ClubGonzo’s Sour Flower

Sour Flour by ClubGonzo, Mead, 8% ABV.

ClubGonzo's Sour Flower, mead batch 03.

ClubGonzo’s Sour Flower, mead batch 03.

Pale mead.

Pale mead.

This one looks a bit sad, it’s very pale with just a faint golden hue. The aroma is strong, and not very pleasant. There are some sherry-like notes in there, but the main component is glue. The honey is very well hidden, but it’s lurking in the back.

The glue and other solvent-like elements are in front of the strong flavour as well, with some additional sweet fruits, vinegar and syrupy floral sap notes. The taste is moderate to heavy sweet, light acidic and rather acetic. Sweetened acacia vinegar, anyone?

As usual when it comes to meads, the mouthfeel is very pleasant (ignoring the glue), with a full and syrupy body.

 

Conclusion: This mead soured by accident, and some additional months in the bottle hasn’t made things any better. This is very close to drain pour, although it is possible to force down a tiny sample.

Aroma:      3/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      3/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    5/20
Ratebeer score: 1.7/5.0

ANodyn Nubian Princess

Nubian Princess by ANodyn, Porter, 8% ABV, Unknown IBU.

This daring beer has been waiting patiently in my cellar for more than a year, and it’s now close to two years since it was brewed. In other words, it should be ready to be enjoyed!

The label of Nubian Princess is quite NSFW, but adding a cute teddy bear should do the trick.

The label of Nubian Princess is quite NSFW, but adding a cute teddy bear should do the trick.

It pours a black body with a creamy, medium brown head that is very long-lived. After a while it settles as a fully lasting layer of impressive thickness, and a good amount of foam is left on the glass.

If I should mention one thing I don't like that much about this beer, it must be that the label makes me feel old. Could someone please translate?

If I should mention one thing I don’t like that much about this beer, it must be that the label makes me feel old and out of touch. Could someone please translate?

The aroma is very strong and is laden with ridiculous amounts of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and thick and creamy cocoa. It’s almost too much of a good thing, but if you’re a sucker for chocolate, like me, the aroma is incredibly tempting. I get some darker roasted notes as well, but it’s definitely the chocolate that runs the show.

A black beauty!

A black beauty!

The very strong flavour has the same massive and delicious chocolate feel, but there are just the right amount of other elements to prevent it from becoming too one-dimensional. It’s a nice mix of both sweet milk chocolate and darker chocolate. How on earth did they manage to cram that much taste out of 14 g/L of cocoa powder? In addition to the chocolate there are other roasted notes, faint fruits and hints of vanilla. The taste is moderate sweet and the long-lasting finish is moderate bitter. The alcohol is perfectly integrated.

To top the whole experience the mouthfeel is of course fantastic. It’s thick and creamy on the palate with a fitting soft carbonation.

Conclusion: Wow. Simply wow. I’m not worthy! This is simply the best homebrew I’ve ever had, it’s an amazing beer without a single flaw. This should be made commercially available as soon as possible! Massive chocolate both in the aroma and the flavour, it looks good and it has a mouthfeel to die for. Please send me more beer!

Aroma:      8/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      8/10
Palate:     5/5
Overall:    15/20
Ratebeer score: 4.0/5.0

ClubGonzo’s (Spontaneous) Aroma 2013

(Spontaneous) Aroma 2013 by ClubGonzo, Cider, 5.2/5.3% ABV.

I wasn’t very impressed by the spontaneous fermented ClubGonzo ciders I tasted earlier this year, i.e. Spontaneous Discovery 2013 and Spontaneous Crown Prince 2013. For this cider rating I’ll therefore rate two ciders both made from the 2013 harvest of Aroma apples, but with one bottle from a spontaneously fermented batch and one from a batch fermented with a conventional yeast (Safale US-05, in other words an ale yeast, not a cider yeast).

Aroma 2013, fermented with off the shelf ale yeast, batch 15.

Aroma 2013, 5.3% ABV,  fermented with off the shelf ale yeast, batch 15.

The colour of the both ciders is pale yellow with an orange hint. The fluid is clear, and the spontaneous version looks noticeably more carbonated. The increased carbonation is also evident on the palate.

Spontaneous Aroma 2013, fermented without any help from the brewer, batch 16.

Spontaneous Aroma 2013, 5.2% ABV, fermented without any help from the brewer, batch 16.

Aroma 2013 in the glass

Aroma 2013 in the glass

The Aroma 2013 has a strong and pleasant aroma that actually is a bit sweet. I’m used to ClubGonzo’s ciders being a tad drier than desert sand, so this comes as a surprise. The apple aroma is clean, slightly fermented and definitely inviting.  The spontaneous version has a bit less intense aroma and there are pleasant elements of fermented apples, but unfortunately there are also notes of solvent and band-aid.

The flavour of Aroma 2013 is strong and fairly clean, although there are some vague hints of baker’s yeast and rubber behind the fermented apples. It tastes less sweet than the aroma led me to believe. This a very dry and a bit acidic cider, but I think there is a bit more residual sugars than what I’m used to when it comes to ClubGonzo’s ciders. Or, as my wife put it: “This is almost like a real cider!”. The spontaneous Aroma 2013 is more or less ruined by unpleasant medicinal notes, solvent, band-aid and rubber, especially in the aftertaste. The apple notes are quite efficiently hidden.

Conclusion: Aroma 2013 is a successful cider with mostly clean notes of pure fermented apples. It’s very dry, but the acidity is tamed and there is enough residual sweetness to make it drinkable. The Spontaneous Aroma 2013 is ruined by medicinal off-flavours and should be poured into the nearest sink.

Aroma 2013:

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

 

Spontaneous Aroma 2013:

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      3/10
Palate:     2/5
Overall:    5/20
Ratebeer score: 1.9/5.0