Dr M. Nr. 22 – Welhaven

Saison, 5.5 % ABV, 30 IBU.

Dr. M Nr. 22 - Lovely label!

Dr. M Nr. 22 – Lovely label!

After the huge head has settled it looks quite nice, save for the dirty body.

After the huge head has settled it looks quite nice, save for the dirty body.

This brew is hopped with Tettnang and an unknown variety that grows in Dr. M’s garden. Let’s see if The Doctor knows how to brew and how to grow hops!

Ouch. This one is very aggressively carbonated, but I manage to fill my glass with foam (and some beer) before all the liquid escapes from the bottle. The gushing causes the beer to be absolutely opaque with a rather dirty-looking yellow to orange colour. The big, frothy, fluffy white head shrinks to a peculiar collection of islands of foam with the texture of whipped egg-white. What have you done with this beer?

The quite strong aroma doesn’t reveal any infections, so hopefully the only fault of this brew is a violent over-carbonation. I get lots of Belgian yeasty notes, and since the label tells me so, I guess it’s saison yeast. It’s very fruity, with non-tropical light fruits being the most obvious contributors.  The aroma feels pretty yeast-driven to me, so I’m not sure how much impact the home-grown hops had on this brew.

In the mouth, however, it’s clear that something has gone wrong here. Sharp and stinging  solvent efficiently drowns most other components. There are some Belgian yeast lurking around in the background, and the fruits are still present, but they’re all overpowered by the dreaded solvent. The taste is light sweet and light bitter, and the finish is very dry.

Conclusion: it has a nice aroma and it might have tasted nice once…

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 2/5
Taste:      3/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    5/20
Ratebeer score: 1.9/5.0

Dr. M Lønn for strevet

Lønn for strevet by Dr. M, India Pale Ale, 6.3 ABV, 140 IBU.

Interleaved between all the Belgian ales that Dr. M usually brews, here’s an IPA!

IMG_8641It has a crisp, moderate aroma with a generic fruitiness, pale malts and faint citrus, and there are also some herbal traces. And then there is something strange… You know this beetle that excretes a not-that-nice-smelling liquid when disturbed? Just a moment, let me google that for you… Ah,  green shield bug, Palomena prasina! Yep, I actually find hints of bug excretes in this beer! You haven’t seen that one in a beer review before, have you? The lack of tropical fruits, pine, a citric punch or other elements that tend to pop up in IPAs, combined with the strange Palomena prasina makes the aroma very far from that of a regular IPA.

The flavour is a bit faint, with notes of pale malts, fruitiness and a bit unclean boozy hints. What kind of yeast have you used in this one? I get some yeasty notes that I don’t find very typical for an IPA, maybe I’m biased due to Dr. M’s previous brews, but I find it more Belgian than e.g. the good old US-05. Light sweet taste with a moderate bitter finish (I don’t believe for a second that this one has 140 IBUs!).

It’s mid-bodied, has a moderate carbonation, and there is a light dryness in the finish.

Overall: an unusual, faint and not too exciting IPA, with some strange off-flavours. Not undrinkable, though. Are you wondering about the name, Lønn for strevet? It turns out that Dr. M has added maple syrup to this one, but I fail to pick up any clear syrupy notes. Unless it’s what I identify as bug excrete.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.5/5.0

Dr. M nr. 23 – Camilla

Camilla by Dr. M, Belgian Blond, 5.8% ABV, 17 IBU.

Dr. M nr 23 - Camilla

Dr. M nr 23 – Camilla

I’ve been cursed with a some bad bottles the last few times I’ve rated Dr. M beers, let’s see if this one is clean!

Dr. M BLAHBLAHBLAH BLONDEIt pours an opaque, cloudy medium amber to orange body with a huge, off-white, creamy fairly long-lasting head that sticks to the glass.

Strong aroma of Belgian yeast and lots of light fruits, I get both cidery apples and notes of pear. It’s a sweet smell, with gentle spicy hints for the sake of balance.

