ANodYN Never Nude

Never Nude by ANodYN, Imperial/Double India Pale Ale, 8% ABV, Unknown IBU.

Rating homebrews is a mixed pleasure. I get to taste lots of fun and crazy beers, many of them far too experimental, demanding and special to ever be brewed commercially. The drawback is of course that another reason why many of these beers will never be on sale in my local shop is that they’re not that good. But then, from time to time, I get to taste a beer that is a true pleasure, that is a clean, no-fuzz, powerful and delicious brew that I’d buy without hesitating if I’d had the chance. The latter is definitely the case for the Never Nude DIPA.

ANodYN Never Nude, Batch no 9.

ANodYN Never Nude, Batch no 9, enjoyed 1 year after bottling. I forgot to take a photo of the beer in the glass. I blame the wonderful aroma and the lovely taste.

It pours a very hazy, medium amber body with a quite large, creamy, off-white head. The head stays big for quite some time, before it’s reduces to a bubbly thin layer that laces the glass very well.

The aroma is very strong and extremely pleasant, this is exactly how a DIPA should smell like! I get lots of lovely notes of overripe tropical fruits like mango and peach. This is perfectly backed up by a sweet, malty, caramel background. Finally there are some vague herbal traces in the back.

The flavours are a bit strong, but nevertheless an itsy bitsy teeny weeny disappointment compared to the quite intense aroma. However, they do follow the delicious aroma, but with some additional notes of clean alcohol that could have been better integrated. The taste is moderate to light sweet, with a long-lasting, moderate to heavy bitter finish. I like DIPAs to have even more bite in the finish, and thereby also some more sweetness, but this is still a wonderful taste.

The mouthfeel is very pleasant. The beer has a lovely smooth texture, there is some dryness in the finish, the carbonation is moderate and the body is close to full. A quite gentle and light DIPA, or an overwhelmingly powerful IPA, take your pick.

Conclusion: an unusually successful homebrew! The only things that could have made this even better would be to mellow the alcohol flavour and boost the other flavours somewhat, and add a few more grams of bittering hops.

Aroma:      8/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    15/20
Ratebeer score: 3.8/5.0

JoKr Brewers Oatpremacy

Oatpremacy by JoKr Brewers, DIPA, 8.2% ABV, 92 IBU.

The day I received my previous beer delivery from ClubGonzo my dad was visiting, and he was so intrigued by the labels of the bottles that I had to offer him a taste of some Bergen homebrew. I decided to put his tastebuds up for a challenge, and got this DIPA that had stayed in my beer cellar for a few months.

JoKr Brewers Oatpremacy batch 17

JoKr Brewers Oatpremacy batch 17

The Oatpremacy pours a hazy, medium amber body with a small egg white head that ends up as a very thin but fully lasting layer. Virtually no foamy remnants are left on my glass.

The aroma is very strong and is a splendid mix of malty and hoppy notes. The hops take the lead, and deliver a very fruity feel with slightly overripe fruits, mainly grapefruit and tropical fruits like peach. I also get a whiff of alcohol. My dad didn’t get much, due to his near non-existent sense of smell.

The taste is very fitting for a DIPA: a moderate sweetness balances the heavy bitter and long-lasting finish very well. The flavours are quite strong, but I had expected more intensity due to the stunning aroma. I get tropical fruits with peach and hints of pineapple, grapefruit and resin. And then there is of course notes of alcohol that could have been better hidden. The bitterness was a bit over the top for my old man, but he finished the glass and claimed that he liked the flavours.

The beer feels rather full bodied and has a fairly oily texture. The carbonation is very soft, I find it too soft.

Conclusion: a nice DIPA, but the taste doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by the aroma. And it lacks the ClubGonzo craziness… Can be served to dads.

Aroma:      8/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:   12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.2/5.0

Beer With Me Nano Brewery Hip Hop Hooray

Hip Hop Hooray by Beer With Me Nano Brewery, IIPA (yeah right!), 7.5 % ABV, 145 IBU

Once again I rate one of my own creations, or to be exact, two of them. These beers are identical, but one of them, Batch 003 A, was dryhopped with Simcoe in the secondary for a week, while Batch 003 B didn’t receive this final dose of hops. The goal with this beer was to make an extremely hoppy IIPA, but I completely missed the OG and FG that I aimed for in my debut as a BIAB-brewer, so I’m not sure if this brew actually can be labelled an IIPA. See the brewlog for details.

