ClubGonzo's Greek Fire

Greek Fire by ClubGonzo, India Pale Ale, 6.3 % ABV, 61 IBU.

ClubGonzos Greek Fire a.k.a. Solo Batch no. 4

This single hop beer has a very dark amber colour, unusually dark for an IPA. The body is hazy, and no lumps of yeast or hops can bee seen in my glass: either the Bergen brewers have shaped up recently, or I’ve finally learned how to pour a beer without whirling up the sediments. The head is creamy, light brown and stays as a thick layer until my glass is empty. The before mentioned glass gets covered in lacings by this long-lived head.

The aroma is strong, sweet and very inviting! I get huge amounts of fruits and berries, actually quite much strawberries, that’s a new one! Also sweet tropical fruits, mainly peach and mango and a firm kick of bitter grapefruit. This is really, really nice!

The taste is moderate sweet, that’s quite much sweetness for an IPA. This lovely caramelly malty sweetness is perfectly backed up by a moderate to heavy bitter long-lasting finish, and what a pleasant bitterness it is! Without having brewed any beers myself I get the impression that it’s quite easy to produce a very bitter taste, but it’s much more difficult to make a pleasant bitterness. The flavours are strong, and again I get a quite obvious strawberry feel. The mango is still there and quite definitely the grapefruit. Vague alcohol in the finish, but that’s nowhere near disturbing. Given the quite sweet taste and the sweet strawberry notes, a gentle alcohol bite is very welcome.

A very dark IPA with a nice creamy head.

Resilient head with lacing capabilities.

The body is medium, it has a nice oily texture and a fitting soft carbonation. When my glass is almost empty I start noticing something far into the aftertaste that isn’t that pleasant, it’s something about that bitterness that doesn’t seem perfect anymore. That might of course be due to the palate fatigue, after all it had to endure violent abuse from the horrible Dandy Lion earlier this evening, but still I need to go all the way down to a 3 for the Palate.

Conclusion: A lovely single hop beer with truck loads of delicious fruits and berries both in the aroma and in the flavours. The bitterness is pronounced and pleasant, and the heightened sweetness level is pleasant, even though it might not be exactly according to style? And who cares about the slightly too dark colour?

Aroma:     8
Apperance: 4
Taste:     8
Palate:    3
Overall:  14
Ratebeer Score: 3.7

Meilby Brewing Amarillo Pale Ale

Amarillo Pale Ale by Meilby Brewing, American Pale Ale, 4.2 % ABV, IBU 38.

Meilby Brewing Amarillo Pale Ale, batch #011, bottle 29/56

A couple of days ago I had a Hornbeer Dryhop, an amazing Amarillo single hop bottom fermented beer. When I was trying to decide which of my newly received bottles from Meilby Brewing I was going to try first, I knew that I had to go for the Amarillo Pale Ale, which I assume is an Amarillo single hop top fermented beer. Are there any similarities between the two beers? What difference does the yeast make? Do you feel the pressure, Meilby?

The beer pours a hazy medium amber body with a huge, creamy, off-white head that never gets any smaller than a thick layer. Impressive amounts of lacing clings to the glass, long after the beer has been drunk.

Amarillo Pale Ale in the glass. Big ever-lasting creamy head.

The aroma is strong with lots of hoppy notes, but there is also a touch of sweet caramel. The sweet fruits are the dominants contributors though, I get ripe peach, slightly acidic mango, pineapple and grapefruit. A couple of strawberries are thrown in for good measure, and finally there are some faint refreshing herbal hints. Very, very inviting indeed!

The taste is light sweet with a moderate bitter finish. A quite gentle pale ale, this one. The flavours are quite strong, with lots of grapefruit up front, followed by peach and hints of honey. There are also traces of a strange rubber note, but the sharp and clean herbal, resinous, grapefruity bitterness removes the faint rubber as soon as the beer is swallowed, leading to a fairly long-lasting, dry and clean finish. Finally I get some extremely faint yeasty notes.

The mouthfeel is pleasantly dry, but the body is a bit too thin and watery. This is to be expected with such a low ABV, I suppose. Dangerously drinkable on a hot summer day!

How it compares with the Hornbeer Dryhop? Well, it’s less bitter but with the same obvious grapefruit flavour. On the other hand, I’d probably said that about most pale ales…

Conclusion: a very crisp, refreshing and gently hopped pale ale with no obvious flaws.

Aroma:     8
Apperance: 4
Taste:     7
Palate:    3
Overall:   13
Ratebeer score: 3.5

Thats what I call lacing!