The flavour is strong and is dominated by the yeast, but the fruity notes are also very evident, so is a sprinkle of black pepper. It’s a bit sharp with the usual solventy hints that I tend to pick up in homebrews, but they are not overwhelming. The taste is somewhat sweeter than most blondes, and the bitterness is very gentle. There is some dryness in the finish, but this is far from a bone dry beer.

Conclusion: a decent blonde, I like the massive fruitiness. I’m still no fan of solvent, even though it’s reasonably subtle in this brew. 

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    10/20
Ratebeer score: 3.0/5.0

 

Dr. M nr. 17.5 – Staut Karsk

Staut Karsk by Dr. M, Stout, 5.8% ABV, 60 IBU.

Dr. M nr. 17.5 (don't ask), enjoyed 11 months after bottling.

Dr. M nr. 17.5 (don’t ask), enjoyed 11 months after bottling.

I got this bottle as a birthday present from the brewer a month ago, and I’m rating it today, on his birthday. Neat? The label doesn’t want to state whether this is a stout or a porter, let’s see which style I’d go for!

A huge head.

A huge head. 11 months in the bottle was probably too long…

It opens with a loud PSSST!, and pours a deep brown body, with a very huge, beige head. This looks like another over-carbonated brew, Dr. M… The head is long-lived and reduces to a fully lasting layer, and patches of foam sticks to the glass.

The aroma is strong and dark malty, with notes of coffee and ash. Also a faint fruitiness and traces of chalk, the latter probably caused by the light gushing.

Strong, malty and somewhat unclean yeasty flavour. Again very dark roasted malt, coffee and ash. In my book this is a stout, there is far too little chocolate to be called a porter (ok, let’s not start the “all porters are stouts, and in the old days in London…”-debate all over again). There is a light fruity background, and a medicinal and solventy feel. The taste is moderate sweet and the long-lasting finish is moderate bitter and a bit unpleasant. The bitterness seems a bit out of style, and there is very little hops in the aroma and flavour to accompany this bite.

It’s got quite a full body for such a low ABV brew and the texture is oily. Although the carbonation initially was pretty fizzy,  the beer very soon loses most of its bubbles and it ends up softly carbonated.

Conclusion: a bit dirty and unclean, and I suspect that there’s a little infection going on. Happy birthday!

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.4/5.0

 

Dr. M nr. 15 – Konepone

Dr. M nr. 15 - Konepone, enjoyed 15 months after bottling.

Dr. M nr. 15 – Konepone, enjoyed 15 months after bottling.

Konepone by Dr. M, Saison, 6.5% ABV, 18 IBU.

Looking good!

Looking good!

This beer was brewed more than a year ago, but a modestly hopped saison shouldn’t change too much after an extended stay in my beer cellar. As the name indicates, Dr. M came up with the recipe for this beer in order to make a beer even his wine loving wife would enjoy. I’ve been told he succeed. He might know how to please his mistress, but I’m as always pouring my glass with a sceptical look upon my face.

The beer seems to have become slightly over-carbonated since bottling, and after I’ve filled my glass a huge pillow of foam keeps growing in the bottle. In my glass, however, everything looks great: the body is cloudy and yellow, and the huge white head is long-lived and sticks to the glass.

The aroma is strong and pleasant, with lots of fruity notes, especially apples and pears. Also saison yeast, pale malts, hints of wheat and a light spicy background.

Unfortunately things are not as convincing when I take my first sip. Sure, there are lots of nice light fruits, the yeast notes are in place, the surprisingly spicy rye is quite obvious, but there are also some quite disturbing notes of… well, this might not come as a surprise for the regular readers of this blog, but I do get stinging notes of solvent. Oh yes. They are not completely ruining the beer, but they’re not exactly increasing the drinkability.

There isn’t much sweetness left, but it’s not bone dry. The fairly long finish is light bitter, and the carbonation is rather lively.

