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What you drinking? The beer and booze thread

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:56 pm
by Errkal
Had something special? Trying something new? Want some advice?

Share and ask you fellow GR buddies

Re: Errkal's Beer House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:57 pm
by Errkal
Marks and Spencer Single Hop Citra IPA 4.9% - £2.29 a bottle.

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Well a bit of background on this one. You can get it from near enough all M&S's they even do it in a lot of the station stores (it is in the ones near me I have been in anyway). It is labelled as an M&S beer but it is really made by Oakham Ales they do some stunning beers, if you see Scarlet Macaw or thier "normal" Citra have a pint it is lovely.

This one how ever is a little bit dull. It certainly means well but there is a bit of a odd flavour in there I can only describe as spoddy. There is a kind of lagerry flavour to it that doesn't really match with the "Real Ale" style it is supposed to be.

It is a single hop beer so really should show case the awesomeness of that particular hop, in this case it is the Citra hop. It should give a big floral bright and lively flavour but in this it just doesn't feel right. It may be something in the bottling or there being too much gas in there but it just isn't as good as it should be when you compare it to a Sierra Nevada Torpeo Extra IPA (one of which is in my fridge and will be reviewed another time) which gives a massive hoppy bright burst of flavour with every sip.

Over all for a big beer person it is a bit disappointing, but for the average person it would go down well and it is certainly a step up from some of the mass made stuff like Doombar, Spitfire or Speckled Hen. This would be a good beer to have at a BBQ as the lightness of the beer would work well in the hot weather with burgers.

Good Points
  • Light Flavour
  • Cheap
  • High availability
  • Good starter beer for people new to real ale

Bad Points
  • Dull for a fanatical beer drinker
  • Overly fizzy
  • Odd after taste

Rating = 2.75
Above average but still not epic

Re: Errkal's Beer House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:02 pm
by Preezy
Good idea for a thread, except switch beer for cider.

Re: Errkal's Beer House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:06 pm
by Errkal
I can cover ciders too. Could name it Errkal's Drinks House and I can cover anything then. Beer is more my thing but happy to cover anything :)


EDIT: Named changed and I prefer it :D

If anyone is able to make a logo I could use for the OP that would be epic!

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:45 pm
by SandyCoin
Any London folk might be interested in this upcoming event http://londonbrewersmarket.com/

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:48 pm
by Errkal
Oooo run by five point brewing they are awesome!

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:07 pm
by SandyCoin
Errkal wrote:Oooo run by five point brewing they are awesome!


Yup, Hook Island Red is delicious.

Shame The Kernel aren't there as they are probably my favourite London brewery. Consistently good beers.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:09 pm
by Errkal
For me it is a toss up between kernel and brew by numbers for my favourite. I love the is stuff bbn do and their naming system is very clever.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:12 pm
by SandyCoin
Errkal wrote:For me it is a toss up between kernel and brew by numbers for my favourite. I love the is stuff bbn do and their naming system is very clever.


Can't say I've had any of theres actually. Crate is a good one too. I have a Partizan IPA in the fridge. A good beer.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:15 pm
by Errkal
Partisan cuvee lemon is good and the mango and black pepper saison too.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:33 pm
by SandyCoin
Might give it a try. I'm leaving London for a month to a place not brimming with good beer shops so will stock up.

I've mentioned it before but I don't like how breweries such as Beaverton started doing their beers in cans. They claim it's because it's easier to transport and keeps it fresher but they keep it the same price as a bottle despite not actually tasting as good and being a smaller serving. Cheeky.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:01 am
by Errkal
I've found the taste to be about the same as long as they use decent cans, Wild Beer and BrewDog do it and I've noticed a difference.

They aren't a different size though, a "normal" craft beer bottle is 330ml which is the same as they cans so you don't loose out really, there is also more protection from the beer being scuncked by light coming through, it is pretty much gone with using brown glass but with a can it is totally gone. They also provide a good benefits for pubs, bars and people buying in shops where the shops keep the beer on a shelf as a can will chill down in about 20 minutes or so where as a bottle will take a good couple of hours.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:48 am
by SandyCoin
Holy gooseberry fool they are the same size. Not sure if I actually knew that or not and my eyes were just tricking me :lol:

Still...it's cheaper (for them) to use cans, yet the customer feels none of the benefits as the cost is the same as a bottle. I'll try a can this week and see if the cans have improved. Usually they just taste a bit...off.

Still, that isn't just for cans tbf. I had a one of these the other day....

