Tag Archives: Mikkeller

Brew Review: Beer Hop Breakfast

12 Nov

Brew: Beer Hop Breakfast

Brewed by: Mikkeller (København, Denmark)

Style: Oatmeal Stout brewed with coffee (7.5% ABV)

 

Mikkeller has put out some amazing beers over the years and his story is a pretty cool one.  He is what people call a gypsy brewer because he does not have a brewery of his own.  He travels around Europe and brews at other peoples facilities and collaborates with other brewers and ends up making amazing stuff.  Apparently there have been a couple other brewers who have taken up this ‘gypsy’ technique and done a decent job at it but MIkkeller stands alone as the pioneer as far as I know and am concerned.  The beer hop breakfast is an oatmeal stout brewed with coffee which sounds pretty tempting coming from a brewer who knows how to make a good stout. 

Beer hop breakfast poured out thick black and rich looking.  Pretty much what you expect from a stout, inky black with a 3 finger mocha head.  A great looking beer with a perfect head that leaves excellent lacing along the glass.

The brew smells like a fresh cup of coffee mixed with chocolate.  I don’t know what type of drink that is but I am sure there is a name for it.  Choco-coffee?   ChoCoffee?  I don’t know.  but there is plenty of both in the aroma.  There is also some hints of hops, both piney and more earthy notes.  A good smelling beer, one that I would definitely drink for breakfast if I was able to take a nap at work every afternoon.

The taste follows the aroma nicely.  There is coffee and dark bitter chocolate notes right to start with that chocolate providing a bitter finish.  The bitter finish is also helped along nicely by the roasted grains that add their own burnt and bitter notes.  The roasted flavors blend with the hops that are still present.  The hops also add some bitterness but not a ton.  I would say that this is a medium-thick bodied hoppy stout at this point.  Slides over your tongue but presents nice sharp flavors.  I wouldn’t go as far as to call it as hoppy as an American black ale but with a bit more it could come close.

This brew is hoppy and bitter but not overpoweringly so.  it has good roasted aspects and the coffee and chocolate notes are all present as well.  There was a lot going on and at times the beer wanted to be an American black ale or Cascadian ale and at other it wanted to stick with the oatmeal stout theme.  Interesting for sure and very tasty but I wouldn’t give it an A since it hasn’t figured out what it wants to do yet.

 

Final Grade: B+

Brew Review: Magnum IPA

26 Jan

Brew: Single Hop Series: Magnum

Brewed by: Mikkeller (Kobenhavn Denmark)

Style: Single hop IPA (6.8% ABV)

 

Another entry in Mikkeller’s single hop series, which is a series that brews an IPA using only 1 type of hops for both the bittering and aromatic qualities of the brew. Usually Magnum hops are used for bittering, so I am not going to expect much by way of big juicy aroma’s and try to pull as much flavor out of this brew as possible.

The brew poured out a murky, dark amber color. There was also plenty of red in there as well. The most impressive and noticeable thing about this brew was the huge head that was produced upon the pour. It was massive, and stuck around for a long time. A big pillow-y or cloud-like eggshell white head that lasted for a while. Maybe it was a bit over carbonated, don’t know for sure.

The smell of the brew was sup-par to say the least. There were hops present but nothing really jumped out at me, it seemed a little skunky or mass-lager like. Don’t really know how to describe it but it just didn’t pack anything worth noting. There was some citrus but it mostly masked by the bready aromas.

The taste was also somewhat subtle. It was not super bitter, which was what I was expecting. It was a fairly light drinker, there must have not been a ton of malts to back this one up and fill the body up further. It was smooth, for sure, but in no way was this a lash out at you type of IPA.

I would say that this was a good exercise in the world of brewing. It show cased the specific type of hop intended. The only issue is that this hop isn’t supposed to be a spotlight type of ingredient, it needs to be the background vocals in its respective choir. It adds greatly when combined with other hops and ingredients but when its the focus of everyone’s attention it tends to lose its majesty and power.

