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


ClubGonzo’s Someone Else’s Wort II

Someone Else’s Wort II by ClubGonzo, Stout, 6.6% ABV, 55 IBU.

7 Fjell Bryggeri brewed the official Bergen Ølfestival 2014 beer, a stout called BØLL. ClubGonzo got his hands on some wort, fermented it at his place, skipped the coffee and instead stored the beer on oak chips for 6 weeks.


ClubGonzo’s Someone Else’s Wort II, a.k.a. 8th Mountain Stout, batch 47.

The result is a lively beer, to put it mildly. It’s a gusher, and I get a very huge, frothy, brown head initially, but it settles down to a fully lasting layer after some time. The body is black and viscous-looking.

Very strong aroma of dark roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate and ash. In the back I get cask wood (hello oak chips!) and smoke.

The flavour is rather strong and includes the same dark malty notes and wood as I found in the aroma, with additional notes of sweet fruits and leather in the back. There are also some vague solventy hints in the far background that are a bit disturbing. The taste is moderate sweet and moderate bitter.

It’s a full-bodied beer with a very yeasty and chalky dry texture, which I assume is due to the gushing. It’s also a bit too lively carbonated for my taste.

Conclusion: A quite nice one, that would have been even better if it wasn’t over-carbonated.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.1/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Stappan Stout

Stappan Stout by ClubGonzo, Dry Stout, 4.2% ABV, 45.6 IBU.

The previous ClubGonzo stout I had wasn’t very convincing, but I’m still ready for a new one!

ClubGonzo's Stappan Stout, batch 26.

ClubGonzo’s Stappan Stout, batch 26.

In the glass it looks clear and black. I have to struggle to form a finger-thick, frothy, short-lived, medium brown head that doesn’t leave much traces on the glass.

Stappan in the glass.

Stappan in the glass.

The aroma is moderate with dark roasted malty notes, dry bitter coffee and ash. Simple, but efficient, true to the style and inviting.

Pretty strong flavour that is very dark roasted, again dry ashy, coal and coffee. After a few sips I think I might detect some vague dark berry notes trying to get past the roasted malts. The taste is light sweet and the finish is of decent length and is moderate bitter. Yes!

The carbonation is soft, the texture is dry and the body is pretty light. Again pretty much how a dry stout should be. I’m not a big fan of this kind of thin mouthfeel, but it works.

Conclusion: A lovely dry stout, why don’t they sell this at Rimi instead of Guinness?

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0

ClubGonzo’s Demonstrational (Coffee) Stout

Demonstrational (Coffee) Stout by ClubGonzo, Stout, 5.8% ABV, 47 IBU.

I love coffee stouts and I love… eh… demonstrations, so let’s see what ClubGonzo’s got for me this time.

Served in a standard pub glass. I’m crazy.

The beer pours a black body with a decent-sized, medium brown, frothy head that collapses very fast. Not much foam is left on my glass. It looks a bit dull.

ClubGonzo’s Demonstrational (Coffee) Stout, batch no 31, contract brew no 6

Moderate aroma of dry, cold filter coffee and green coffee beans. By the way, I’ve never smelled green coffee beans. Or seen one in real life. But I imagine that they would smell a bit like this, a vegetal, plant-like touch. In addition there are of course roasted notes.

The green vegetal notes are very present in the flavour as well, it’s much stronger than the roasted coffee notes. This is actually a bit strange, I wonder if it’s supposed to be like this? It’s a bit unpleasant, highly unusual and not exactly tasty.

The mouthfeel, however, is very pleasant, the beer has a good body with a slick texture and a moderate carbonation.

Conclusion: not a very convincing demonstration. It doesn’t taste much of coffee, and the vegetal off-flavours are pretty disturbing. Still, if I don’t breathe through my nose it’s enjoyable, due to the lovely mouthfeel.

Aroma:      5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      5/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    9/20
Ratebeer score: 2.6/5.0

Meilby Brewing Sweet Chili Stout

Sweet Chili Stout by Meilby Brewing, 5.3% ABV, 55 IBU.

