ClubGonzo’s Spontaneous Crown Prince 2013

Spontaneous Crown Prince 2013 by ClubGonzo, Cider, 5.1% ABV.

ClubGonzo's Spontaneous Crown Prince, aka. cider batch 14.

ClubGonzo’s Spontaneous Crown Prince, aka. cider batch 14.

I wasn’t very impressed by the previous ClubGonzo cider from the 2013 vintage, but I won’t let one bad experience stop me!

In the glass the Crown Prince has a slightly hazy pale golden colour, with the usual fizzy, white head that doesn’t stick around more than a few seconds.

The aroma is quite strong with notes of fresh green apples (ok ok, Kronprins is a red apple variety, but anyway). It’s pleasant, but I miss the regular fermented apple notes that I usually get in really good ciders. I don’t get any hints of the spontaneous fermentation.

Looks good on the table.

Looks good on the table.

The taste is moderate acidic and there is very little sweetness, this is yet another bone dry, lively carbonated cider from ClubGonzo. The flavour is rather strong with lots of fresh green apples, without any sweet fermented apple notes. I didn’t get any wild hints in the aroma, and I don’t find any in the flavour either. Instead there are some very unpleasant notes of nail polish remover, not as strong as the similar notes I got in the Spontaneous Discovery 2013, but they are still making this brew hard to drink.

Conclusion: nice aroma and it looks like it’s supposed to, but it’s not very drinkable.

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    7/20
Ratebeer score: 2.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Spontaneous Discovery 2013

Spontaneous Discovery 2013 by ClubGonzo, Cider, 5% ABV.

It’s time for some ciders again! The 2012 vintage ciders I got from ClubGonzo were decent, although most of them where too acidic for my taste.

ClubGonzo's Spontaneous Discovery 2013, cider batch 12.

ClubGonzo’s Spontaneous Discovery 2013, cider batch 12.

It looks like a cider.

It looks like a cider.

The Discovery pours a slightly hazy and pale golden body, just like most ciders.

The aroma is strong and has some nice notes of fresh, acidic, crisp apples. There are no wild funky notes at all, and no fermented apples, just tart apple juice. I also get a whiff of higher alcohols that isn’t that pleasant.

The taste is moderate acidic with hardly any sweetness, quite in line with my expectations. The flavour is rather strong and is completely dominated by lots of unclean nail polish remover. There are some apple notes as well, but the off-flavour is so overwhelming that this can’t be used for anything else than pouring down the drain. The cider is very dry and has a lively carbonation, if that matters.

Conclusion: something has gone very wrong with this one. There are some crisp apple notes both in the aroma and flavour, but this is not something you would want to drink.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      3/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    5/20
Ratebeer score: 1.9/5.0



ClubGonzo’s Israeli Wheat

Israeli Wheat by ClubGonzo, Wheat Ale, 4.2% ABV, 17 IBU.

According to the label this is a clone of a beer from the Israeli homebrewers Shmuel Naky and Naama Halevi. Let’s see if a Norwegian can brew with sage, lavender and lemon!

ClubGonzo's Israeli Wheat, batch no 34

ClubGonzo’s Israeli Wheat, batch no 34

The aroma is strong with lovely sweet floral notes, this truly smells like the lavender plant I bought a week ago.

Israeli homebrew clone from Bergen.

Israeli homebrew clone from Bergen.

Equally strong and lovely are spicy minty herbs, wheat and citric hints. I promise, I’m not just reading from the ingredient list on the label.

The flavour is very herbal, the minty herbs from the aroma now also has a liquorice anise seed touch. The lavender notes are still present, and the lemon gives just the right crispiness. The taste is moderate to light sweet with some dryness in the surprisingly long-lasting floral finish. There is very little bitterness, and very little flavour or aroma that could be attributed to hops. It’s quite light on the palate, the carbonation is moderate and it’s absolutely clean without any off-flavours.

In the glass it’s medium amber and clear, with a small white head that pretty soon reduces to a partially covering film, without lacing the glass.

Conclusion: an exciting, complex, unusual and enjoyable beer!

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0