Alengrin (5891) - BELGIUM - JAN 19, 2018
Bottle from a gift pack received as a present, cheers Jean! "Cornish IPA" brewed with Maris Otter and hopped with three New World hop varieties. Very intricately cobweb-lacing, tenacious, eggshell-white, thick head, coarse and irregular, slowly breaking here and there but nevertheless very stable, over a warm and pure golden blonde beer with 'old gold' hue and a very diffuse haze of yeastiness throughout, so diffuse that the beer seems cristal clear and filtered at the beginning, but turning it ever more hazy as the rest of the bottle is emptied in the glass. Fragrant, lively, almost 'spring-like' nose of dried southernwood, fresh lime zest, dried camomile, cold lemon butter sauce, lilies, pomelo peel, white bread crust, rosegarden, straw, lavender, faint bath foam, something remotely vanilla orchid-like. Crisp, clean onset, typical 'English' background fruitiness of green pear, unripe pineapple and red apple peel, sharp carbonation adding a lot of 'crystalline mineralness', lively, but stinging a bit much for any IPA - or even any Anglo-Saxon ale style 'tout court'. Nonetheless remaining sufficiently smooth, with a lean, bit oily body; very cereally, 'white' bready backbone, pale malt graininess with a subtly softening edge, leading upwards to an increasing hop bitterness, apparent already before the proverbial middle of the tongue and coating the back of the mouth in a resiny layer of spicy, rooty, zesty and tonic water-ish bitterness, whilst releasing uplifting retronasal aromas of fresh grapefruit peel, wormwood leaves and bitter garden flowers. Ends resiny, firmly bittering and dry, with a hint of powdery yeastiness peeping through - especially after the sediment has been added. Interesting case: basically your average modern English golden ale, but 'pimped' with New World hops, although not quite in the same way the Americans would do it (or would have done it years ago, i.e. ignoring that current NEIPA hype): here the nose offers a whole garden of fragrant subtropical spring flowers, whereas in the taste, little of this delicate fragrance is left and a resiny, stout-hearted bitterness becomes dominant. The combination of both, however, makes this a surprisingly fascinating beer - thoroughly English, but with a somewhat alienating, exotic touch. Which, if I am well-informed since I haven't made it there yet, fits the Duchy of Cornwall quite well - so if interpreted like that, this could not have been more Cornish. Feels like an exotic trip close to home, weirdly. bartlebier (4214) - Belchium im Biersgau, GERMANY - JAN 3, 2018
500ml bb09/2018 (BL sampler 2018). A nearly foreign, amped hop bitterness composed through restrained orange jaffa cake malts yields a mid-thin Lady Grey of a fragrant, lean UK IPA. Aroma of almond, bergamotte, orange served on metal. Some cracker malt bite, dry and elegant finish. JoeMcPhee (10131) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 28, 2017
Pale golden pour - the nose is slightly sweet. Has a bit of light fruit and some pepper. A bit of grass and woodsy bitterness. There's a touch of pepper and a little bit of grass. Seems a bit aged. Assertive bitterness though.