Mr. Nilsson (a.k.a. Har Ni Sett Min APA?) by ClubGonzo, American Pale Ale, 5.6% ABV, 43.1 IBU.
I should have seen it coming: a ClubGonzo beer brewed for the pun!
Mr. Nilsson looks pretty cloudy in the glass, it has a nice medium to light amber colour and is topped by a small, white, rather creamy, fully lasting head that decorates my glass with foam.
The aroma isn’t strong at all, but it’s pleasant. I get the regular tropical fruits/citrus combo with hints of malts in the background. However, the lack of intensity makes the impression a bit dull and uninteresting. Did you forget to dry hop this one?
The flavour is stronger than I’d dared to hope for, and once the beer is in the mouth I realise that I’ve missed the optimal temperature with a few degrees: this is too damn cold! Maybe that’s one explanation for the faint-ish aroma. The taste is moderate bitter, but it’s not a very pleasant bitterness. It gives me a put-tongue-on-9V-cell-battery feeling in the late aftertaste. There is not much sweetness. The flavour is nice though, again tropical fruits and citrus. Simple enough, but I guess that’s how an APA should be.
The mouthfeel is decent, but nothing spectacular. Again pretty close to most APAs, i.e. dry, fairly light-bodied and with a moderate carbonation.
Conclusion: a decent brew, but I must admit that I find it a bit boring. The aroma should have been much more intense: if you haven’t got the balls to use enough bittering hops to make an IPA, you should at least throw in a bucket of aroma hops and save a truckload for the dry hopping. And finally there’s this strange bitterness.
Aroma: 6/10 Appearance: 4/5 Taste: 6/10 Palate: 3/5 Overall: 10/20 Ratebeer score: 2.9/5.0
Abt 10 by Meilby Brewing, Abt/Quadrupel, 11% ABV, 15 IBU
Skullcracker Quadruppel by ClubGonzo, Abt/Quadrupel, 10% ABV, 26.6 IBU
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the main event of the evening, in the category of Abt/Quadrupel here at the Beer With Me Headquarters, Oslo, Norway, presiding this match we have the rater tfredvik and the referee tfredvik. Now, in the Chimay corner, weighing 8456 RateBeer ratings, from Kristiansand, Vest-Agder, please welcome Kenni “The Dane” Meilbyyyy and his mighty Abt 10! His opponent, in the Rochefort corner, weighing 4318 RateBeer ratings, from Bergen, Hordaland, please welcome Stian ClubGonzo “The Pun” Kroooooooog and his notorious Scullcracker Quadruppel!
Round 1 – Appearance:
Meilby Abt 10 starts out with a deep brown clear body with a small fizzy beige head that disappears completely within seconds, the nucleation sites at the bottom of the Chimay chalice doesn’t manage to maintain the head, not even a film.
Can ClubGonzo Scullcracker beat this? He delivers a dark brown body that is slightly lighter than that of his opponent. The head is average-sized, it reduces to a partially covering film quite quickly, but there is some buildup at the walls, and we’ve got good lacing, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got good lacing! And to top it all, the film is fully lasting. First round goes to ClubGonzo.
Round 2 – Aroma:
This is a very important round, the match could very well be settled right here. ClubGonzo delivers the first sweet punch, and throws a strong aroma right in the face of Meilby: there are lots of fruits, both dark dried and quite fresh, also soap, and noticeable hoppy pine elements. He adds some obvious alcohol as well, but nothing deeply disturbing.
Meilby on the other hand seems to go for the sweet and vinous, with a strong aroma of brown sugar, burnt sugar, chocolate, mild coffee, liquorice, herbs, overripe fruits and some alcohol. A very good round from both quads, it’s difficult to say who got this round, I call it a draw.
Round 3 – Taste:
The moment of truth is here, who has the best taste? Meilby Abt 10 is again strong, with a flavour of dark dried fruits, overripe generic fruits, dark caramel, sweet caramel (smørbukk, but in a pleasant and clean way, not in a butterscotch diacetyl fashion), sugars (dark, burnt, candi, what have you), roasted malt and too much and too sharp alcohol. Medium plus sweet taste, very little bitterness, although the warming alcohol almost have a similar effect…
ClubGonzo attacks fiercely, and delivers a very strong taste of dark candi sugar, dark dried fruits, dark caramel, light floral notes and warming alcohol. Moderate to heavy sweet and light bitter taste. Long fruity and burnt sugar finish with warming alcohol, but the alcohol is way better integrated than in the Meilby brew. ClubGonzo wins this round with a small margin.
Round 4 – Palate:
The final round! Meilby’s getting tired, and manages nothing more than a very soft carbonation, that’s just a bit too soft. But he’s full-bodied and quite smooth, and now let’s check the alcoholic feel… the alcohol is… the alcohol is… oh no, that’s far too sharp.
ClubGonzo’s in better shape, and boasts a moderate carbonation, but with bubbles that are so infinitesimal small that the texture ends up silky smooth and creamy! Wonderful! And of course the Scullcracker is full-bodied. This is almost a knock-out!
Conclusion: Meilby Abt 10 is a fine brew, especially the aroma is excitingly complex and inviting, but there is too much alcohol in the flavour, and the alcohol has a negative influence on the mouthfeel as well. In addition the beer looks a bit dull without a head.
ClubGonzo Scullcracker Quadruppel is a lovely brew, it manages to be both very sweet and dark, and at the same time almost crisp-ish, with the subtle hoppy influence and the floral background. There is no doubt, the victory goes to ClubGonzo!
Meilby Abt 10:
Aroma: 7/10 Appearance: 3/5 Taste: 7/10 Palate: 3/5 Overall: 13/20 Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0
ClubGonzo Scullcracker Quadruppel:
Aroma: 7/10 Appearance: 4/5 Taste: 7/10 Palate: 5/5 Overall: 14/20 Ratebeer score: 3.7/5.0