The_Osprey (5930) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 18, 2016
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
July 2016 - Bottle share at Craft Beer Co Islington as ’BFM BATS’. Many thanks to Matteo! Very dark brown, hazy and opaque, foamy dense tan head. Aroma is toffee, light smoke, some demerara, soured fruits. Body is smooth, soft carbonation, maybe a touch frothy. Taste is caramel, earth, toffee, quite watery, some smoke. A bit thin. OK.
Leighton (18221) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 12, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared at Craft Beer Co. Islington - many thanks to Mattie Oh. Pours unclear orange-gold with a frothy, off-white head. The nose holds doughy bread, light toffee, faint orange. Light to medium sweet flavour with more bread, toasted sugars, dough, light hammy smoke. Light bodied with average carbonation. Moderately sweet on the finish, with further toasted bread, light toffee, smoke, candied ham. Novel, for sure. Not bad on the whole.
mR_fr0g (8870) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - JUL 10, 2016
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared at the CBC big bottle share. 7/7/2016. Many thanks to Matteo for this one. A reddy amber coloured pour with a loose halo of beige head. Aroma is caramel, smoked malts, sausage, toffee, dried apple. Flavour is composed of semi sweet malts, nutty, caramel, smoked sausage, tangy dried apple. Palate is semi sweet, moderate carbonation, rounded palate. Little sausage.
Scopey (12227) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 10, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle shared ta Craft Islington by Matteo - thanks! It pours hazy orange - amber with a medium white head. The aroma is earthy spicy, must, dull smoke, gingerbread and lemon. The taste is bitter, rich, brown bread, smoked malt, earthy, ginger, citrus peel, pear, apple, wood and light alcohol warmth on the back end. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Quite interesting and quaffable.
andrepintado (2673) - Lisbon, PORTUGAL - JUL 8, 2016
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle at cerveteca. Dark orange to brown color. Thin white head. Medium bitterness. Aroma is spices, tea, smoke, malt.
teorn88 (6190) - Out of the EU, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 8, 2016
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
75cl bottle shared at the July London Tasting @CBC Islington. Sourced via Etre. It pours an mean Amber color with a small white head. Aroma is sweet with over ripe fruits and almond. Taste is also sweet fruity with notes of grapefruit mango, red berries. Medium bodied with good carbonation. No real smoke in here
BeerViking (4100) - Brentford, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 7, 2016
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
RB bottle share, murky red-brown with a thin head, caramel and smoke on the nose, thin texture, sweetish and lightly toffeed, light orange bergamot notes. OK.
TBone (16080) - Pori, FINLAND - JUL 7, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle at RB London Meet. Hazy amber color, small steady off-white head. Tarry, a bit fruity aroma. Medium-bodied. Tar notes, fruity, light on hops. Interesting combo of tar and fruits.
Alengrin (4429) - BELGIUM - MAY 4, 2016
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 5, 2016 As BATS ("bière artisanale ambrée non filtrée et parfumée au Tarry Suchong"), which seems to be the alias of this beer for the 75 cl bottles, which is what I had this from. Medium, moussy, lightly lacing, egg-white, quite stable head over an initially clear, deep ’autumny’ and coppery amber coloured beer with quiet but steady fizz, more hazy and darker (hovering towards bronze) with deposit. Aroma indeed has that combo of Chinese black tea and smoked meat (or even slight pipe tobacco ashes) which can be expected from something flavored with ’tarry Souchong’ but in a more subtle way than expected (and hoped) especially seen the fact that the tea in question is a tea smoked over burning pine tar; this aspect, though defining for the beer and quite prevalent, is embedded in other impressions of caramel, lots of soap, ’natural’ iron, red apple peel, hazelnut, toasted bread, dried red berries and even a hint of fresh raspberry, wet leather not unlike in a Brett-refermented beer like e.g. Orval, damp tree leaves, dried banana somewhere, dusty earth, bitter honey, faint hints of kombucha, fresh green seaweed, nutmeg and beetroot. Crisp, fruity onset, not overly estery but rather restrained, more ’dried fruit’ sweetishness (dried plantain, some dried fig) with red berry sourishness surrounding it as well as a softly ’seaweedy’ umami presence, medium carbo, smooth and somewhat oily, lean body. Very caramelly and toasted malt body, sweetish and bitterish (the latter more so in the end), like any full-bodied Belgian or French amber ale; meanwhile the smoked tea factor leaves an even more oily, if not resinous effect sticking to the mouth cavity, bringing subtle umami and spicy flavors with retronasally that combo of black tea and (mostly) smoked bacon again; finishes juicy with a slight metallic ’zing’ to it, very malty, nutty, toasted and caramelly, but low in bitterness, though a late and brief spicy hop bitterness does show up in the end. The resinous black tea flavor lingers a bit, clinging to the nutty malt bittersweetness that goes down into the throat. A smoked beer mostly in the metaphorical / indirect sense of the word, the smoked factor being sufficiently potent to justify its classification, but having read earlier reviews of it (not just on this site), I must admit I expected more ’oumph’ and something a bit more extreme. This is a classic Belgo-French ’ambrée’ (think Wallonian ambrée or amber-hued bière de garde) with notable black tea- and smoked bacon-flavors on top, rather than being thoroughly permeated by them. Spice amber ale with a smoky profile, let’s say, somehow the flavors work well together for me, but should have been more pronounced. In all: less extreme than the label suggests, but a very drinkable, appetizing beer which I could perhaps recommend to people as an introduction to the smoked beer world. I did enjoy it, after all, if only because this combination of flavors still makes this an interesting beer, regardless.
anstei (1051) - Zurich, SWITZERLAND - MAY 4, 2016
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
75cl bottle from Beers’n’more, as BATS. Very lightly smoked, but present. Hints of sourness, otherwise malt-forward. Fruity, little cherries, peach, green tea (?). Low bitterness, low carbonation, but it’s not lacking. Okay.