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!
4% English Pale Ale
Here we go! Our first beer from the beer365 box is a "refreshing pale ale brewed with 5 premium malts as well as English and New World hops". I'm not usually a massive fan of the word "premium" as I feel it's usually unfounded, but let's see what we get from this one!
Almost certainly this beer is bottle conditioned as it's got a lovely cloudy golden hue as it enters the glass. Carbonation is lively and sticks around for a wee while, before dissipating.
Aroma is a tad funky - I'm getting all of those citrus notes promised from the bottle but I'm also getting a diacetyl smell, similar to butter popcorn or an intense buttered bit of toast. I'll push on though, and get to the flavour.
Unfortunately, the flavour is very similar. Initially a light crisp beverage full of light tropical and citrus flavours, but the mouthfeel isn't good. I'm slightly used to having a tiny amount of diac in some cask ales in traditional British styles but this is just too much. It's almost oily and the aftertaste leaves a definite butteriness in the mouth. A shame really, because the initial flavour promised so much.
As previously mentioned, this was one of the bottles I got from a beer365 sample box. You can find a link to the site below!
5.6% Ice Cream Pale Ale
Its about time we took on our first pale beer from Omnipollo, with this one being another collab with the ever excellent Buxton. I was fairly familiar with some of the darker offerings from Omnipollo, heavily flavoured and usually a smashing 11%.
I could see large amounts of sediment in the bottom of this one, personal preference dictates that I drank it, but it's entirely up to you. If you don't feel comfortable with a more "chunky" texture to your beer, feel free to leave it upright for about an hour prior to pouring if you want a more clear beer.
The pour was initially nice and clear, but I poured in the sediment. Head retention was very good, the addition of oats and wheat obviously helping.
There's certainly a smell of vanilla on the nose, but this is almost masked with heavy dank hops. It's all resin, pine and citrus.
The flavour is a little more balanced between the two, initial sweet vanilla is balanced with the bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thick, reminiscent of Ice Cream - surprisingly.
This was another purchase from Honestbrew, but they're going to disappear quickly after the release of four more this week!