ClubGonzo’s Kronstad Pride

Kronstad Pride by ClubGonzo, Bitter, 4.4% ABV, 31.7 IBU.

Take Kronstad Pride In Your Beer.

Take Kronstad Pride In Your Beer.

Oh my Dog, I’m a crazy man. After having rated three very bitter, hop-laden, palate-wrecking IPAs this evening, the last one being spiced with habanero chillies, I’m now going for a mellow British bitter. Ha! It’s my blog and I rate what I want to! (My excuse is that I find bitters incredibly boring, so I won’t waste a virgin palate on a beer of this style. Prejudiced? Me?)

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Kronstad Pride, batch no. 57.

It pours a slightly hazy, medium amber body, with a small-ish, off-white head that settles as a thin but everlasting layer.

The aroma is moderate, with notes of sweet generic fruits and caramel. The same goes for the flavour. Nothing bad here, but very far from being interesting. It might be true to the style, it might even be a perfect clone of London Pride, but it doesn’t quite ring my bell. The taste is moderate to light sweet, and there is a light bitterness in the finish.

It’s smooth and pleasant on the palate, with a soft carbonation. For a 4.4% ABV it has an impressive body. Hm. It’s actually quite drinkable!

Conclusion: a simple, rather nice and sessionable beer, fitting for the Friday pub quiz.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    10/20
Ratebeer score: 2.8/5.0

 

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ClubGonzo’s Bittersweet

ClubGonzo Bittersweet, Batch 18.

ClubGonzo Bittersweet, Batch 18.

Bittersweet by ClubGonzo, Bitter, 3.3% ABV, 33 IBU.

3.3% ABV. So, ClubGonzo has jumped on the  session beers bandwagon?

The Bittersweet pours a clear, dark amber body. The head is small and frothy, consisting of many big light-brown bubbles, some of them manage to stick to the glass.

The aroma is quite strong with lightly roasted notes, caramel, fruits and mild coffee in the back.

Bittersweet in the glass.

Bittersweet in the glass.

The taste is moderate to light sweet and moderate to light bitter. The flavours follow the aroma, with lightly roasted notes and caramel, sweet fruits, hints of dark dried fruits and coffee notes further back.

The body is impressive for such a low ABV beer. It’s not at all that light, and the texture is more oily than watery. The finish is fairly dry and the carbonation is moderate.

Conclusion: Nothing wrong with this one, apart from not being exiting in any way. Pretty boring for a ClubGonzo beer actually, but it was a nice companion to this afternoon’s episode of Firefly. I’d rather watch another Firefly episode than have another Bittersweet, though.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    11/20
Ratebeer score: 2.9/5.0

JoKr Brewers Cereal Killer

Cereal Killer by JoKr Brewers, Bitter/Brown Ale, ABV 4 %, IBU 33.

Cereal Killer a.k.a. Test batch no. 6

The Cereal Killer is an experimental beer brewed with 6 different pilsener, pale and caramel malts plus oat, rye and corn. Yummy, corn, my favourite adjunct! Maybe this beer is as lovely as Coors Light or Miller GD? Ok, now that I’ve used up my irony quota for today, I’ll go on with the review. The thought behind this brew is to enhance the grainy notes that one find in beers from time to time. I’m sure if I quite understand why anyone would want to do this, but the JoKrs move in mysterious ways… According to the brewers the yeast and hop profiles are minimalistic in order to give room for the malts. Yes, I’m a bit sceptical, but also very eager to check if I do pick up lots of grainy notes!

In the glass the beer has a slightly hazy medium brown colour and is topped by a small frothy to creamy light brown head. The head reduces to a thin film and some build-up at the walls quite quickly, and doesn’t leave much lacing.

The aroma is… well, unusual. And, congratulations JoKr Brewers, you have succeeded, the aroma is indeed very grainy! But despite ClubGonzo’s assurances that only very lightly roasted malts have been used, I feel that the roasted notes are just as obvious as the grains. And I get lots of coffee. Not the strong type of coffee notes that you find in an imperial stout, far from it, this is more like watered down cold filter coffee. Actually the aroma reminds me a bit of the smell that comes from the coffee capsule container of my Nespresso espresso machine: old, cold and used espresso capsules mixed with water. Or, the waste water bucked we used to have in our mountain cabin, i.e. a mix of used dish water, coffee and bread crumbs. On the bright side I also find some some quite nice notes of molasses and maple syrup. All in all a very special aroma that is a bit faint and not that inviting, but it’s certainly very interesting.

The taste is light sweet with very nice moderate bitter finish. I was fearing that the lack of hoppy notes in the aroma meant that this would turn out to be a sweet and bland beer, but the bitterness is really good. The flavours follow the aroma, with grains, toasted notes and cold watered down coffee. Again not terribly exciting, but ok.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly nice. The body is not that light, the carbonation is soft and the texture is smooth and pleasant.

Conclusion: a rather special brew that is more interesting than tasty. I like the bitter finish and the mouthfeel, but I guess I’m not that found of grains. Or cold, weak coffee.

Aroma:      5
Appearance: 3
Taste:      5
Palate:     4
Overall:    9
Ratebeer score: 2.6

I forgot to take a picture of the newly poured Cereal Killer, but here it is after a few minutes.