ClubGonzo’s Ginger Lemon Cure

Ginger Lemon Cure by ClubGonzo, mead, 10,3% ABV.

Ginger, lemon and honey, what could possibly go wrong?

Ginger Lemon Cure, mead batch no. 16.

Ginger Lemon Cure, mead batch no. 16.

IMG_7984It pours a crystal clear, dark golden body.

The aroma is strong, and I easily identify the three main culprits: heather honey, ginger and lemon. I like the fact that the honey isn’t completely drowned in the other elements, but at the same time the ginger and the lemon freshen things up significantly.

In the mouth this mead feels as fresh as a mead can possibly feel. Despite it being very sweet and syrupy, the lemon and ginger ensures that this is dangerously drinkable and “refreshing”. I particularly love the gentle ginger bite in the long-lasting finish, it contrasts the initial sweetness very well indeed.

Conclusion: A complex, powerful and refreshing mead!

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.6/5.0
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ClubGonzo’s Bryggselv IPA #2 – Citric Assault

Bryggselv IPA #2 – Citric Assault by ClubGonzo, India Pale Ale/Fruit Beer, 6% ABV, 75 IBU.

Bryggselv IPA #2 - Citric Assault, batch no. 57 - Contract Brew no. 10.

Bryggselv IPA #2 – Citric Assault, batch no. 57 – Contract Brew no. 10.

Looks like an IPA.

Looks like an IPA.

ClubGonzo has played around with the Bryggselv IPA brew kit once again (here’s the first experiment), and has created a highly modified version that is brewed with zest and juice of grapefruit, lime and lemon.

It pours an amber body with a rather large, light beige, very long-lived head that reduces to a fully lasting layer.

The aroma is very crisp and strong, and is extremely citric, especially the lime is very obvious. The fruits don’t drown the hops completely, this is definitely a hoppy IPA.

The flavour is very strong, and dominated by the lime. The grapefruit doesn’t contribute that much to the flavour, but the mouthfeel is that of undiluted grapefruit juice. I suspect the main contribution of the lemon is to add quite a bit of acidity to the taste.  The bitterness of the dry finish is pretty heavy.

It’s a mid-bodied beer with a moderate carbonation.

Conclusion: a fine, crisp and acidic brew, but with a bit too much citrus for my taste.

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

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