Fierce Beer – Ginja Ninja (5.2%)

Beer

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Luckily for me I’m not a million miles away from Aberdeen’s newest craft brewery and it’s always nice to get to review something early!

Fierce Beer were established only this month and have already produced beer which has been met with rave review. The beers don’t conform to the usual first steps a brewery would take but that seems to be embraced by brewer Dave Grant.

The beers could be described as different or experimental and that is a trend which continues in beer I’ll be reviewing!

Ginja Ninja is a ginger beer which comes in at 5.2% ABV and is brewed with habanero and lemongrass.

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The beer pours a darker yellow to lighter orange colour with a thin white head which remains as a film atop the beer,

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The spice and ginger notes emanate from the glass immediately. Notes of chili and sweet malt follow. In the background lemon and lime aromas follow balancing out the nose.

On tasting ginger, lemon and lime notes flow forward, followed by notes of herb and spice which are much more subtle than the nose promised. The habanero chili follows as a warmth which dries the palate as opposed to the expected burn. The finish has slight salt and drying note.

The mouthfeel is slightly dry and begs you to take another sip of this very complex beer!

Although small at the moment keep an eye out for this experimental brewery which is producing beer of the highest quality!

Cheers!!

Eden Mill – Love Gin (42%)

Gin

I had hoped to continue my outdoor tastings throughout the Scottish summer but due to the monsoon like rain I have been unable to.

On going to the shop to buy some Fever Tree tonic water for this review I managed to make to the shop dry with the over head promise of clearing sky. After paying for the goods I turned around and what I was faced with made my heart sink. (See below).

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After pushing my boat off from the pier, paddling home and eventually drying out I got to work on this review.

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Eden Mill have produced gin since 2014 and are based in Guardbridge by St Andrews. The gin itself is made with 5 core botanicals and eight further, exotic flavours (including red rose petals, marshmallow root, goji berries and whole hibiscus flowers).

The gin is presented in a very clean simple and beautiful style. The bottle is clay with a simple red label on the front.

The gin pours clear with a pink tinge.

Straight:

The nose is floral with notes of red berry and soft citrus. There are notes of rose, hibiscus and orange in the background.

The flavour has notes of lime, rose, hibiscus and the goji berries come through also.

With water:

There is more notes of lime coming forward with hints of berries, orange, soft sugar sweetness and floral rose and hibiscus in the background.

The flavour has notes of goji berries, lime, lemon orange and hibiscus. This is followed by sweet and slightly herbal notes at the finish.

This gin is most definitely challenging and very different but that is by no means a bad thing!

These flavours push traditional boundaries and are just fantastically balanced!

Cheers!

Cloudwater Brewery.

Beer

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Cloudwater are a young brewery based in Manchester co-founded by Paul Jones and James Campbell. The brewery launched in spring this year and demand is by far out stripping supply only 12 weeks after launch!

I was able to get a hold of three of their beers: Session IPA, IPA and Bergamot Hopfen Weisse. The first thing I have to comment on is the labeling which is in my humble opinion is just gorgeous! It’s produced by the Textbook Studio from Salford.

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The first beer I will look at is the session IPA

It’s made with perle, centennial, citra and mosaic hops. It weighs in at 4.8%

I hope this is going to hit my summertime beer craving (although in Scotland it’s more perma-autumn) .

In the glass the beer is hazy orange/ amber with a thin yellow stained white head.

The nose is instant orange leaves and citrus with a grassy tang. There are note of citric acid sweetness pop . This is balanced by a combination of roasted and sweet malts with a resinous pine finish!

The flavour is grassy and herbal up front with more resinous notes following, but this is balanced out by the citrus note in the beer. The malt reveals a softer and slightly more complex side to this beer with the roasted and sweeter notes playing off the more citrus and pine notes working a treat!

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Next up is the Spring IPA 2015!

The beer pours a deep cloudy orange colour with a thin off white beige tinged head.

The nose is much more pine and resin this time. There are notes of grapefruit and lemon in the background. The malt gives a roasted balance to a slightly peppery note in the background. There is a slightly sweet grassy note at the end.

The flavour is….sublime. Notes of lemon, lime resin and malt sweetness hit you directly in a fantastically balanced quartet! This is followed by a bitter grapefruit punch and notes of spice in the background. As the taste finished there is a building bitterness and dryness which begs you to take another sip!

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The last beer I tried was the Bergamot Hopfen Weisse.

Lighter oramge/golden colour with a thick white head.

Weirdly traditional hop nose with notes of herb red fruit and orange peel but that’s where the similarity ends with notes of citrus and resin leading to a slightly more American feel to this wheat beer.

The taste is a cross of American and European hops which give this beer a herbal yet citrusy finish. The balance is just fantastic!

The finish is dry and sweet

For a new brewery to start with such a strong set of beers is very impressive and I hope to be able to find them more often! I was able to get a hold of these from the Deeside Drinks Emporium in Banchory.

Cheers!