ClubGonzo’s Wit & Charm

Wit & Charm by ClubGonzo, Belgian Witbier, 4.8% ABV, 18 IBU.

ClubGonzo likes his coriander seeds and lemon juice, and in the Lush Summer these ingredients were welcome additions. Let’s see what the two additives can do with a Belgian witbier.

ClubGonzo's Wit & Charm, batch 29.

ClubGonzo’s Wit & Charm, batch 29.

It pours a cloudy yellow body with a medium-sized, creamy, white head that’s fairly long-lasting, and it laces the glass well. So far so good.

The aroma is moderate and fairly crisp, although not as crisp as I’d expected with the extra dosage of lemon juice. I get notes of sweet citrus, overripe fruits, some spices and traces of alcohol. Yay. 4.8% ABV, and I can smell the alcohol. This isn’t very promising.

The taste is light sweet, light acidic and there are hardly any traces of bitterness. The flavours are quite faint, and what I get is mostly coriander, lemon and generic fruity notes, in addition to vague traces of higher alcohols. Utterly boring.

The mouthfeel is watery, and the carbonation is rather soft, which is not at all fitting for the style. The finish is quite dry.

Conclusion: Coriander and lemon can make a beer crisp and refreshing, as the quite successful Lush Summer proved. Sometimes however adding stuff can’t save a boring beer from being a big yawn.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     2/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.3/5.0

Dr. M nr 8 – Maianthemum

Maianthemum by Dr. M, Saison, 7% ABV, 27 IBU.

The Maianthemum is really eager to be freed from its bottle prison, and I start to pour right before the beer begins to gush out of the bottle all by itself. I end up with a glass consisting of 90% white, frothy foam and 10% cloudy, light orange to amber liquid. The head is very long-lived but shrinks to a reasonable size in a minute or two. Lots of huge patches of foam cling to the glass, in addition to finer curtains of laces. Giving a 3 in Appearance might be a bit too strict, but I really don’t like beers that gush and I definitely don’t like to wait a long time before I can start tasting the beer!

Dr. M nr. 8 - Masdfsdf, or Maiblomst.

Dr. M nr. 8 – Maianthemum with a huge head, enjoyed 9 months after bottling

The aroma is strong and very inviting, even through the initial 10 cm of foam. I get crisp spicy notes, saison yeast, fruits, pale malts and a whiff of honey.

The flavours are strong and fruity, with the same notes as in the aroma. The alcohol is present, but it’s clean and pleasant. There is very little sweetness in the taste, the yeast has clearly done a thorough job. The long-lasting finish has a pleasant light bitterness, that backs up the sweet honey notes very well.

The head settles and laces the glass well.

The head settles and laces the glass well.

The carbonation is as expected lively, and that fits this dry and rather light beer.

Conclusion: A superb beer! Crisp, dry, refreshing and ridiculously drinkable, with strong and clean aromas and flavours. Dr. M, I think I need one more of these!

Aroma:      8/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      8/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    15/20
Ratebeer score: 3.8/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Stiff Upper Lip

Stiff Upper Lip by ClubGonzo, English Strong Ale, 6.8% ABV, 36 IBU.

In the glass the Stiff Upper lip is cloudy, with a medium orange to brown colour. The off-white head is small but long-lived, and ends up as a fully lasting, bubbly, thin layer that leaves some lacing.

ClubGonzo Stiff Upper Lip, batch 17

ClubGonzo Stiff Upper Lip, batch 17

Ok, I do have a cold, but isn’t this aroma pretty faint? All I get is some vague sweet dark dried fruits along with some overripe generic fruity notes. Nothing wrong here, but pretty boring.

The taste is light sweet, and the short finish has a light to moderate bitterness. The flavours are also quite faint, but the little that is in there is quite pleasant. I get notes of caramel and dark dried fruits, and very little else. Again it’s clean, but oh so faint and unusually boring.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly watery, and the very soft carbonation enhances the dull feeling. The beer dries up a bit in the finish.

Conclusion: unusually anonymous for a ClubGonzo beer, both the aroma and the flavours are far too weak to make this an interesting brew. However, it’s completely clean without any off-notes or higher alcohol, so that’s something.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     2/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.2/5.0