Beer Review: Wylam – Jakehead IPA 6.3%

Wylam, based in Northumberland, are a powerhouse in North East England brewing. Consistently putting out great beer after great beer, their Macchiato porter being a particular favourite. This time though and now pouring at The Craftsman Company is Jakehead, a supercharged American style IPA.

Built on a solid base of Golden Promise malt, a light and rich malt that is particularly popular in American style IPAs, and ‘supercharged’ with Chinook, Centennial and Citra hops. It pours a rich brown that settles to a golden amber colour with a thick, off white head that dissipates slowly. The nose hints at the malt base with notes of caramel but isn’t overly sweet, there are stone fruits as well as grapefruit and light citrus hoppiness in there too. It drinks well with a medium carbonation and a nice smooth body. The initial tastes are hops, hops and more hops!

They weren’t joking when they said this was supercharged! The bitterness from the hops is quite complex, fruity and with a slight grassy dank flavours working well with the malt. It just makes you want to keep taking mouthfuls and is a very drinkable IPA at 6.3%. The finish is really clean and crisp with the hops hanging on well into the aftertaste.

Thanks to Lisa MacLeod for the review!

Beer review: Rub-a-Dub IPA, Deya and Fyne Ales

Rub a Dub Dub, two breweries and a tub… of lime zest and hops! Deya and Fyne Ales have teamed up to create Rub a Dub, a lime infused IPA with Citra and Mosaic hops. Fyne Ales have definitely been high on the list of my favourite Scottish breweries over the last couple of years. Deya are undoubtedly high on many people’s lists when it comes to IPAs so I’ve been looking forward to this collab coming on tap.

It pours golden with a slight hue of green, a thick white head that clears quickly leaving a nice lacing on the glass. Nose is citrus, malty, a hint of caramel and very inviting. The first mouthful is all grassy hops with a mild citrus back note. It’s smooth though and I think you can really taste the Citra, adding light tropical fruit aromas alongside the Mosaic. From the next mouthful the layers start to show through, a slight dank grassiness and malty biscuit flavours. The citrus from the lime infusion floats around in there taking the edge of the hop bitterness.

On the finish, rather than bringing a full on juiciness to proceedings it has a much drier finish than you might expect from a lime infused IPA. However this is no criticism, using lime zest rather than the juice creates this and I really like it! This is a really drinkable IPA at 6.1% with good carbonation, smooth body and well balanced hops definitely not one that will hang about too long.

Thanks to Lisa MacLeod for the beer review!

Beer review: Gipsy Hill Brewing Co. – Drifter IPA 7%

Pours rich and thick as haar, hazy yellow with a nice off white head.  This is Drifter, Gipsy Hill Brewing’s’ take on an East Coast style IPA. This year’s release from the South London brewery has two kinds of oats and uses Lallemands NE yeast. The yeast was chosen to hold in suspension producing the distinctive haze of the style and really push the tropical fruit notes on the nose, which it does very successfully!

The carbonation fizzes on the tongue before the oats smooth the body out. You get lots of mango and pineapple before El Dorado, BBC Ekuanot and Azzaca hops bring the bitterness surging in coating your mouth and hanging around until the next mouthful and well after.

Gipsy Hill were a new brewery to me and I think this easily stands up to the big haze hitters like Verdant and Cloudwater who do this style so well.  Be quick, this drinks so easily and on a sunny day is hard to resist, can’t see it hanging around long! Pouring now at The Craftsman Company.

Thanks to Lisa MacLeod for the review!

Beer Review – Beavertown: Dame Melba Phantom Peach and Raspberry Berliner Weisse

Originally released in 2016 I had unfortunately missed out on this one in previous years but am certainly making up for it now with the newest batch hitting the shelves at The Craftsman Company!

Subtle peach comes in alongside Scottish raspberries balancing well with each other to create this interesting Berliner Weisse from Beavertown. It pours with a nice white head that dissipates quite quickly. The nose carries the freshness and tart whiff of the raspberries but offers a hint towards the softening effect of the peach. The body is nice and light, as with any good Berliner Weisse, the sourness doesn’t override the flavours but is ever present, lingering on the palette well after each mouthful. I am a bit of a sucker for a raspberry beer in most styles but this is one to seek out if you like your berries tart, your peaches soft and juicy and your beers a bit delicious.

Thanks to Lisa MacLeod for the review!