Hip Hop Hooray Simcoe Dry Hop Edition

The two beers pours a very hazy (but not as cloudy as I’d feared) body with a medium to light amber colour. It’s not anywhere near opaque, which I suspected would be the result of the treatment this brew got: after boiling the wort cooled in an airtight bucket until the next day, then I pitched the yeast. The head seems a bit bigger and slightly more creamy on the dry hopped version, although I’d still call it rather frothy. The head sticks around for some time and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

The aroma of Batch 003 B is very strong and very nice indeed! It’s sweet and heavy fruity with lots of tropical notes like mango and peach. The dry hopped beer has an even more intense aroma that is less sweet and noticeably sharper with a stinging and close to grassy hop pellet feel. The fruity notes are a bit less noticable, although the mango and peach are still present. There is also some sweet strawberry notes and some very faint traces of alcohol. One of my test bunnies claimed she got some cat pee notes from the dry hopped beer, and I’ve got to agree: Hello Kitty! (I hereby trademark that name for an upcoming Simcoe single hop IPA!). The dry hopping certainly brings new elements to the aroma, but I think I was a bit too generous: 17 g hops in in an 8 L batch is too much, I’ll half the amount the next time.

If you pour this beer really carefully its possible to end up with a body that isnt that cloudy.

The taste is light sweet and the long-lasting finish is incredibly bitter. The bitterness is stinging and almost a bit harsh, but I like it, and it’s exactly what I was after, apart from the fact that this is by no means an IIPA. There is far too little sweetness and there are just faint traces of malty flavours. The hops are totally dominant, with strong fruity notes, grapefruit and resin. I’m not sure if the lack of maltiness is due to the excessive use of hops or that I put in too little Crystal and/or Vienna. The flavour profile is clean, without any diacetyl or other obvious flaws. The dry hopped beer is a bit crisper and more refreshing than Batch 003 B, and the bitterness feels even sharper.

The body isn’t exactly light, but it feels less full than what an IIPA should be like. For a regular IPA however, it’s quite all right. The texture is rather dry, and the combined with the mouthdrying bitter finish this is another element that doesn’t fit my picture of an IIPA. The carbonation is soft and pleasant.

Conclusion: wonderful and intense aroma and flavour. The taste is very bitter, a bit too violently bitter to be really pleasant, but still a very nice brew. But it’s absolutely not an IIPA.

Dry hopped version:
Aroma:      7
Appearance: 3
Taste:      7
Palate:     2
Overall:   12
Ratebeer score: 3.1

No dry hopping:
Aroma:      8
Appearance: 3
Taste:      7
Palate:     2
Overall:   12
Ratebeer score: 3.2

ClubGonzo's The B.F.G. (Big Friendly Giant)

The Big Friendly Giant by ClubGonzo, Imperial India Pale Ale, 8.2% ABV, 106 IBU.

The Big Friendly Giant, enjoyed a late summer evening in Oslo.

I’ve been a huge Roald Dahl fan ever since I was a little kid, and I’ve probably read all his novels, short stories and children’s books. The Big Friendly Giant is one of my absolute favourites, so ClubGonzo better have made a fantastic brew when using His name!

The body is dark amber and ends up quite cloudy, with a large, creamy, off-white head that is very long-lived and reduces to a everlasting thick layer. The head leaves quite much lacing on the glass.

The aroma is rather strong and pleasant, although it lacks a bit in intensity and complexity, and deliciousness for that matter, to be an absolute winner. But by all means, it’s tempting stuff! It’s of course heavy hoppy, but there are also obvious malty elements, like sweet caramel. The hoppy part consists mostly of resin, citrus and some perfume-like notes, in addition to fruits. It’s not as fruity as I like (I)IPAs to be, there’s no tropical fruit bowl here. Finally there is quite much alcohol. Oh no. Will this turn out to be another too alcoholic beer from Bergen?

The B.F.G. a.k.a. The Fevik Batches - Vol. 1. (Don't you just love the names of the beers from ClubGonzo?)

The taste is moderate sweet with a heavy bitter finish that actually isn’t that long-lasting. The flavours are of moderate intensity, and as I feared, the alcohol is far too dominant. I find it very difficult to pick out the different flavours in this one, other than some generic fruity notes, resin and this stinging alcohol.

The mouthfeel is ok (but again the moderate alcoholic finish doesn’t make it very drinkable), with a medium body, oily texture and soft carbonation.

Conclusion: the beers from JoKr Brewers/ClubGonzo tend to be either crazy and experimental or tasty and nice (and in some cases all of the above). Even if they sometimes are a bit too experimental for my taste, they are always interesting! The BFG on the other hand is just… well… a bit boring, uninteresting and with an aggressive and unpleasant alcoholic feel, and with too faint and unfocused flavours. This isn’t a Big Fiendly Giant, this is closer to a Childchewer, a Fleshlumpeater or a Bloodbottler.

