score: 2.4


ClubGonzo's BBB (Basic Biomedical Beer)

BBB (Basic Biomedical Beer) by ClubGonzo, American Pale Ale, 5.4 % ABV, 40 IBU.

BBB (Basic Biomedical Beer) by ClubGonzo is one aggressively carbonated fellow.

Ouch, a gusher! The beer doesn’t come out of the bottle that quickly though, so I actually mange to fit almost the entire contents in my glass, including a huge, frothy, very light brown head. This foamy lid stopped the aromas quite effectively, so I had to spoon out parts of it to get an impression of the scents. The good thing about the head is that it’s long-lived, but for some reason it hardly leaves any lacing. The body is medium amber and cloudy with lots of yeasty sediments.

BBB (Basic Biomedical Beer) a.k.a. Solo Batch no. 5.

Exciting aroma of moderate strength that is dominated by pleasant fruits and berry-like notes: I get citrus, peach and raspberry candy (bringebærdrops!).

The taste is light sweet with a quite sharp bitter finish. It’s that kind of bitterness that is not actually that bitter, but it still feels quite stinging, both due to the faint perfume-like flavours that lurk in the back and also the quite lively carbonation. The texture is rather dry and the finish is somewhat chalky. The flavours are fruits and berries (again with the fun raspberry candy), yeast and these hints of sharp perfume. Refreshing-ish, but with some flaws.

Conclusion: I’ve never had a gushing beer that I’ve fully enjoyed, they all get too yeasty, and this is also the case for the BBB. That’s a shame, because apart from the yeast both the aroma and flavour are quite nice, so I guess this was a really good one in its glory days. But I’ve got to rate the bottle I’ve got, and that was not better than “quite OK”.

Aroma:      7
Appearance: 2
Taste:      6
Palate:     3
Overall:   12
Ratebeer Score: 3.0


ClubGonzo's A.A.

A.A. by ClubGonzo, American Amber Ale,  5% ABV, 34 IBU.

The first cm of beer that settles in my glass is quite clear, but then the remaining beer in the bottle starts to gush lightly, and the body ends up rather murky with lots of sediments. The large, creamy, light-brown head stays as a decent-sized layer and leaves a good deal of lacing on the glass.

ClubGonzoz A.A., a.k.a. Solo Batch no. 3. Another brilliant label!

Strong and pleasant aroma with sweet fruits as the backbone. I’m not quite sure what kind of fruits I pick up other than citric notes, but it’s still very fruity. There is also a nice caramel touch. And isn’t there a lightly roasted feel, I believe I get faint traces of coffee and tobacco? Nah, it can’t be right, can it? Anyway, an inviting aroma!

The taste is quite sweet, both initially and mid palate. Let’s put it at “light to moderate sweet” on the official Beer With Me Sweetness Scale™ (that reads light / moderate / heavy / harsh / pure sugar). The finish is pleasantly moderate to light bitter and is rather long-lived.

A.A. in the glass, the head lasts and lasts.

Thats what I call a creamy head!

The moderate flavours are fruity citric with grassy notes, resin and caramel. Again I think there’s a lightly roasted feel, or is it just the caramel that’s talking?

The mouthfeel is very pleasant, the beer feels very smooth and has a solid medium body, medium carbonation and a light dry finish.

Conclusion: A very drinkable ale! Both the aroma and flavour are nice and absolutely clean without any traces of unpleasant yeast, despite the murky look.

Aroma:      7
Appearance: 3
Taste:      7
Palate:     4
Overall:   13
Ratebeer Score: 3.4


JoKr Brewers Mangopia

Mangopia by JoKr Brewers, American Pale Ale, 4.4 % ABV, 42 IBU.

The last mango infused ale from JoKr Brewers, Hops meet Mango, was a bit disappointing: the aroma was amazing but the beer was a gusher, the murky body with chunks of mango didn’t look that good in the glass and it was far too alcoholic and yeasty. Hopefully this lighter version is more pleasant!

JoKr Brewers Mangopia, batch no. 11

The Mangopia doesn’t gush, so there’s a huge improvement right away! So let’s pour the clear, sparkling liquid into my gl… eh… What? Mango lumps again? Putting the fresh mango in a finely masked net bag clearly didn’t solve the mango residue problem: here are plenty of bits, pieces and lumps of mango suspended in a cloudy medium orange body. I might have poured the beer too quickly, but still. The off-white head is of average size, quite frothy and a bit short-lived. It leaves virtually no lacing on the glass.

The aroma is very strong, delicious, very crisp and refreshing! It’s sweet fruity with perfectly ripe fruits, the slightly acidic mango is very obvious. Also peach, citric notes, refreshing herbs, resin and a whiff of caramel. Absolutely lovely!

The taste is light sweet with a moderate bitter long-lasting finish. Quite gentle bitterness for an APA. A very light acidity further enhances the crisp impression from the aroma. The flavours are of moderate strength, again with mango as the main component. Unfortunately there is also a light yeasty feel that I don’t like that much: neither the flavour nor the yeasty dryness in the finish. Still, good stuff, and the yeast is far less intrusive than in the Hops Meet Mango.

Decent mouthfeel, although a bit thin. The carbonation is soft, it could have benefited form an higher carbonation level.

A bit too cold Mangopia with an ok head.

Conclusion: it’s getting there! The aroma is very strong and lovely, the flavours are nice but a bit weaker than I’d hoped for, and the overall feel is a tiny bit too yeasty. A big improvement from the Hops meet Mango!

Aroma:     8
Apperance: 2
Taste:     7
Palate:    3
Overall:  12
Ratebeer score: 3.2