HopZine Weekly Round-up #1

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages. As you may or may not know Hopzine lives a double life over on my YouTube channel. Even when this blog is a bit quiet I’m still posting video reviews nearly every day.

The plan for this weekly blog is to round up everything I’ve done on Youtube, post brief write-ups of my reviews and give you a one-stop shop for all your video beer review goodness.

Vampire Slayer – Clown Shoes – 10% abv

Whenever I think of Clown Shoes I think have how Greg Puckett says the brewery’s name in his accent. How can you resist this beer its called Vampire Slayer for Cliff’s sake. When I took my wife up a glass of this I played the Nerf Herder track used on the open titles for Buffy The Vampire Slayer…she’s an obsessive fan.

The beer itself is a monstrous imperial stout, black as Dave Vanian’s quiff with a decent head for a beer of such high abv. On the nose I picked out dry cocoa, prunes, raisins, bitter coffee, sticky molasses, tobacco. A mouthful of velvet-like beer washed over my palate with flavours of bitter chocolate growing to a rich roasted malt character, port, demerara sugar sweetness, a vague impression of hops finishing on a high percentage cocoa chocolate and a good whack of alcohol that wasn’t very well hidden

Clown Shoes’ 2nd Anniversary beer was a real winner and a great example of what you expect for an American Imperial stout, I loved it!.


West Coast Red – Bristol Beer factory – 5.5% abv

While rendering a batch of videos I cracked open this bottle. Dark Amber in colour. Aromas of crystal malt, filter coffee, cooking chocolate, red currents a mineral edge that reminded me of polished aluminum along with a hop bouquet of lemon and lime. After taking a swig I tasted a good amount of hops resin, crystal malt, rye bread, mild coffee,chocolate, dried fruit and a lingering grapefruit and lemon cutting hop bite. Assertive but not astringent. Solid it nothing to write home about.


Black in Japan – Brasserie de la Senne – 7.2% abv

This was the first beer I drank when I got to ’t Brugs Beertje on our first night in Bruges. The other brewery in Brussels beside the majestic Brasserie Cantillon, De la Senne produce beers with an undeniable American influence but with their feet firmly planted in Belgium. This Black IPA is as you’d expect, a black beer topped with a nice frothy dark beige head. The aroma is of liquorice, milky coffee with a lovely hop background, a cocktail of grapefruit, orange and a slight hint of pine. Pithy orange grapefruit juice, blueberry and raspberry coming from the collision of hops and dark malts. Falling away to espresso and maybe a hint of a traditional Belgian yeast, dark chocolate and lasting citric hop finish. A lovely beer! I’m a big fan of this brewery and I hope we get to see more from them over here in the UK


Madness IPA – Wild Beer Co – 6.8% abv

After seeing Zak Avery rave about this on Twitter I knew I had to try it for myself. Pale orange beer with aromas of apricot jam, lime zest, lemon peel, floral not a massive nose but what was there was nice. Once in the mouth it really opened up, flavours of big punchy resinous pine and succulent grapefruit, pineapple and a solid backbone of buttery shortbread.

Probably the best beer I’ve had from this brewery so far.


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