I pour a pitch black, viscous-looking liquid into my glass. The fairly long-lived head is averaged-sized, it has a medium brown colour and a nice creamy texture. Some of the foam sticks to the glass.

Meilby Brewing Sweet Chili Stout,

Meilby Brewing Sweet Chili Stout, batch 35, bottle 18/43, enjoyed 5 months after bottling.

The aroma is strong, dark roasted malty and very sweet, it’s almost sugary. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but it smells thick and viscous, just like it looks! It has some nice and gentle notes of woodsmoke. And, when I take a deep sniff, it’s actually possible to feel a chilli burn! Wow, this is probably hot stuff!

When i take my first generous sip my suspicions are immediately confirmed: holy chipotle, this is violently hot! An absurd chilli burn kicks in the moment I get the liquid into my mouth, and as I swallow my throat is ripped into pieces by the malevolent brew. I’ve had my share of chilli stouts, but none of those where even remotely close to the vindaloo strength of this evil devil. The flavour is totally dominated by the burning chilli, and it makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else than my melting tongue and my deteriorating inner organs. Ok, maybe I’m overdoing this a bit, but this really is far too hot for me.

But hey, let’s take another approach: maybe this this is a 5.5% beer that needs to be drunk as it was 4 times as alcoholic, maybe this is a sipper that shouldn’t be downed in a couple of gulps? So, pretending this is a heavy weight imperial stout (which isn’t very difficult, the body is full and the texture is thick and oily) I enjoy the rest of my glass in small, lady-like sips, and that actually works. After a while my brain and my palate have adjusted, and I start picking up other things than just pure pain. Especially the very nice gentle smoky notes go very well with the spices and the overall dark roasted coffee feel of the beer. The taste is very sweet and the long-lasting finish has a nice moderate bitterness.

And yes, the carbonation is soft.

Conclusion: it’s very difficult to rate this one. Even if it fits fairly well as a slow sipper it’s still too damn hot for me. But I really like the flavours that manage to escape the claws of the chilli, and the mouthfeel would have been perfect if it wasn’t for the chilli overdose. I’d love to taste a sissy version of this one!

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     2/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.2/5.0


ClubGonzo’s Koffikoffi

Koffikoffi by ClubGonzo, Stout, 7.4% ABV, 60 IBU.

Many of my favourite beers are coffee infused stouts, so let’s try ClubGonzo’s take on this demanding beer style.

ClubGonzo's Koffikoffi, Batch no. 14. Coffee coffee coffee indeed.

ClubGonzo’s Koffikoffi, Batch no. 14. Coffee coffee indeed.

It pours a black body with a small, frothy, medium brown head that quickly collapses into a film with some bubbles floating on top. However, when swirling the beer a thin layer is easily formed. I’m a sucker for black beers, so I won’t let a short-lived head ruin the appearance score. And the head leaves plenty of lacing on my glass, and that’s something I really appreciate.

The aroma is strong and dark roasted with massive coffee notes. ClubGonzo isn’t exactly going for subtle coffee hints here! There are some fruity hints in the back, but this one is definitely totally dominated by coffee. I’m a coffee addict, so I find the one-dimensionality pleasant and clean.

The flavours confirm my suspicions, here are lots, lots, lots & lots of coffee. There’s not room for much else than coffee, and even though I find it very tasty, I don’t think it would have hurt to go a little easier on the espresso. The taste is light to moderate sweet, but it’s hard to quantify the sweetness due to the prominent dryness that sets in mid-palate. I’m not sure what’s causing the dry feeling, is it just the coffee, or are there chalky yeast in my glass? The long, dry, dark roasted coffee finish has a good amount of bitterness. The carbonation of this medium bodied beer is moderate to soft.

Conclusion: a nice coffee stout, although a bit less coffee and dryness might have made it even better.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0

Dr. M nr. 2 – Svart høst

Svart høst by Dr. M, Stout, 4-5% ABV, IBU unknown.

Dr. M’s first beer was an extract brew, let’s see if he’s up for a real all-grain challenge! Ever since I got to know Dr. M some 20 years ago, he’s always been a master at the kitchen, and considering his chemistry background I’m not surprised if he manages to cook up a good beer in his first attempt. The goal of this beer was to make a bit darker version of a Belgian blond, but it ended up far darker than his original plan…

The least blond Belgian blond in this part of the galaxy.

