ClubGonzo’s Your Friendly Neighbor APA

Your Friendly Neigbor APA by ClubGonzo, American Pale Ale, 5.6% ABV, 39.8 IBU.

Your Friendly Neighbor, Batch no. 53.

Your Friendly Neighbor, Batch no. 53.

Looking good!

Looking good!

The aroma of Your Friendly Neigbor is as expected: it’s of course very hop-driven. I get fairly strong and refreshing notes of citrus, lots of grapefruit and lemon. Other tropical fruity notes are much fainter. There is also a malty caramel background, and the overall impression is that this is a dry and crisp beer.

In the glass it looks clear and it has a good-looking, medium amber colour with an average-sized, long-lived, off-white head that laces the glass well.

Quite strong flavour of citrus and unidentifiable tropical fruits. The malt is more pronounced than in the aroma. Despite the citric notes I must admit that I find this brew a bit dull and uninspired. I assume that this one is reasonably fresh, so I’d hoped for a bit more contribution from the hops, both in the aroma and the flavour. The taste on the other hand is spot on (at least if you like your APAs on the sweet side): initial light to moderate sweet taste and a moderate bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is pleasant. Light to mid-bodied, rather dry texture and moderate carbonation.

Conclusion: An ok APA. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    10/20
Ratebeer score: 3.0/5.0
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JoKr Brewers Tonneau du Pauvre

Tonneau du Pauvre by JoKr Brewers, Mead, 12.4% ABV. 

This mead is based on floral honey and is aged on French oak chips for nearly a year.

JoKr Brewers first attempt at a mead.

JoKr Brewers’ first attempt at a mead.

In the glass it looks clear, pale and golden.

A bit too pale to get a very hight Appearance score.

A bit too pale to get a very hight Appearance score.

The aroma is strong and is, not surprisingly, dominated by floral honey, but obvious notes of oak are also very present. The alcohol is noticeable, but in a pleasant way.

The oak is even stronger in the flavour, especially in the finish. I find the woody and slightly vanilla exit to be a nice contrast to the initial flavour of pure honey. I also get hints of dried dark fruits, but I suppose that these elements are also products of the oak chips. The alcohol is not exactly hidden, but it’s 100% clean. The taste is moderate sweet, but I’ve had much sweeter meads, and in the finish it all dries up significantly.

The mouthfeel isn’t as excellent as other Bergen meads. It isn’t as full-bodied and lovely syrupy as the best ones. It feels a bit like it has been diluted with a couple of shots of vodka.

 

Conclusion: a nice straight forward mead with additional fun caused by the oak chips.

 

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0

Den Skjeløyde Mann Schmægir

Schmægir by Den Skjeløyde Mann, India Pale Ale, 6% ABV, Unknown IBU.

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In this picture the beer looks pretty inviting, but I can assure you that is really cloudy and dirty-looking. Good head, though. (I never get bored of writing “good head”)

 

Den Skjeløyde Mann Schmægir. Look at that hipster label! How iconic, ironic and old-school! Or maybe Den Skjeløyde Mann is a lazy bastard.

Den Skjeløyde Mann Schmægir, batch 002. Look at that hipster label! How iconic, ironic and old-school! Or maybe Den Skjeløyde Mann is a lazy bastard.

I was very satisfied by the first batch from Den Skjeløyde Mann, let’s see if he can make two successful IPAs in a row! Schmægir is of course the brewer’s attempt at a Ægir IPA clone.

It looks a bit dirty once in the glass. The colour is medium to deep amber and the head is off-white.

The aroma is quite strong and has some of the tropical fruity notes I expect from an IPA. However, there is also a strange mix of other elements that are both unusual and hard to pinpoint. I get hints of butter, gun powder (ok, so I haven’t smelled gun powder, but “unlit fireworks” doesn’t sound as cool) and a dull autumnal background. It’s not very bad, but it’s not in the same league as Hopsy Palesy.

The flavour is strong and it’s a bit cleaner than expected from the aroma. Still, there are plenty of vague but somewhat disturbing off-flavours. Some are familiar, like vague hints of butter and hints of solvent, but some I have never encountered before (I think I need to join one of Norbrygg’s beer judge courses). However, it’s not all bad, there are also some nice notes of tropical fruits, and it has a nice moderate bitter finish, so the general impression is «close to ok-ish».

The mouthfeel is very pleasant, it’s got a very smooth and creamy texture, it’s mid- to full-bodied and the carbonation level is pleasantly soft.

Conclusion: Ægir Schmægir, you’ll have to make a new attempt if this is supposed to be remotely close to one of Norway’s best IPAs. Still, I almost finished the bottle.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:   10/20
Ratebeer score: 2.7/5.0