Beavertown Holy Cowbell India Stout – Beavertown

From Beavertown Brewery in London England comes their “Beavertown Holy Cowbell India Stout”.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of huge roasted malts, burnt coffee and earthy hops.  The flavour is of burnt coffee, roasted malts, mild chocolate, earth and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.6%.  I am not always a big fan of bitter stouts but this one works really well together and I am happy that I had this brought back from England for me!

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Skye Black – Isle of Skye Brewing

From the Isle of Skye Brewing Co in Scotland comes their “Skye Black” a scottish ale. The beer pours a deep brown with ruby tinges and a tan head. The aroma is of roasty malts, coffee, sweetness and a hint of earth. The flavour is of burnt malts, coffee, chocolate, mild ash, some fruit notes, honey and a hint of bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5% with an IBU of 18. This was a very enjoyable beer and I was glad my Mom brought it back for the UK.

Commercial Description:  The colour comes from dark roasted barley, balanced with just the right amount of sweet, rolled oatmeal. We mill both right here in the brewery, giving us complete control over flavour and freshness. The true taste of malt shines through, balanced by the sweetness of pure Scottish heather honey.

Food pairing as per brewery:  Smoked Meats, Venison, Game, Oysters, Mussels, Chocolate/Coffee Desserts; Cheese – Soft, Creamy, Crowdie, Brie


Tokyo* (intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout) – Brewdog

From Brewdog out of Aberdeenshire, Scotland comes the “Tokyo* (intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout)”.  This is the most extreme beer I have had up until this point and not many beer made will compare.  The Stout pours a deep opaque brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma is of cranberry, prune, oak, licorice, roasted malts and alcohol.  The flavour consists of fruits such as sweet cranberry and prune with roasted malts, sweet chocolate, coffee, licorice, oak, hops bitterness and some alcohol (but not huge alcohol).  The beer warms you with every sip.  With an alcohol content of 18.2% and an IBU of 90 this is one dangerously tasty brew!  That is right I said 18.2% alcohol you did not read that wrong!!!!!!  This is only a 330ml bottle but it should be shared or drank over two days unless you want to have a bad morning!

This beer received a 98/100 rating on and an 87/100 on so it is not just a gimmick but a great beer.

Commercial Description:  This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips.

It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.


Against The Grain – Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery

[Against the Grain is Brewed by Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery out of Driffield, England comes their “Against the Grain” a Gluten free ale. (Added by MCB)]

While the bottle only says “ale” this reminds me of an English style pale ale with hops as the back bone but not overwhelming the whole beer.

I know it is a bit of a cop out but this beer smells like beer.  I have no words to describe it beyond “beery” and “beer like”.  That is not a bad thing, though it does not offer much interest either.

Flavour-wise this is a good beer for those getting tired of the hop obsession brewmasters seem to have but don’t want to give up hops entirely.  There are a lot of fresh, piney hop notes over some mild malts for balance.  The flavours are very much defined by the hops with resin, pine and forest flavours dominating with hints of hay and toast coming from the malt.

It is nice to see a hoppy beer that is not determined to kill my taste buds and actually attempts balance instead.


Scarecrow Organic Golden Pale Ale – Wychwood Brewery

From Oxfordshire England’s Wychwood Brewery comes the “Scarecrow Organic Golden Pale Ale″.  The pale ale pours a golden yellow with an off white head.  The aroma of the beer is of apples and other fruits with a sweet overtone.  The flavour consists of apples and other sweet fruits with a mild bitter hops.  This is not berry sweet and tastes quite nice.  The alcohol content of this beer is 4.7%.

Commercial Description:  Scarecrow is a wonderfully refreshing Golden Ale evoking lazy, hazy days of summer in golden meadows & ripe barleyfields. A winning combination of tart citric fruit flavours perfectly balanced by a rich biscuity maltiness and rounded off with a spicy bittersweet finish.

Food pairing as per brewery:  Summery foods such as salads, quiches, vegetarian pies, char-grilled vegetables.