Monday, 18 June 2012

TreeTops (Windsor & Eton) 4.8%Abv

Pours like polished black granite, perfect carbonation gives a full ivory head. The aroma is very different, no big tropical black IPA hops, or finest grassy Kent Goldings, instead a rather mysterious tabaco aroma dominates.

The opening malt gives very little sweetness, instantly very dry, extinguishing moisture from the tongue. It's quickly followed by a double salvo of rich roasty flavours, coffee bitterness, and more dry tabacco flavours. The finish has no heavy stamp of bitterness, and it's not required given the bold dry flavours before, there is a tingle of some hop mouthfeel before it drifts into history.

It's an old style dry stout, perhaps a style almost lost in these days of IPAs and Black IPAs that require big malt sweetness to balance the bitterness they showcase. It's made with roasted yams which seem to appear in the aroma, coffee which gives some bitterness I feel, and vanilla which to me is sadly lost.

7/10 Dry and roasty, a classic dry stout.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Kohinoor (Windsor & Eton)

Pops open with the lightest fizz, gentle carbonation gives almost a cask like head. The colour is bright copper or brass, like a well polished medal.

Big aroma of tropical hops, similar to the fantastic Windsor Knot, but more subtle and hints fragrant spices. (supposedly Jasmine petals as added, I can't spot them but a more delicate nose might be able to)

The malt arrives with a very gentle caramel sweetness that is very soon flooded by tropical bitterness, no sharp stamp, just a mouth filling overpowering of hops. It's only 5% but tastes like a much bigger Abv IPA.

The finish long, lingering, slightly dry but with a tanginess that intrigues and shouts for one more sip.

10/10 Flawless. A truly wondrous use of hops, tropical, fruity and very original.