Conclusion: I suspect that this one was a really easy-drinkning, refreshing and thirst quenching beer once, but the long wait has produced too much unpleasant off-flavours. I promise I’ll drink the next Dr. M beer as soon as I receive the bottle. 

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.6/5.0

Dr. M nr. 14 – Terrasseweissen

Terrasseweissen by Dr. M, Hefeweizen, 4% ABV, 18 IBU.

Foam and some beer.

Foam and some beer.

Dr. M Terrasseweissen. A good name, a bad beer.

Dr. M Terrasseweissen. A good name, a bad beer.

This one is lively carbonated and produces a humongous head. As the white head shrinks, a hazy very pale yellow body is gradually revealed. The head is very long-lived, it will take some time before I can have a taste of this one… Before it reduces to a thin layer, the head leaves some foam on the glass. I choose not to listen to Dr. M’s advice on the label, and pour in the yeast to get some extra punch in the flavour.

I put my nose where it belongs, and detect a strong and crisp aroma of Hefeweizen yeast with banana, citrus and some sharp notes of solvent.

The flavour is mainly solventy, but with a certain citric crispness. The typical hefeweizen notes are not very strong, but at least there is a banana backbone, and also some spicy hints. The off-flavour is so dominating that I suspect that this is a bad bottle. The taste is light sweet and there is a very light bitterness in the finish. The carbonation is lively, the body is light and the texture is dry.

Conclusion: A solventy brew that is neither a good beer nor particularly representative for the style. Hopefully a bad bottle, or else Dr. M. has lost it. I’ve got another bottle in my cellar, maybe that one is better.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    7/20
Ratebeer score: 2.2/5.0

Dr. M nr 9 – Tordensaison

Tordensaison by Dr. M, Saison, 7% ABV, 27 IBU.

Dr. M knows how to brew a tasty saison, e.g. the brilliant Maianthemum, so my hands tremble with anticipation as I open the bottle. It pours a cloudy medium yellow to orange body with a very huge, frothy, white head that leaves big patches of foam on my glass, before it reduces to a partially covering film and some foamy islands.

Dr. M nr 9 - Tordensaison

Dr. M nr 9 – Tordensaison

The aroma is strong and unusually sweet for the style. I get lots of heather honey, so much in fact that I first thought that honey was added to the beer. There are also distinct notes of pale malts, spices and faint yeast, with citric notes in the back.

The over-carbonated bottle produces a huge head.

The over-carbonated bottle produces a huge head.

The flavour is unfortunately ruined by the dreaded, unclean and stinging medicinal alcohol-like notes that I sometimes find in homebrews. In addition there are tart apples, pale malts, yeast and a white wine dryness in the finish. The unclean alcohol makes it an unpleasant experience to drink this beer, and I must admit that I didn’t manage to finish the bottle. The body is light and the initial over-carbonation is fairly long-lived, so the carbonation stays lively until I sacrifice this miserable beer to the Sink God. Dr. M, you can do so much better!

Maybe it didn't taste that good due to the sunny weather, this is after all a thunder saison.

Maybe it didn’t taste that good due to the sunny weather, this is after all a thunder saison.

Conclusion: something has gone wrong here, and the beer is a medicinal mess. There are some nice elements, but they can’t save this beer from the sink. This is not a saison worthy of Dr. M

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      4/10
Palate:     2/5
Overall:    8/20
Ratebeer score: 2.4/5.0

Dr. M nr 8 – Maianthemum

Maianthemum by Dr. M, Saison, 7% ABV, 27 IBU.

The Maianthemum is really eager to be freed from its bottle prison, and I start to pour right before the beer begins to gush out of the bottle all by itself. I end up with a glass consisting of 90% white, frothy foam and 10% cloudy, light orange to amber liquid. The head is very long-lived but shrinks to a reasonable size in a minute or two. Lots of huge patches of foam cling to the glass, in addition to finer curtains of laces. Giving a 3 in Appearance might be a bit too strict, but I really don’t like beers that gush and I definitely don’t like to wait a long time before I can start tasting the beer!