Aroma:     7
Apperance: 4
Taste:     5
Palate:    2
Overall:  10
Ratebeer Score: 2.8

Meilby Brewing Winter IIPA

Winter IIPA by Meilby Brewing, Imperial/Double India Pale Ale, 9.2 % ABV, 200 IBU.

Meilby Brewing Winter IIPA, batch #004, brewed 2011.09.04, bottled 2011.10.19, enjoyed 2012.06.12. Bottle #12/31.

Meilby Brewing knows how to make super hoppy beers, so an IIPA with a whopping 200 IBUs should do the trick! I’ve been warned by the brewer that the Winter IIPA is starting to get a bit old, but I’ve had IIPAS that are far older than this that hadn’t lost any of it’s characteristics, so my hopes are still high.

In the glass the beer looks unusually(?) dark for its style. It’s cloudy, dirty looking, dark amber, close to dark brown. The head is large and creamy with a light-brown colour, it has a decent lifetime and leaves a good deal of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is quite strong with malty notes but with an overall fruity feel, although it’s hard to single out any of the fruity components other than ripe grapefruit. The rest of the fruity notes are darker. When swirling the beer in the glass I also get alcohol and some dusty notes. It’s a very pleasant aroma, but not as refreshing as the other M beers I’ve tried so far. It fits the look: it’s a bit dirty and undefinable…

The taste is quite sweet with heavy bitter finish. I guess there is more bitterness-drowning sweetness in this beer than I’m able to taste, because even though the bitterness is strong, it feels far from the theoretical IBU of 200. The flavours are quite strong with dark fruits, ripe grapefruit, resin and caramel. I might be fooled by the looks of the beer, but I also get lightly roasted notes. And then there is alcohol, and lots of it. It’s not sharp or particularly unpleasant, but it’s a very obvious and mouth numbering alcohol feel that is especially present in the not-that-long finish.

The beer is full-bodied and has a oily, almost syrupy texture and very soft carbonation.

Conclusion: a nice beer that with a pleasant aroma, but the flavours are a bit too weak and too dominated by alcohol.

Aroma:     7
Apperance: 3
Taste:     6
Palate:    4
Overall:  12
Ratebeer score: 3.2

JoKr Brewers Hops meet Mango

Hops meet Mango by JoKr Brewers, DIPA, ABV 9.8 %, IBU 130
a.k.a. Test Batch 4

Hops meet Mango a.k.a. Test batch no. 4

A nice (D)IPA has an intensely fruity aroma, but often I’m a bit disappointed when it comes to the actual flavours: where have all the fruits gone? JoKr Brewers are obviously of the same opinion, and they have brewed an ale with real mango in order to enhance the tropical fruitiness of the flavour profile. Ever since ClubGonzo told me about their efforts I’ve wanted to try this beer, and finally the bottle is here on my table. Or actually, the bottle is safely placed in my kitchen sink, since this is a very aggressive carbonated brew that’s very eager to escape the bottle. I was warned about the beer’s gushing capabilities by ClubGonzo, so I opened the cap extremely carefully and the beer fountain was therefore somewhat tamed.

In the glass the beer has a medium amber colour. Murky, close to muddy body with particles of all sizes and colours. Not that good-looking. A decent sized but disappointingly fluffy, bath foam-ish off-white head consisting of big, very short-lived bubbles. The sad remains of the head leave virtually no lacing.

The aroma is another story all together! A lovely, strong, sweet fruity hoppy aroma with a firm malty backbone. The tropical fruits are dominating (I might be a bit biased, but I think I get lots of ripe mango). Also peach and citric notes and some sweet caramel-like stuff lurking in the back.

Moderate sweet taste with a heavy bitter finish. Moderate flavours with bitter grapefruit and alcohol, tropical fruits (mango and peach) in the finish. To be honest I had hoped for a far more pronounced mango flavour. The stinging alcohol is too dominating, especially in the aftertaste. Together with a very chalky, yeasty, dry feel the beer is a bit too rough on the palate to be really pleasant. Despite the initial gushing this medium bodied beer ends up rather softly carbonated in the glass.

Conclusion: A fun and interesting experiment resulting in decent beer with a very pleasant aroma and ok flavours. Unfortunately it’s too alcoholic and it has a heavy chalky dryness that doesn’t correspond all that well with the very sweet tropical aroma.

Aroma: 8
Appearance: 2
Taste: 6
Palate: 2
Overall: 11
Ratebeer score: 2.9
A newly poured Hops meet Mango

A newly poured Hops meet Mango. Frothy bath foam head!

The head is almost gone when Im done rating the aroma. Note the piece of mango that clings to the glass; this is the real deal!