Den Skjeløyde Mann Lettkledd 1 and 2

Lettkledd 1 and 2 by Den Skjeløyde Mann, Session IPA, 4.7/4.3 ABV, 50 IBU.

Den Skjeløyde Mann loves his IPAs, this time I’ll compare two batches of the same brew – a watered down session IPA based on the Nøgne Ø IPA recipe.

Before I start, I need to mention that I forgot the bottles in the freezer, so they were both served far too cold (4ºC, I guess).

Lettkledd Batch 1 to the left, Batch 2 to the right.

Lettkledd Batch 1 to the left, Batch 2 to the right. Trust me, the colour is in fact very similar, but Batch 1 looks lighter in this shot since it’s placed closer to the window.

In their glasses they look as good as identical: cloudy, a bit dirty-looking, medium amber colour with an average-sized beige head of average life-time.

The moderate aromas are also quite similar, I get restrained tropical fruits, hints of caramel and a lager-like, pale malty sourness from both. I also get hints of the same booziness as you find in imperial pilseners. 2nd Batch is maybe a tad sweeter, with the caramel bordering on butterscotch that is somewhat unpleasant.

The moderate flavours are also comparable: generic fruitiness, bitter grapefruit, citrus peel, resin, pale malt, caramel and hints of tropical fruits. The big difference is that in 2nd Batch the caramel is replaced by some disturbing notes of sweet butterscotch and light diacetyl. The taste of both beers is light sweet followed by a quite heavy bitter finish.  1st Batch feels a bit more bitter, but that might be due to the fact that 2nd Batch is somewhat sweeter.

Both batches are quite dry on the palate, but 1st Batch is a bit drier.  They are both fairly lively carbonated, and has a surprisingly bold body for such low ABV brews, with 2nd Batch having an even fuller body. I actually like the mouthfeel of both beers equally well.

Conclusion: 1st Batch  is a decent session IPA, without being a highly successful brew. 2nd Batch has the same positive elements as 1st Batch, but it’s also pretty messed up by  the butterscotch. Both batches lack a bit of intensity and hoppy punch in the aroma and flavours. So, ok, try again.

 

Lettkledd Batch 1:

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    11/20
Ratebeer score: 3.0/5.0

Lettkledd Batch 2:

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

IMG_6896

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

 

Den Skjeløyde Mann Schmægir v2.0

Schmægir v2.0 by Den Skjeløyde Mann. With the label of the v1.0 brew, edited by hand...

Schmægir v2.0 by Den Skjeløyde Mann. With the label of the v1.0 brew, edited by hand…

Schmægir v2.0 by Den Skjeløyde Mann, India Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV, Unknown IBU.

Den Skjeløyde Mann’s first attempt at a Ægir IPA clone was not all that successful, but here we go again.

Look, I've got a new IPA glass! Yeah, I know, this blog isn't about me but about beer, but hey, A NEW GLASS!

Look, I’ve finally bought a Spiegelau IPA glass! Yeah, I know, this blog is about beer and not about me, but hey, A NEW GLASS!

In the glass it has a very hazy, almost cloudy medium to dark amber colour, with a large, beige, long-lived head that laces my glass very well.

The aroma is very strong, very fruity, very hoppy and absolutely clean, I get no traces of sweaty brewer’s hand this time. There are also lots of tropical fruits and caramel.

The flavour is pretty strong, but it’s a bit simple and it could need even more distinct and fresh tropical fruits. There is a firm malty caramel background, with hints of bitter burnt sugar. Finally I get faint traces of red berries. The taste is light+ sweet and the reasonably long-lasting finish is heavy bitter. The bitterness is not that amazingly pleasant, it has a slightly astringent 9V cell battery quality to it, it reminds me a bit of the feeling I often had when I tasted my very first IPAs. And do I detect hints of higher alcohols? Ok, I’m very strict now, it really is a nice brew, but since it’s so much better than v1.0 I’ll have to try to detect any flaws!

It feels like a real IPA on the palate, it has a light to medium body, the carbonation is moderate and the texture is dry.

Conclusion: A nice IPA, although not exactly world class. I could easily drink a few more of these, and I’m looking forward to v3.0!  It’s been a while since I tasted Ægir’s original, so I don’t know how close to the original Schmægir v2.0 is.

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

 

 

Den Skjeløyde Mann Schmægir

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

IMG_1301

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

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