Dr. M nr. 8 - Masdfsdf, or Maiblomst.

Dr. M nr. 8 – Maianthemum with a huge head, enjoyed 9 months after bottling

The aroma is strong and very inviting, even through the initial 10 cm of foam. I get crisp spicy notes, saison yeast, fruits, pale malts and a whiff of honey.

The flavours are strong and fruity, with the same notes as in the aroma. The alcohol is present, but it’s clean and pleasant. There is very little sweetness in the taste, the yeast has clearly done a thorough job. The long-lasting finish has a pleasant light bitterness, that backs up the sweet honey notes very well.

The head settles and laces the glass well.

The head settles and laces the glass well.

The carbonation is as expected lively, and that fits this dry and rather light beer.

Conclusion: A superb beer! Crisp, dry, refreshing and ridiculously drinkable, with strong and clean aromas and flavours. Dr. M, I think I need one more of these!

Aroma:      8/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      8/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    15/20
Ratebeer score: 3.8/5.0

Dr. M nr. 11 – Jula 2013

Jula 2013 by Dr. M, Saison/Belgian Ale, 7.2% ABV, 90 IBU.

This very untraditional christmas beer comes in two versions: a regular and one with a little gnome on the label. I can’t quite remember what the difference between the two versions is, but we’ll find that out soon enough.

IMG_3549

Dr. M nr. 11 – Jula 2013. The spiced version (a.k.a. gnomed version) to the left, the regular version to the right.

Both beers pour a slightly hazy, medium amber body. They seem to be quite lively carbonated, the gnomed version even more so, and the lightly tanned head is bigger and more frothy. Both heads are long-lived and lace the glasses well. The aroma and taste of the two beers are so different that I’ll have to rate them separately. First the regular version:

The aroma is strong, and it has lovely notes of Belgian yeast, or rather saison yeast I suppose, citrus, pale malts and lots of sweet fruits with hints of overripe strawberries. It’s a pleasant mix of crispness and sweetness.

IMG_3548

The labels have all the gory detail, but the additions to the gnomed version isn’t revealed.

There is very little sweetness in the taste and the finish is heavy bitter. Totally out of style perhaps, but fun. The flavours are moderate, it feels like the bitterness drowns most of the elements that should be present according to the aroma. I get yeast, fruits in the back and some alcohol. Even further in the back I get resin, pine needles and bitter grapefruit, vague hints of anise and traces of honey in the late aftertaste.

As expected the body is quite light, the texture is bone dry and the carbonation is lively.

The gnomed version is a totally different creature all together! The aroma is very strong, far stronger than for the regular version, but most of the notes found in the regular version are in the gnomed version efficiently masked by a massive wall of herbs, anise seeds, cloves and liquorice. There is nothing saison-ish about this one. But still an interesting aroma, I wonder what Dr. M has actually added to this brew!

The strong flavours follow the aroma, with lots of herbs, anise, spices (again especially cloves). There is really lots of herbs in this one. Lots and lots. This is like drinking a Jägermeister. Not very christmassy, but definitely an unusual and entertaining experiment! The alcohol feels better hidden than in the regular version, it also feels a bit less bitter, less dry and there are more sweetness.

Conclusion: The regular version is a quite nice beer, but there is too much bitterness for the gentle flavours. Maybe more late hops should have been used to back up the bitter taste? On the other hand, that would move the beer even further away from it’s saison origin. Finally it’s a bit too alcoholic. The gnomed version is a fun one, but it’s also quite demanding, and the herbal overdose is simply a bit too much. Neither of the beers are very more-ish, and it wasn’t a great loss to partially rate these two beers Polden Arnesen style. 

Regular version:

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    11/20
Ratebeer score: 3.1/5.0

Gnomed version:

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