Category: Tasting

Tasting Session Report No. 009

We had a brilliant Tasting Session this month. Everyone was on form, we had an excellent time, some knowledge was imparted and we drank some great beers!

Thanks to everyone who came, I had an absolute blast!

On to the beer!

As we had some newbies in the group, we went through 'how to taste beer like a pro™,' before officially talking beer. We had a menu of three different brews with just the general theme of 'Dark and Brooding.'

Here's what ya missed;

Wild Beer Millionaire


Wild Beer – Millionaire 4.7%

Aroma: Chocolate, caramel, biscuit, almond, red fruit, smoke.

Flavour: chocolate, smoke, biscuit malt, salty, caramel, peanut.

Palate: light body, slick, creamy.

This Beer is still a good-un. It's been around a little while now, so chances are you've had a chance to try this. It a really good, straight up, flavoured milk stout essentially. Kinda thin on the body, but you expect that for the ABV. Super full of flavour considering it comes in at under 5%, so you can drink a few of these with out issue! I think we all enjoyed this, but mostly felt the same, that it needed a bit more of the saltiness to come through. As a group we also prefer the stronger beers, so we figured this was a great winter warming up beer!

to ol maccacino messiah brew bristol


To Ol – Mochaccino Messiah 7.0%

Aroma: Caramel, chocolate, coffee, nuts, herbal, green, pine.

Flavour: Coffee, chocolate, herbal, earthy.

Palate: Sweet & bitter, astringent.

This beer completely split the group. We reckoned that, rather than coffee, it would be more accurate to call it a cascara beer (flavour-wise,) as the coffee flavour was super green and 'plant-y.' Personally, this wasn't my favourite, but it was deemed the best of the three by some others! Definitely one to try, maybe between two or three of you!

buxton rain shadow brew bristol


Buxton – Rain Shadow 12.2% (Single Barrel)

Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, roasty, red fruit, leather, vanilla, wood , whiskey.

Flavour: Chocolate, coffee, red fruit, spice, umami.

Palate: Rich and slick.

We've had various iterations of this in the shop before, and it's always good. Super heavy, dark, little bit of dryness, and it carried the booze well. My only suggestion would be to buy now, and keep a bottle for a year. I think it'll be even better then!

After this we all chipped in and bought a bottle of Port Brewing's Older Viscosity. We have had this before on our tasting sessions, and I am certain we'll have it again. Despite the price tag, it's worth every penny. Strong, yes, but super smooth. Just the right balance of creamy and boozy, bitter and sweet. I still maintain it's one of my favourite beers of all time, and I can highly recommend you splash out for a bottle to share at Christmas.


HBC Report No. 033

Another wee report on some of our current selection of beers in the shop! Get involved.

northern monk mango lassi heathen brew bristol


Northern monk – Mango Lassi Heathen 7.2%

Aroma: Sweet, yoghurt, tangy, mango, apricot, pepper

Flavour: sweet, grainy, fruity, Clementine, lychee

Palate: Big, creamy, smooth, rounded. Lower bitterness than anticipated. Sweet.

So, this beer is good. That is undeniable. I have to admit, though, that it's not my personal favourite, style wise. We all decided that it was closer to being a fruit pale, rather than an IPA. The bitterness was just a little overwhelmed by the sweet mango. Good though, if you have more of a sweet tooth when it comes to your beer, it is worth a try for sure.

brwe bristol crane echo


Crane – Echo 8.0%

Aroma: Peach, grain, citrus, pith, resinous

Flavour: Balanced malt, caramel, orange and citrus

Palate: Oily, balanced, surprisingly easy to drink.

I was impressed by this brew. It's just hit the mark all round. Great body, bitterness and roundness of flavour. Balanced would be the term you're looking for.

weird beard brew bristol defacer


Weird Beard - Defacer 11.1%

Aroma: Orange, herbal, honey, grapefruit, pine, caramel, dill, citrus

Flavour: Citrus, tropical fruit, pine, toffee, caramel, herbal

Palate: Thick, long finish, good bitterness, easy drinkin' for 11.1%!

I dunno. What's there to say? Buy this beer? It's really freaking good? You'll probably regret it when that last bottle sells and you didn't get to revel in all that perfect mix of bitterness, alcohol, hop aroma and malt sweetness? Yeah, I think that pretty much covers the deal with this beer.

Tasting Session Report No. 006


Firstly apologies that the blog hasn't been updated in a while. You know how it is fending off wild alpacas and things.

This is an attempt at basically writing up a report of our various tasting sessions that are run here in the shop. If you're unable to make it, are currently feeling the pinch or simply don't like people, this'll give you a chance to get an idea of what some of our beers taste like, and what I, and my venerable Tasting Session and Home Brew Club attendees think of the beers.

So, this report is from what I've dubbed a three course beer meal. The idea was to put together three beers that would represent the three courses of a, y'know, meal. It's not rocket science.

We started off with fairly low ABV Pale Ale, which was actually gluten free too. Then we moved on to an Amber and rounded things off with a pretty strong Scotch Ale.