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It had a nasty metallic taste. It was like the cap had melted into the drink. Quite unpleasant sadly. Not sure I'll try another of there drinks.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:57 am
by Errkal
NOt heard of them, I will avoid though if I do see them though :D

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:09 am
by SandyCoin
Errkal wrote:NOt heard of them, I will avoid though if I do see them though :D


I think they're new. Bottle Apostle tends to have new London ones and they have a biggish section for them. I think they have about 5 types. Shame as I like a good white beer. Best one of I've had recently is by Einstok.

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Beautiful and summery. Quite cheap in a random Turkish corner shop by me too compared to proper off licences.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:32 am
by SandyCoin
Also here's a question. Any expensive range beers you would recommend? I have a hankering for one just to see if they are worth the investment. Sure they are just like buying a nice wine, but what puts me off is that I have to drink it all in one go.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:42 am
by Errkal
For long term keeping as they are rare over here (the AB one is a single brew only deal)
Prarie - Pirate Bomb
BrewDog AB17
BrewDog DogB
BrewDog DogC

For a special occasion
Tokyo*
BrewDog Paradox Compass Box

Also look for some of the aged beers from Burning Sky like Monolith they are bigger, a bit pricey but good as a special beer for birthday and christmas days. The pirate bomb will be a bitch to get, I have only seen it once over here but it was the best beer I have ever had. It was £15 for a 330ml bottle and I would pay more it was stunning.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:09 pm
by SandyCoin
Interesting. Cheers. I see the Tokyo one in my amazing little off license but am always a bit put off due to not being the biggest fan of Brewdog. Though I guess their premium drinks are more consistent than say Punk.

When I was in Rome I went to an amazing bar called Open Baladin. I go there every time I'm in Rome and there is a fantastic selection. Italian beer like other countries is getting more into excellent quality beers. They are a Rome local and even sell their stuff in supermarkets.

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That's the bar :wub:

Some real cracking beers there from breweries like Re Ale. I saw in Timeout there is an Italian craft beer bar in London but it's way out west. It's unfortunately called "the Italian Job" :dread:

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:14 pm
by Errkal
That looks amasing!!

I've not tried any italian stuff yet, I have a few Brew Fist beers for my next beer club (me and a couple of mates do a monthly beer night were we all bring special stuff) one of which is an imperial porter that is barrel ages in Grappa barrel, it sounds awesome I hope it lives up to it.

As for punk, it is one of my all time favorites, it has got much more consistent in the last few years, it could be very flacky a while back.

I think the best bar I have been to was CASC in Aberdeen when I was up there last year for the BrewDog AGM

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They have loads on tap and a big black board with everything colour coded, you then order by number rather than name. There is also a mega bottle list too. Very nice.

Re: Errkal's Drinking House - Marks and Spencers Single Hop Citra IPA

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:33 pm
by Errkal
First Chop Brewing Arm SYL is it because I am black IPA 6.2% - £3.20 a pint

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This was in a pub called The Tower in Hastings. It is one of those pubs that looks like it will be full if piss water lager and people that would stag you rather than say hi, but it is actually a temple of beer. The have a range of beer that changes daily and is very friendly.

Today they have SYL by First Chop Brewing Arm how are from Salford Machester, it is I think the first Manchester beer I have had and if they are all this good I will have more!

This is a rarer style of beer as is a Black IPA, this means you should see a good mix of hoppy punch and bitter flavours with a dark colour, and subtle coffee and chocolate notes. This particular example doesn't disappoint.

First off the condition of the beer was near perfect, took no time to clear and there was no haze to it, it was a dark beer but you could see light through clearly, and there was no major fizz or bubbles as you should get with a hand pull ale.

Taste wise there is a good crisp hoppy flavour wtih hints of fruits and jolliness with a slight dryness in there.

It is the sort of beer I could drink all night (although I would probably regret the next morning), it is the sort of beer you want to sit inside with enjoying a pack of pork scratchings chatting bollocks with your mates, maybe chuck in a game of pool.

Many would say you can't enjoy a beer of that strength but I disagree. A proper beer made well can be a higher percentage because there is enough character from the malts and hopping to back up the alcohol. You can tell in a sip if a beer has been made strong as a fad or for the sake of it because you get a harsh punch of alcohol and that doesn't exist this this beer.

All in all a great beer, if you see it have a pint you wont regret it.

Good Points
  • Reasonable Price
  • Goes well with bar snacks
  • Higher % to bring out more flavour

Bad Points
  • Too strong for some
  • not widely available
  • A style some dont get on board with

Rating = 3.5
A very nice beer, would happily have again.