Crackers Lemon Explosion: Celt Experience – Danish Monster


I have no idea what the folks at Celt Experience have been taking, but if they could arrange for a consignment of it to be sent to me, I’d be very grateful.  I thought Brewdog did some fairly unhinged things, but this is a step-up, indeed.

I like the crazy noire-style label on the bottle…there’s a touch of the “Nosferatu“, silent horror vibe about it.

When you pour it out, Danish Monster is all tame beery-looking beer.  Nothing weird, even the colour is nothing untoward…

…then you notice the aroma as it starts to pervade the room. What an aroma.  It’s more intensely lemony than Lemsip – and that’s saying something.  There’s hops in there somewhere I’m sure – maybe I caught a whiff of the little blighters and their resinous ways somewhere in the whirl of lemon…

In terms of the taste: this is quite a meaty beer – big in the mouth and with quite the oddest flavour I’ve come across…tons of hops come stampeding in accompanied by an intense bitterness – both of which are immediately massively supplanted by a violently assertive roast lemon taste (if you can imagine such a thing). There is malt presence in this beer and it’s good and solid, but this beer’s all about the LEMON, baby…

The after taste seems to go on forever and is all hops, resin and roasted lemon again  (surprise!)

God, I don’t know whether I like this or not…but I’m beyond caring as I’m still trying to get the lemon aroma out of my hair, clothes and nostrils.  I don’t actively dislike Danish Monster, but I can’t say I crave another, either…I think…maybe I do…?  I don’t know.

That’s the sort indecision caused by an unforgettable beer…

I love the look of the -frankly, crackers – Celt Experience website…so I’m considering Danish Monster to be a “Gateway Beer” which should lead me to other strange and wonderful experiences in amongst the rest of the Celt Experience range…

Not entirely cock-a-hoop: Jenning’s – Cocker hoop


This will be the first of some rapid fire reviews as I seem to have built up quite a backlog that I haven’t got around to…

In a glass: dark straw-coloured with an attractive, plain white head.

Another golden-ale-bitter style beer with the requisite cereal and grain aroma, backed up with sweet malt.

In the taste: rounded, flinty dryish and quite refreshing, a little citrus note floats around at the back and accompanies a very nice uncompromising bitterness.

Cocker-hoop isn’t desperately complex by any stretch, but it’s tasty – and with its enjoyable dry finish makes it worth drinking again.

Not my absolute favourite, as I like my malts to come through a tad sweeter, but I can certainly see why folks like and rate it.

On draft, with a lower level of carbonation I bet this a different and more enjoyable animal altogether…the bottled carbonation makes the beer taste just a little bit seltzery.

Dark and powerful: Elmtree Beers – Nightlight Mild

20140316_164738Post-gush.  A bit of a shame, really.

Oh dear.  What a shame.  I’ve just had the gush.  No, not a JAM style “The Gush” (feel free to look it up if you like, but it’s not something you want to look at at work or in polite company…)

It was my bottle of Elmtree Nightlight mild.  I just took the cap off and wham off it went.  The photo shows precisely how much I had left after the event.  So I’m afraid that this is a bit of thin review.

It’s a real shame as I really enjoyed Elmtree’s Dark Horse Stout ( but by the time the gush had finished there was so much yeast mixed into the beer I only managed to extract a few themes and ideas of what it’s supposed to taste like.  I really didn’t want to tip it away as it’s not very often that I get to try a 5.7% mild…and I did so want it to be good – which it probably is when it’s not over most of the floor and worktops.

Here’s my impressions of it, anyway: strongly warming, alcoholic and slightly vinous, very flavourful. Darkly good looking.  I just wish I had more of it to evaluate and more to say about it…

Pineappley perfection: Oakham Ales – Citra


I’ve had this bottle of Citra sat about in stock for quite a while now, and it’s been giving me the come-on every time I’ve looked in the cupboard, the filthy tease…so I thought it only fair that I should take it out and show it a good time…

I’ll have to forgive the slightly wacky label design, I can’t say I’m a fan of it…the beer itself deserves better.  I think an excellent beer should be treated with a modicum of reverance, a la Thornbridge, Siren and co.  and I consider Citra to be very much on a par with those beers.

From the bottle Citra pours a very light straw colour, with a crisp-looking white head that doesn’t stick around for long – and I can only think that’s because of the AMAZING aroma forcibly punching it’s way through it…this is quite honestly one of the best smelling beers I’ve had in a long while:

A gorgeous Citra hop induced pineappley, grapefruity, sherbet fountain, lemon thyme and chamomile bouquet pervades.  If I was synaesthetic -which, I’m probably not- I’d have had a pretty strong yellow/light green theme going on.  Joyous and invigorating, this is an aroma that makes you want to just sniff for a good long while before drinking.

The taste is equally as joyous: lightly piney at first with a gorgeous velvety mouth-feel, then the pineappley-citrus notes of the Citra hops lead out and introduce you to a perfectly judged bitterness that carries with it beautiful dank overtones and a prickly pine needles on the finish.  Each sip is endlessly enjoyable…I’m sure the malt bill is just as good but you just don’t notice it, Citra is all about the hops.

Christ, it’s good: on par with some of the quality US pales or IPAs in terms of aroma and flavour without being wiltingly strong…and  compared to US beers, there’s so much of it in a bottle.

Quite lovely. Well done, Oakham.  I got my bottle of Citra from Waitrose – so now you’ve no excuse not to buy some.