Dr. M nr 5 – Niña

Dr. M. nr 5 - Niña

Dr. M. nr 5 – Niña

Niña by Dr. M, India Pale Ale, 6.3% ABV, 162 IBU.

As always Dr. M is on the dark side of the colour scale when brewing, this IPA pours a medium brown, cloudy and somewhat dirty-looking body. The head is of average size, it’s light-brown and it settles as a fully lasting layer. A decent amount of foam is left on the glass.

A brown IPA.

Enjoyed in the garden 6 months after bottling

The aroma is quite strong, sweet and mostly fruity, but some roasted notes are also very present. This actually smells more like a black IPA than a traditional IPA, which the label claims that this is. It’s a fairly simple aroma with slightly overripe tropical fruits and lightly roasted coffee.

The taste is moderate sweet and moderate bitter. According to the label this beer clocks in at 162 IBU, I would have guessed 50 to 60… The moderate flavours are again a mix of hoppy and roasted notes. Cold filter coffee, caramel and fruits, also some light unclean yeasty notes. It feels like the malt and the hops try to beat each other to death, there is little cooperation between the two poles, and hence they partially annihilate each other. Not that this is a very boring and tasteless beer, but in a really successful india brown ale, which I guess is the most fitting style for the Niña, the malt and the hops should enhance each other, not dull each other down.

Despite the rather high carbonation this beer feels rather smooth on the palate. The body is medium and the finish is light dry.

Conclusion: if you put aside the untraditional interpretation of the IPA style, this sort of works for me. It’s not a bad brew by any means, just a bit anonymous. And slightly boring?

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    10/20
Ratebeer score: 2.9/5.0
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ClubGonzo’s Bittersweet

ClubGonzo Bittersweet, Batch 18.

ClubGonzo Bittersweet, Batch 18.

Bittersweet by ClubGonzo, Bitter, 3.3% ABV, 33 IBU.

3.3% ABV. So, ClubGonzo has jumped on the  session beers bandwagon?

The Bittersweet pours a clear, dark amber body. The head is small and frothy, consisting of many big light-brown bubbles, some of them manage to stick to the glass.

The aroma is quite strong with lightly roasted notes, caramel, fruits and mild coffee in the back.

Bittersweet in the glass.

Bittersweet in the glass.

The taste is moderate to light sweet and moderate to light bitter. The flavours follow the aroma, with lightly roasted notes and caramel, sweet fruits, hints of dark dried fruits and coffee notes further back.

The body is impressive for such a low ABV beer. It’s not at all that light, and the texture is more oily than watery. The finish is fairly dry and the carbonation is moderate.

Conclusion: Nothing wrong with this one, apart from not being exiting in any way. Pretty boring for a ClubGonzo beer actually, but it was a nice companion to this afternoon’s episode of Firefly. I’d rather watch another Firefly episode than have another Bittersweet, though.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    11/20
Ratebeer score: 2.9/5.0

ANodyn & Co. Rosenkrantz Sommer-Saison

Rosenkrantz Sommer-Saison by ANodyn & Co., Saison, 6.5% ABV, unknown IBU.

A new addition from the Bergen homebrew scene, this time 1/3 of Anodyn 33.3 bryggeri og drikkeri, Anders Fjelstad to be precise, who has brewed this saison together with Benedicte Røen og Rakel Helgheim.

Rosenkrantz Sommer-Saison, enjoyed 6 months after brewing.

Rosenkrantz Sommer-Saison, enjoyed 6 months after brewing.

It pours a very cloudy and opaque medium orange body, with a very large, creamy, quite dense, egg-white head that is long lived and laces the glass well.

The aroma is strong, crisp and very inviting. I get spices, fruits, especially citrus, pleasant yeasty notes and to my surprise also some hefeweizen-ish banana notes in the back. A bit unusual with the banana perhaps, but it’s highly inviting and it plays well with the crisp citric notes and the yeast.

