Monday, 1 February 2016


Untappd Catchup

It looks like I didn't quite get on top of my reviewing as I hoped... Here is a quick wrap up of the last two weeks of Untappd badges, there's 16 beers across 18 badges for you enjoyment. As usual let me know if you've had any of them and your thoughts on them.

I don't drink a lot of Mexican beer and according Cerveza Matador is only on Level 2. Hop on or Die an IPA from Cerveceria Mexicana (who I believe own Tecate) was actually a pretty serviceable beer with great bitterness. Along with the Mexican badge, it also unlocked Hopped Up (Level 29).

Arctic Fox is a brewery that have seemingly dropped off the face of the planet, since their sale in 2012. I've found it very hard to find their beers since. Their Chocolate Stout seasonal is however still excellent when you can find it. It's got great chocolate flavours and hints of vanilla as it warms. It's a wonderful sweeter stout and Heavy Weight (Level 39) was a fitting badge.

Just my second Belgian Holiday (Level 26) badge I've unlocked since my own Belgian holiday, arrived in the form of Alvinne's Omega. These beers arrived on our shores with a huge reputation and this is, strangely, the first one I've got my hands on. This was quite a strange beer, in which raw (albeit subdued) sourness dominated the flavour. There were nice hints of Belgian funk as well as plenty of citrus and hints of apricot. It's a beer I'd love to try again.

Sixpoint has been a favourite brewery of mine ever since they arrived in Australia a few years ago. Their Hi-Res, a beer I've previously reviewed, unlocked Land of the Free (Level 43). The beer has been toned down a little (11.1%-10.5%) since I last tried it - although it's lost nothing in terms of it's hop punch, in fact going up 4 IBU's to 115. Despite this high bitterness, it's actually a very balanced beer with a very sweet malt base. It's a huge beer - drink in moderation!

Home Brewed Goodness has been a very long time coming. If you can't guess this is a badge for drinking home brews. For Christmas I got a voucher to go brew down at U Brew It in Keilor. It was a pretty great day and one that I think will be the catalyst for my own home brew... Whilst there you get to sample a couple of their beers. Their Mexican Crown, a Corona clone, was nice to drink than a real Corona as it had very low flavour and was the beer that unlocked this badge. Their Small Animal (Little Creatures) Pale Ale was really good and only had a little excess sweetness. I'm really looking forward to seeing what my beer turns out like in a couple of weeks time!

Another huge beer, MoonDog's Bad Boy Bubbly, unlocked Sky's the Limit (Level 14). It's a Biere de Champagne, a beer style I will admit knowing very little about. If it's aim, which I'm assuming it, is to mimic a Champagne then it has done a fantastic job! It had nice vinous characters, plenty of aggressive carbonation, big alcohol and a wonderful dry finish. It's certainly not a beer I'd drink regularly but as a celebration once in a while, why not?

Nomad Brewing Co. are absolutely kicking goals at the moment. Everything I've tasted from them recently has been superb. Myrtle's Summer Fling is their new low-ABV beer (2.8%) packed full of lemon myrtle. It's very light bodied, with lemon myrtle the strongest flavour, although by the end of drinking some tropical fruits from the hops come through. It's great; and Summer Fun (Level 4) (for drinking beers with the word "Summer" in their name) was the badge.

Paint the Town Red (Level 5) is badge I thought I would be racking up levels in much faster. Mornington's Rust Bucket is the second release in their #tinnage series. It is a seriously good Red Ale, not that this was unexpected considering it's coming from Mornington. It's got an amazing passionfruit aroma that carries through into the tastes, where caramel malts blend beautifully together. I'm so shattered that this is a one off release...

Since coming back from Belgium I've had the urge to have Blonde Ales more often. Passchendaele is named after one of the most famous battles in WW1 and part of the proceeds of the sale of this beer goes towards maintaining WW1 memorials in Flanders. The beer itself was a straight up and down Blonde, with a nice lightly spicy finish. Any fruitiness that was their had faded by the time I got to try it which was a bit of a shame. One of the newer badges, Blondes Do It Better (Level 2), is why we are talking about it.

Two badges in one for this beer - Drink Like a Kiwi (Level 26) and a new one Wee Bit of Scotch, one for drinking Scotch Ales. The beer was from Renaissance's Enlightenment Series, the Scotch on Rye which I found in the back of my fridge. I've got no idea how long it's been there, but I'm guessing it's a long time. Despite this, the beer tasted great! It was quite woody, with a nice raisin flavour and even some candi sugar.

I'm going to preface this next beer with; it was Australia Day... I checked in a Peroni that my mate gave me for our journey to the BBQ we were going to. Clearly I checked into a new location outside and subsequently; By the Campfire (Level 6) was unlocked. I have nothing against Peroni when it's ice cold, there are certainly worse lagers out there. This fitted into that category and was actually quite a refreshing beer to start a very big day.

A trip to Forester's inevitably yields at least one badge. On this particular occasion Crisp as Day (Level 15) was unlocked by Newstead's Tinderbox. It's a Pilsner, obviously, and it's a bloody good one. There was plenty of citrus character, some of which was slightly sweet, - which won't make sense unless you've tried it - as well as this lovely grassy and peppery finish. It really was like the best of New World Pils meeting Old World - it was sensational!

I find it hard to turn down new Sierra Nevada beers when I see them. Strangely it was another Pilsner, Nooner, which was actually a very nice clean example of the style. It's got a nice pilsner malt base with plenty of grass, some floral notes and just enough peppery spiciness. It's crisp, dry and particularly refreshing. This is as good of a German Pilsner that I've had that has come out of the U.S..  Land of the Free (Level 44) was the badge, getting close to finishing this badge...

HopDog Beerworks are one of best known sour brewers in Australia. Accordingly, I was really looking forward to trying their Gose; Gose & the Pussycat. It earned Pucker Up (Level 27), but it was a bit of a disappointment, with almost no carbonation, very little salt and only small waves of sourness that hit intermittently. It had the very distinctive HopDog bugs present though... A small saving grace...

Imperial Czar (Level 3) was unlocked by a collaboration between famous Norwegian brewers, Nøgne Ø, and two Mexican breweries - Central Cervecera & La Chingoneria. M.O.L.E. can courtesy of Tru Bru and is full of the flavours of Mexico, with dark chocolate, coffee and chili abounding. The chili is particularly noticeable as the beer warms. It's a phenomenal Russian Imperial Stout! Hopefully I can find a copy of bottles to stash away for later consumption.

Another Nøgne Ø beer from the Tru Bru pack was their excellent Two Captains Imperial IPA. This was one of the first Imperial IPA's I ever tried, and immediately I understood hops in a whole new light. It's really dry and has fantastic lingering piney bitterness. I have no idea why it's been so long between drinks for me - it certainly won't be that long again! Hopped Up (Level 30) is why you are reading about it now.

This Catchup post kept getting longer and longer, as everytime I sat down to write this review I checked-in a new beer that unlocked a badge. In fact there is even one more, which I intend to review in full in the next day or two! It's another marathon review so hopefully a few of you made it to this point! As usual hit me up via email, on Twitter, in the comments below or on Instagram, which I've recently joined.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

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