One woman's ale journey

A beery boozy journey with delightful snacks along the way and a book in my hand.

Monday 25 January 2021

Brew York Imperial Tonkoko

Awarded the 9th Best Stout in the World in the 2018 RateBeer Awards, this imperial milk stout from Brew York is brewed with coconut, tonka beans and Madagascan vanilla.  Weighing in at a stonking 7.5% this is definitely one to savour rather than glug.

Pouring a dark brown, almost black with a thick, tight tan head this imperial stout is a thing of beauty.  The impressive head hardly budges at all, leaving a good layer throughout and thick lacing on the glass.  It's an unfiltered beer so it needs a careful pour; I managed to get most of it out of the can without any sediment but there were some lumpy bits when I rinsed out the can.

The aroma is mouthwatering.  Roasted coconut, sweet malt and chocolate means that it does actually smell like a Bounty bar.  My first sip was an OMG moment as coconut, malt and chocolate swirled around my mouth in a liquid Bounty experience.  It has a bitter finish which is quite metallic and I found it a bit off-putting at first but you do get used to it and I hardly noticed it after a while.

It is so full bodied that I felt like I could have used a spoon to devour it and it feels very smooth in the mouth with low carbonation.

Imperial Tonkoko is an absolutely awesome stout; it is so decadent and rich that it makes you want the experience to last for as long as possible so make sure to take your time with this one.  I actually think the flavour developed into a sweeter richer taste by my taking so long to drink it and the bitter aftertaste seemed to disappear altogether.  

I really don't think you'll be disappointed if you decided to splash out on an Imperial Tonkoko; I don't usually spend over £5 on a can/bottle but I'm so glad I made an exception to spend a few extra pennies (RRP is currently £5.40).  It's my absolute pleasure to say, 'Ale Be Seeing You again!'

Brewed by Brew York, York
7.5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5

Monday 18 January 2021

Black Sheep Yorkshire Square Ale


Pouring a beautiful golden amber, Black Sheep's Yorkshire Square Ale looks like molten toffee in my glass.  It has a small but robust cream coloured head that retains a thin layer while you drink.

The aroma is quite light for this one.  There's a bit of malt and hops but nothing else that stands out for me.  Thankfully, it redeemed itself in the flavour!  It's deliciously malty with a lovely dry finish.  There's also a hint of sweetness (from the addition of demerara sugar) which tastes quite treacly when blended with the malt.  To please bitter fans, there's a slight metallic bitter taste to the dry finish that rounds it all off nicely.

It's quite a fizzy medium bodied ale but the bubbles aren't harsh so it's very easy to drink.  As the bubbles burst on my tongue, I did feel like I could detect a little fizz of demerara sugar.

It's not up there with my favourite Black Sheep ales but it's a decent ale nonetheless.  Being sweet, dry and bitter, it has a bit of everything to appeal to many palates.  I would have it again, but I wouldn't actively seek it out; I'd definitely recommend you give it a try if you see it (you can also find it in Sainsbury's labelled as Yorkshire Bitter).

Brewed by Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, North Yorkshire
5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.5/5

Monday 11 January 2021

Banks Caribbean Lager


I'm taking a virtual trip to Barbados today with Banks Caribbean Lager.  It's a golden yellow traditional looking lager with a large frothy off-white head that not unexpectedly disappears quite rapidly.  I served this one cold so there is some condensation on the glass but it's a lovely clear lager.

The aroma isn't strong and I don't know if it was auto-suggestion that made me pick up Caribbean hints of tropical fruit and spices in addition to hops.  It's quite weak in flavour too and I couldn't detect any flavour other than hops, although after a few sips it seemed to get sweeter and more creamy.  It's thin bodied, watery and very fizzy which gives it a spring water like taste and mouthfeel, no doubt due to the Barbados' water that has been naturally filtered through limestone rock.

It's a lager so I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary and although it's very drinkable Banks Caribbean Lager isn't one I'd recommend.  It's a forgettable lager that's just ok; it's too fizzy, too watery and doesn't have enough flavour.  Ale NOT Be Seeing You again.

Brewed by Banks Brewery, Barbados
4.7% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3/5

Monday 4 January 2021

Brasserie D'Achouffe La Chouffe


I'd wanted to try La Chouffe for quite some time as I couldn't resist the cute elf on the label so I added one to my BeerWulf order.  There are quite a few Chouffe beers to collect, each with the own individual named elf on the label, but La Chouffe Blonde (with Marcel the elf on the label) seems to be a good one to start with.

This stunning blonde ale pours a delicious golden colour with a frothy and tight off-white head.  It's well carbonated as evidenced by the abundance of bubbles rushing to the surface to maintain the head, which leaves excellent lacing on the glass.

What a mouthwatering aroma it has.  It has the most amazing smell of fruit such as pineapple, banana, mango and citrus along with an underlying aroma of hops and a hint of spiciness.  The flavour is equally amazing and surprisingly complex with notes of straw, biscuit, caramel and hops as well as floral and spicy hints followed by a slightly bitter citrus finish.  I was so impressed that there wasn't even a hint of raw alcohol in the taste despite it's relatively high ABV of 8%.  It's absolutely delicious!

This award winning, full bodied, strong blonde ale is definitely a top Belgian beer and it's one I'd consider a staple in my beer stash.  Ale Be Seeing You again, La Chouffe.

Brewed by Brasserie D'Achouffe, Belgium
8% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5