For those who don't know, for tasting sessions, I usually pick beers I've never tried before. Thus, when it comes to tasting notes, I pull 'em from the net. This usually leaves room for hilarity and nonsense. I try and assimilate a wide variety of notes about each aspect of the beer, and some stupid ones too. All genuine notes made by the good people who use ratebeer and untappd. My favourite is a toss up between 'tastes like gravel' and 'smells like cobwebs.'

reparationsbajer to ol brew bristol

To Øl – Reperationsbajer 5.8%

Aroma: Citrus, pine, orange, spice, grapefruit

Flavour: Lime, grapefruit, citrus, pine

Palate: Bitter, balanced

This was our first course. It was super bitter with a hell of a lot of flavour. The aroma was great. As with everything in this session, sadly, or not, I can't decide, we found the tasting notes bang on. To Øl is a regular on our tasting sessions and rarely lets us down. Especially as a gluten free beer I was pretty blown away. All round, we liked this one and would certainly recommend.

Evil twin hop flood brew bristol

Evil Twin – Hop Flood 7.0%

Aroma: Dark fruit, wood, date, honey,

Flavour: Sweet malt, dank, red fruit, caramel, date, honey,

Palate: Medium body, bitter finish, sticky

This brew was not what I was expecting what so ever. I was anticipating a kind of regular Amber, mellow, loads of soft caramel and biscuit. What I got was an explosion of harsh, yet balanced, boozy aroma with a metric f**k tonne of every heavy flavour assaulting my taste buds. It was astoundingly good. Tastes a whole load stronger than it's 7% and smells even stronger than that! Honestly, it's such a damn good beer! Again the tasting notes were spot on, including that stickiness!

tempest old parochial brew bristol

Tempest – Old Parochial 10.0%

Aroma: Candy, sweet malt, chocolate, woody, vanilla, red fruit

Flavour: Honey, caramel, butterscotch, molasses, toast, coffee

Palate: Oily, thick, boozy, creamy

Well, well, well. I do happen to like me a Scotch Ale. I think this was my favourite of the three, but I'll admit I believe the others preferred the other two in equal measures, although they all got the thumbs up. This was exactly what you would expect from a Scotch Ale, big, boozy and super flavoursome. You can taste that 10%, it's warming and beautiful. Ever so beautiful. You can take this apart in layers and get every one of those flavours and aromas listed.

I can recommend each of these beers! Although perhaps don't drink the Old Parochial straight after the Hop Flood. Those became a little over powering flavour wise one after the other. Definitely worth a try, all three!



Tasting Session – Weihenstephan & Schneider Weisse

As you may or may not know, we run a Home Brew Club in conjunction with Brewdog, and we recently re-started the club in 2015 as a fortnightly event on Wednesday evenings.

We’re kicking off each session with a tasting here in Brew Bristol.

We decided to start this one off with something that none of us are all that knowledgeable about! That is, after all, the point of our Brew Club. Learning new things about beer and brewing together. So we made a foray in to German wheat beers, but we picked some a-typical brews to try out.

Brew Bristol Tasting Glass

First up was Weihenstephan’s Kristall Weisse.

This is a pretty typical wheat beer in reality, but it’s been filtered to clarify it. This gives it a crisper and cleaner flavour as well as look.  First off, it’s a good clean bright gold in colour. Not much in the way of head retention, and the beer had a good light mouth feel. What you’d expect for a filtered wheat beer really. Moving on to aroma. You don’t get the same amount of banana and clove from this beer as your usual wheat beers, but it’s still there, getting more pronounced, especially the banana, as it warms. Added to the banana aroma, you can get a hint of something herbal and grassy. There’s also a nice subtle hint of citrus and lemon. The taste aspect of this beer; it’s certainly light and crisp. None of the cloying heaviness you tend to get in the standard wheat beer. You start with a hint of breadyness, moving on to the light lemon and citrus and rounding off with banana and clove, a sweetness that balances the lightness of body really well.

Overall, as a group, we decided we liked it. Not a mind blowing beer, but certainly excellent. We also decided it would be vastly improved by sitting in a beer garden in the sunshine, in 25°C+ heat with a nice breeze playing across our faces, and the prospect of ice cream.

Brew Bristol Tasdting Schneider Weisse

Next! Schneider Weisse’s Meine Hopfen-Weisse Tap 5

So, this beer veers a little further from your common-or-garden wheat beer. This one has been hopped – almost certainly dry hopped. I poured out the first measure and got knocked around the face by the most astounding aroma! All I could get initially was lemon. Pure and amazing lemon! And the single-mindedness of the aroma isn’t a bad thing. As I poured out beer for everyone else the aroma mutated to be more complex. The lemon took, if not a back seat, then one somewhere in the middle. In the mix we found some orange, apricot and honey primarily. Some other hints of something floral, clove, banana and cinnamon too. Looking at the beer, this one held it’s head well, and was a murky greeny-orange colour. The flavour mimicked the aroma well, adding a good level of bitterness which helped balance out all those sweet-ish flavours.

This beer certainly won our regard pretty thoroughly. Being the first hopped wheat beer any of us had had, I think the style has a small group of new fans. Complex, bitter, aromatic, tasty with a good hit of booze at 8.2%, it had us all wanting another.


Brew Bristol Tasting Group

This tasting session was awesome for trying a couple of new beers in a genre that non of us were too familiar with. Our response? To the Kristall wheat beer, a general “yeah, it was good, We’d drink that again if the weather was right and we were in the mood”. To the Tap 5, I think we’d all go with “This was a seriously good surprise! Glad we had this one 2nd as it’s astounding and way more complex. Give it a go. Go on! Really….”


If your interested in trying either of these two beers, better hurry as we only have very limited stocks remaining now!