The taste is light acidic, there is some sweetness, and the rather long-lasting finish has a moderate to light bitterness. I find this beer more bitter than most saisons, but it’s very fitting, and it’s still far from being an India Saison clone. The rather strong flavours are complex and delicious, with spices, some fruity notes (again banana in the back), citrus, yeast, honey and a touch of alcohol. The alcohol is clean, but quite noticeable, it’s almost of the level of a Belgian golden strong ale.

It’s a crisp and refreshing beer. I had it in my garden a sunny september afternoon, and the light body, dry texture and lively carbonation were those of perfect summer beer.

Rosenkrantz Sommer-Saison by Anders Fjeldstad & the girls.

Rosenkrantz Sommer-Saison by Anders Fjeldstad & the girls.

Conclusion: a very successful saison with hints of German hefeweizen meets Belgian golden strong ale meets abbey tripel. Very tasty, powerful aroma and flavour and dangerously drinkable.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.6/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Masturbator

Masturbator by ClubGonzo, Doppelbock, 7.2% ABV, 24 IBU.

The Masturbator (*giggle*) ejects (*sniggle*) a stunningly beautiful crystal clear, deep copper liquid. The light-brown, dense and creamy head, however, is average-sized, fairly short-lived and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

ClubGonzo's Masturbator

ClubGonzo’s Masturbator

The aroma is strong, sweet and complex, both according to the label and according to yours truly. It’s clean and highly malt driven, with delicious roasted notes, coffee, dark caramel and dark dried fruits.

ClubGonzo's solo batch no 9 is a highly successful doppelbockThe taste is very sweet, but the massive sweetness is fitting and it’s backed up by a moderate to light bitterness. The finish is very long-lasting with delicious, lingering notes of dark burnt coffee. The dark caramel is present in the flavours as well, and in the back there are sweet notes of dried fruits. And since this often is an issue with Bergen beers: there are no traces of unpleasant alcohol notes whatsoever.

The mouthfeel is extraordinary pleasant, with a lovely creamy texture, a full body and moderate carbonation.

Conclusion: lovely aroma, good balance, delicious flavours and a stunning mouthfeel. Throw in some spices in this one and you’ll have the perfect christmas lager.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     5/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.7/5.0

Dr. M nr 4 – van Gogh

van Gogh by Dr. M, Belgian Witbier, 5.5% ABV, 64 IBU.

Dr. M seems to like his beers dark brown, with little or no regards to the beer style. His fourth brew is no exception, this time it’s a wheat beer with caramel malt, fermented with both saison and Belgian wit yeast and hopped with Saaz and Citra.

Dr. M nr. 4 - van Gogh. The label is nice. And that's it.

Dr. M nr. 4 – van Gogh. The label is nice. And that’s it.

van Gogh in the glass (and on the iPad in the background)

van Gogh in the glass (and on the iPad in the background)

In the glass the medium brown body looks very cloudy and dirty, but again the head saves the day. It’s large, creamy, egg-white and fully lasting. It laces the glass excellently, and it stays a thick layer until the glass is empty. Or rather, until I pour the remaining beer into the sink. Because this is not a successful brew in my opinion.

It starts out quite all right though, the aroma is rather strong and pleasant, with fruits, banana, spices and sweet caramel. In the back there are hints of noble hops. And then the familiar scent that I’ve come across so many times before on my journey into home brew land, namely stinging, unclean and unpleasant alcohol. It’s not too intrusive though, so if the flavour profile isn’t’ dominated by this, it may still be a pleasant experience.

The taste is moderate to heavy sweet, totally unfitting for the style. A light to moderate bitterness comes creeping in mid-palate, but it fades away remarkably fast, leaving the finish short and dull. The flavours are of moderate strength, and are, ta-daaaa, dominated by unpleasant, stinging alcohol. In addition I get generic, dirty sweetness, fruits and some spices.

The mouthfeel is not that pleasant, it’s wrong on so many levels. Cloying sweetness, short finish, stinging alcohol, watery texture, etc.

Conclusion: definitely not one of Dr. M’s better brews. The aroma and the looks are quite all right, the rest is highly forgettable.

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     2/5
Overall:    7/20
Ratebeer score: 2.2/5.0