The beer pours a viscous and close to black body, with a very large, dense and creamy, light brown, fully lasting head that leaves lots of foam on the glass. Nope, this doesn’t look very blond!

The aroma is strong and pleasant, and very stout-like. I don’t get many Belgian yeast notes, it’s dominated by roasted notes, coffee, ash and faint chocolate, but with some faint fruity notes that I guess are caused by the yeast.

Dr. M. nr. 2 - Svart høst.

The taste is light sweet while the finish has a quite sharp and biting moderate bitterness. This extremely long-lasting, near-astringent, almost metallic bitterness is a bit disturbing, and severely degrades the otherwise pleasant mouthfeel. The body is medium, the texture is dry and creamy and the carbonation is soft. The flavour profile is roasted with coffee and dark fruits and berries in front, while bitter and very dark chocolate together with dark caramel lurk in the back. Again the Belgian feel is quite subdued, I’d hoped for even more fruits and yeasty goodness.

Conclusion: A nice Belgian Stout with an inviting aroma and tasty flavours, but there is something about the bitterness that I don’t find that pleasant. Still a very impressive first all-grain!

Aroma:      7
Appearance: 4
Taste:      7
Palate:     3
Overall:   13
Ratebeer Score: 3.4

ClubGonzo's Turkish Pepper Stout

Turkish Pepper Stout by ClubGonzo, Stout, 5.2% ABV, 45 IBU.

Adding candy to a beer may sound like a good idea, but then I guess you should really know what you’re doing. I’m not saying that ClubGonzo doesn’t know his brewing ABC, but I suspect there there where one or two things he didn’t fully take into account when adding lots of sugary Tyrkisk Pepper to a beer that still contained living and hungry yeast? Anyway, I open the bottle and out gushes a black and incredibly viscous liquid. Even on my white kitchen table a thin layer of beer looks close to black and completely opaque. It’s muddy with particles of all sizes, some too big to be called particles, they are rather large bits of what I assume is liquorice root, which is another additive to this crazy brew. Some of the beer ends up in my glass, and after a while the enormous, frothy, dark brown head completely disappears, without leaving any lacing on the glass.

ClubGonzos Turkish Pepper Stout, batch 6. Some of it even ended up in my glass.

The aroma is strong and stings my nose like salt of hartshorn! After the initial shock I get a thick sweetness, roasted notes, loads of liquorice, Tyrkisk Pepper candy and black pepper. This really is different!

The taste is moderate to heavy sweet with a moderate bitter and long-lasting finish. The flavours are dominated by massive amounts of Tyrkisk Pepper, and this sweet and sugary candy profile just doesn’t feel very natural. Screw the purity law and all that, but this is very close to where I draw the line! It tastes like lots of sugary liquorice has been added to an ashy, heavily roasted stout, which I guess is pretty close to the truth. Still, it sort of works. And this is what home brewing is about, right? To make ridiculous beers that never will be realised commercially?

The beer is of course as full bodied as a liquid possibly can be, and the texture is syrupy, sugary liquid candy. The final carbonation of the beer that ends up in my glass is moderate.

Conclusion: an absolutely unique beer, with a crazy aroma, flavour and mouthfeel. Keep up your insane brewing, ClubGonzo, this is so much fun! This one gets lots of extra points for the entertainment value!

Aroma:      6
Appearance: 2
Taste:      5
Palate:     3
Overall:   10
Ratebeer score: 2.6

Meilby Brewing Française Stoubic

Française Stoubic by Meilby Brewing, Stout, 8.1% ABV, 70 IBU.

This is why I love tasting home brews! Not that the funky Française Stoubic is the best beer I’ve ever had, but it’s unusual, interesting and, at least in my book, very inventive. And that’s what home brewing is all about.

I like labels with lots of information!

It pours a totally opaque pitch black body topped by a large, creamy, dense and brown head that is very long-lived. When I finish my glass there is still a layer of foam left, and lots of lacing is clinging to the glass.

Française Stoubic in the glass. Note the cool two-coloured head!