 

Final Grade: C+

Aside

Brew Review: Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

29 Dec

Brew: Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

Brewed by: Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Style: Double/Imperial Stout (10.9% ABV)

Another brew shared on the holy weekend that contained Darkness Day. Shared once again with those same two special friend from Chicago. This was brought up from the Chi and was apparently a little older than I had thought, I believe that it was picked up early in 2011 like January or February if I remember right. With that being said the coffee aspect might have been a little past its best date but I wasn’t complaining in the least. You should probably just read Mikkeller’s website on it to see what its really made out of since that is one of the more interesting parts of this beer. On with the beer.

The Brunch poured out a thick deep oily black color. Not much light escapes from this black hole of a beer. It also has a thick brown head that is impressive in itself. A great looking stout that you can tell houses some interesting flavors and hidden gems.

The smell is full of coffee, apparently the age didn’t affect that part very much. There is also some chocolate in there as well. The stout bitterness also comes though as this is probably a dry stout that will offer some bitterness. I also get a faint wiff of some plastic smells as well. It sort of smelled a little like a brand new happy meal toy right from the packaging. I don’t know why I kept thinking that but I figured I would throw it out there since I kept thinking it. In the end that wasn’t much of the smell but I picked it up.

The first taste was full of chocolate, and dark chocolate at that. It was very smooth, coffee glides over the tongue and down. It was full and complex. There wasn’t a ton of coffee, which was surprising since the main attraction was it was brewed with what I’ve heard is the most expensive coffee in the world. Some story about how weasels eat these coffee beans and some fool goes around picking up the weasels poo and then puts it into coffee and then this beer. Don’t know how I feel about that, but hey it tasted good so I guess it was a good idea after all. It wasn’t as bitter as I was expecting either. I know that there were oats used in the brewing process so that probably added to the creamy body and the lessening of the bitterness, at least to my perception. There was a little bit of potable warming as it warmed up and as I drank more of it.

I don’t really know how I want to grade this one. On one hand it was a good solid stout but the plastic flavor was weird and it wasn’t as chocolaty or coffee-like as I had expected after reading about it and hearing people talk about it. I wasn’t unhappy with it, maybe it would have been a little better if it was a little younger. I don’t know.

Final Grade: B+/A- (I don’t really know)

Brew Review: Simcoe Single IPA

12 Nov

Brew: Simcoe Single Hop IPA

Brewed by:Mikkeller (DeProef Brouwerji, Belgium)

Style American Style IPA (6.9% ABV)

 

This is one installment in Mikkellers series of single-hop IPA’s. Basically he is using one hop variety and using only that variety to make an IPA. This whole series was brewed with the same yeast, malts, grains everything except the type of hop. It was basically a way to see each individual hop as its own being and to see what it could offer in terms of aroma, bitterness and flavors. The Simcoe hop is the focus in this brew, I was very excited to try it, first off that it was a Belgian based brewery attempting and American style IPA and second just because of the idea behind the series of single hop beers. The $7 price tag for the 12 oz bottle was a little much but in the end I think it was worth it.

On to the beer, it poured out a murky orangish brown color. There was some yellow that mixed in there as well, sort of a fall day all rolled into one. There was also some yeast sediment that as present but not a ton which was nice. The greatest part about how this beer looked was that it had a tremendously thick and rich looking head. It was a solid ½ inch tall but very thick with small tightly packed bubbles.

The smell was very unique, from most American IPA’s you get the hops right up front right away. This brew you could tell had a Belgian influence as there was sweet Belgian smells in there that reminded me of Duvel or some other Belgian staple. There were light fruits like apples and pears that permeated the scent followed by some light hops. The hops were very floral fresh and fruity smelling. There was also a noticeable Belgian yeast aroma that was present as well.

The taste of the brew was also unique, like the aroma. There was bitterness up front, the Simcoe shining through, but those apples and pears also started to show up again as well. This beer was trying to be a big hoppy American IPA but it just never really got there. I think the Belgian craftsmanship was able to balance out the hops that were loaded into the beer and use their exceptional malt practices and yeast strains to blend this beer into a well balanced not overly powerful affair.

I think it was a very fun and quesiton raising beer to drink. It was fun to see a style that was to a point started here in America, the hopped up pale ale, done by another style of brewer. It was also very thought-provoking to experience a beer that was not born on the other side of the pond but brought there from over here. Basically backwards from almost every other beer style out there. It usually goes the other way with American’s copying the Europeans but this time it was the other way around and it really was a fun thing to think about as I drifted through this beer.

 

Final Grade: A-