I was meant to be taking a trip back to Somerset at the weekend to visit my family. Unfortunately, the plans changed and it left us with nothing to do on Saturday. Nothing is a strong word however, as in the week I’d had a special delivery from earlier in the week. I was pretty pleased with the haul, as I got a special offer meaning I only paid postage for the beers.

Pint No. 13

What? – Belching Beaver – Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Where? – Challenge HQ, Putney

When? – Saturday 20th January 2018

Saturday morning I bunged a load in the fridge looking forward to an afternoon of tasting. The one I had my eye on to open the account for the day was a Peanut Butter Milk Stout by Belching Beaver Brewery. It was the most foreign to me and the furthest away from anything I’ve had before. I poured it into a glass and was surprised by how much it looked like Coca-Cola. It smelled a lot like confectionery, quite malty and sweet and similar to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. It’s hands down one of the strangest beers I’ve ever had but I did quite like it. At 5.3% it’s not hugely strong but it was so sweet that you wouldn’t have been able to taste the alcohol anyway. Whilst it was tasty and intriguing it was far too sweet for me and one was more than enough. It made me think of a cocktail rather than a beer which was unexpected. I’m left in a bit of a weird predicament with this one as I would probably never have this again myself but would absolutely recommend everyone tries it. If nothing else, then it’s a beer to talk about.

Overall Score – 3/5 (the novelty factor probably gave an extra point to the score)


Pint No. 14

What? – Sierra Nevada – Torpedo

Where? – Challenge HQ, Putney

When? – Saturday 20th January 2018

This is probably my least favourite of the beers I’ve done in the challenge to this point. As I’ve not done any of the standard, flavourless lagers yet, I fully expect this to change.

I found Torpedo to be too strong, too hoppy and just not hugely pleasant to drink. Esther commented on how long it took me to get through it which can be used as evidence of how little I enjoyed it. At 7.2% I was wary of it anyway but thought that it may be well disguised. It was not. It’s very dark, almost red in colour which was one thing i did like, but not enough to change my opinion of the beer as a whole. I’d never heard of an “Extra IPA” before and will probably leave it until much further down the line of this challenge before I sample another. Really disappointed with this and hope that the other Sierra Nevada beers I’ve got coming up are better suited to me.

Overall score – 1.5/5


Pint No. 15

What? – Firestone – Pale 31

Where? – Challenge HQ, Putney

When? – Saturday 20th January 2018

The day of tasting hadn’t quite gone to plan so far. The results were mixed but I was looking to get the Torpedo taste out of my mouth. I went for Firestone Walker’s Pale 31 which thankfully was much more my speed.

A Californian Pale Ale, named after California being the 31st state to join the Union, it was much lighter, more floral and delicate than the mouth-fucking Torpedo. It’s won several awards since 2010 and I can see why. Pale 31 is sweet but subtly so, a complete contrast to the Milk Stout of the morning and bitter, but but again light enough that you didn’t want to eat your own lips. A much more pleasurable drinking experience.

Overall score – 3.5/5


Pint No. 16

What? – Stone – Berliner Weisse

Where? – Challenge HQ, Putney

When? – Saturday 20th January 2018

Before making the admittedly odd decision to move onto Vodka + Fanta Fruit Twist, I thought I’d give one more beer a go today. As my Fanta cocktail may suggest, I was ready for something a bit fruitier than what I’d sampled earlier in the day. Having read about Stone’s Berliner Weisse I knew that I was in for a tart, citrussy treat and it did not disappoint. It was almost sour to the taste and both smelled and tasted very citric, a bit grapefruity. It was light and refreshing and quite challenging on the pallet. I really enjoyed this beer and would like to have it again.

Overall score – 3.5/5


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