The aroma is rather strong and is a complex mix of sweet, sour and acidic elements. The barnyard-ish wild yeast notes are the first thing I notice, followed by roasted parts. It’s not as heavily roasted as the black colour indicates, but it’s a lovely contrast to the yeast. There are also some faint coffee notes. It’s quite vinous, rather red wine-like.

In the mouth the Française Stoubic is a joyride: first it’s quite sweet, then I notice a certain sourness and some quite obviuos acidity. Then the palate gets a short break while the full-ish body with the thick, creamy and smooth texture massages the tongue and I get some really nice fruity notes mixed with dark roasted stuff. Then I swallow and BAM!, after a second or so a tongue-twisting acidity kicks in and threatens to dissolve the enamel of my teeth. Flavours include red wine, barnyard, leather, oak and faint coffee. The alcohol is very well integrated. The finish has a very pronounced red wine-like tannin dryness, it’s bordering on astringent, but in this crazy beer it works well.

Conclusion: a fun and different beer that in addition to its novelty is really tasty.

Aroma:      7
Appearance: 4
Taste:      7
Palate:     4
Overall:   13
Ratebeer score: 3.5

JoKr Brewers Black Weiss

Black Weiss by JoKr Brewers, black weiss/dark wheat ale, ABV approx. 7 %, IBU unknown
JoKr Brewers Black Weiss a.k.a. Test Batch no. 3

JoKr Brewers Black Weiss a.k.a. Test Batch no. 3

If you ever have wondered what to call a “stout-like hybrid ale with wheat, chocolate malt and roasted barley, fermented with hefeweizen yeast” that holds 7 % ABV, the answer is provided by JoKr Brewers: this is a black weiss. This sounds like some seriously exciting stuff! Remembering the previous JoKr brew, the gushing Hops meet Mango, I remove the cap cautiously. A delicate psssst is all that comes out the bottle, no beer fountain this time. So far so good.  A gorgeous looking, large (or should I say huge), creamy, dense, tan head forms easily. The beer is not over-carbonated by any means, so it’s easy to control the formation of the head. The head reluctantly reduces to a fully lasting thick layer after quite some time, leaving a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The body is totally black and absolutely completely opaque, so I have no idea if the liquid is clear or hazy.

A very pleasant and strong toasted aroma with coffee, chocolate, dark caramel, sweet dark fruits and berries (yep, the black currants are here!). Also some smoky hints and a yeasty element that I don’t find particularly hefeweizen-ish. I haven’t actually tried a non-hefeweizen beer that is brewed with hefeweizen yeast, so the yeasty notes I get might of course be exactly what this kind of yeast smells like.

The taste is light to moderate sweet, I had expected even more sweetness due to the sweet aroma. Is there also a light acidic touch? The fairly long-lasting finish has a lovely moderate bitterness. The first thing I notice when I take the first sip is the alcohol. Maybe not-that-well-integrated-alchol is the trademark of JoKr Brewers? After a couple more sips the alcoholic starts to feel more mellow, and is transformed into a nearly red wine-ish feel. A few sips later the alcohol seems to be rather well integrated, so I won’t let the first impression influence my rating. Enough about the alcohol, there are other flavours that are far more obvious: I get dark roasted coffee, chocolate and faint traces of smoke and tobacco, the latter two are especially present in the aftertaste. Also dark sweet fruits and black currant plus yeasty notes. The flavours are not as strong as the aroma, but this is still a very tasty brew. The body isn’t exactly light, but I might have expected it to be a bit fuller? The texture is quite dry, but not annoyingly chalky dry as the previous JoKr brew I tried. A slight metallic feel is a bit disturbing, at least at first, but the mouthfeel is still quite good. Soft carbonation.

Conclusion: a very nice brew with strong aroma and flavours. I’ll buy this if it ends up in my local Vinmonopol!

Aroma:     7

Apperance: 5

Taste:     7

Palate:    3

Overall:  13

Ratebeer score: 3.5

Black Weiss: black body, brown head.

Black Weiss: black body, brown head.

Long-lasting, creamy head. And look at the lacing!

Rating beer is serious business.