4.5% Kettle Sour
Round two of our Northern Powerhouse showcase showcases the epic talent of Magic Rock. Three berries; Raspberries, Blackberries and Blackcurrents combine with wheat, oats and cascade hops to form this sessionable number.
The pour on this one is stunning, the colour is insanely vibrant and opaque. The head dissipated quickly which is to be expected from a kettle sour.
The aroma on this one is a little different, there's a very jammy aroma from all of those berries, but there's an overwhelming smell of bakers yeast or generally of fermentation. It's not off putting, just a little different.
The flavour is light, and the sourness subtle. The fruits are dense and sweet, which is backed by an acidity resulting in a tart dessert style beer not too dissimilar to a berry tart. The oats and wheat contribute well to this, providing a biscuity malt base as well as a thick body.
5% DDH Pale Ale
I love a good 440ml can, there's something especially tactile about a tall boy - especially if you have a good label. I like this label, all of the northern powerhouse series remind me of the doodles I used to do on paint as a child. Draw a crazy squiggle, use the paintbucket to fill in the gaps. Only this is a little more refined and the colour palette actually works nicely.
The smell on this literally hit me as I opened the can. It pours a very opaque gold, with some hop chunks spilling out at the bottom. The head was modest, but stuck around for a while hinting at a dense body.
Aroma is all pungent fruit, with some floral notes. Amarillo is especially orangey and comes through very strongly. There's also the usual suspects, tropical pineapple and passionfruit with almost savoury hop hits.
I'll be honest, there's a hell of a lot going on for a 5% number, usually you'd expect this from a 9% bomb. Flavour is soft, juicy and sweet. I get a certain plummy almost fig flavour in the aftertaste? It's jammy and seems to stick your mouth together which each sip. The body is bold and thick from the oat addition. Massively drinkable.
My good friend Joe picked this one up from Northern Monk refectory for me, you may have some trouble finding it now but keep your eyes peeled!
9% New England Style IPA
We're back to tasting beer with this acclaimed brewery from Barcelona. My first taste of Spanish craft beer!
This boy had some serious chunks, after pouring the entire can out we had some floaters but I'm all for some extra protein. Carbonation is medium as the head dissipated quickly.
Aroma is sweet, filled with stone fruits, tropical fruit and subtle pine residue. There's a real tutti fruti aspect going on here and I cant wait to get stuck in.
The flavour is massive, all of those aromas come through in the taste, pineapple, mango, melon and rhubarb notes come through in abundance. There's a fair amount of bitterness for a dry hop bomb, but I enjoyed it. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style, thick and cloying without being overwhelming.
Picked this one up from honestbrew.com - give them a look if you fancy one.