ClubGonzo’s Monsoon

Mead, 11% ABV.

Sometimes meads get too sweet without anything to back up the sweetness (take for instance the Sugar Honey). The Monsoon, on the other hand, has plenty of potentially crispy additions!

This one looks paler than most meads, but the clear and light golden colour still looks good.

The aroma jumps out of the glass, and delivers a collection of refreshing notes in addition to the mandatory sweet honey. I get lime, lemon and hints of galangal.

In the mouth this is like drinking a spicy version of Repsils Triple Action Honey & Lemon coughing drops, which happens to be one of my favourite candies-that-do-not-help-when-you-have-a-cold-but-they-taste-good-so-what-the-hell. Honey and lemon is always a brilliant pairing, and the spiciness further increases the drinkability of this fun mead.

The taste is very sweet, but in the finish it is backed up by citric dryness and the spices.

Conclusion: a delicious mead with a nice mix of spices.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    15/20
Ratebeer score: 3.7/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Wit & Charm

Wit & Charm by ClubGonzo, Belgian Witbier, 4.8% ABV, 18 IBU.

ClubGonzo likes his coriander seeds and lemon juice, and in the Lush Summer these ingredients were welcome additions. Let’s see what the two additives can do with a Belgian witbier.

ClubGonzo's Wit & Charm, batch 29.

ClubGonzo’s Wit & Charm, batch 29.

It pours a cloudy yellow body with a medium-sized, creamy, white head that’s fairly long-lasting, and it laces the glass well. So far so good.

The aroma is moderate and fairly crisp, although not as crisp as I’d expected with the extra dosage of lemon juice. I get notes of sweet citrus, overripe fruits, some spices and traces of alcohol. Yay. 4.8% ABV, and I can smell the alcohol. This isn’t very promising.

The taste is light sweet, light acidic and there are hardly any traces of bitterness. The flavours are quite faint, and what I get is mostly coriander, lemon and generic fruity notes, in addition to vague traces of higher alcohols. Utterly boring.

The mouthfeel is watery, and the carbonation is rather soft, which is not at all fitting for the style. The finish is quite dry.

Conclusion: Coriander and lemon can make a beer crisp and refreshing, as the quite successful Lush Summer proved. Sometimes however adding stuff can’t save a boring beer from being a big yawn.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     2/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.3/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Lush Summer

Lush Summer by ClubGonzo, Spice/Herb/Vegetable – American Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV, 32.6 IBU.

I’m Sorry, ClubGonzo, another one of your creations that I rate totally off-season, and long after it was fresh and newly brewed. Or maybe a lemony summer beer with coriander seeds is just what I need on a wet, cold-ish day in January?

ClubGonzo's Lush Summer, Batch no 24.

ClubGonzo’s Lush Summer, Batch no 24.

The colour is medium amber and the body is fittingly hazy. The off-white head is quite small, but it’s long-lived and stays finger-thick until my glass is empty, a glass which is completely covered in beautiful lacings when I’m done tasting. I guess this must be full Appearance score!

The aroma is very strong and very crisp and citric. Lots and lots of citrus, and tropical fruits, especially spicy pineapple and mango. I don’t get any coriander notes, and that’s a bit disappointing.

This is a nice looking beer!

This is a nice looking beer!

Although I get some faint spicy hints in the flavours, I find it very hard to identify any coriander there either. The lovely lemon juice on the other hand is very obvious, both in the flavours and in a light acidic taste. There is a gentle caramel background, but the flavours are really dominated by citrus and fruity hops. I find the taste a little too sweet for the disappointingly light bitterness. The body is also pretty bold for such a low ABV brew, I almost suspect this beer to be slightly under-attenuated. In addition to this the carbonation is far too soft, so the mouthfeel doesn’t quite match the crisp and citric aroma and flavours. There is some dryness in the finish, but I think the dryness should have kicked in earlier, along with a less sweet taste and more bitterness.

Conclusion: A fairly refreshing beer, but also a bit unbalanced with too much sweetness for the style compared to the bitterness. The lemon juice is a welcome addition that saves the crispness, and despite all my remarks, the conclusion of the conclusion is that this is a nice one.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 5/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.3/5.0