If you are into your beer, you will probably already know that recently Manchester based Cloudwater released the second edition of their very popular small batch DIPA (double IPA) named DIPA V2. I took a visit to one of my local bottle shops, Trafalgar Wines, to grab a bottle and of course got carried away picking up two other small batch cloudwater beers (see below).
Coming back to Trafalgar Wines, if you are Brighton based this place is a gem just down from Brighton train station and always packed with beer. It’s ran by a very friendly and knowledgable beer drinker Steve, it also recently won best bottle shop in Sussex from RateBeer.com.
This is a small batch kettle sour beer from Cloudwater. It’s infused with Seville orange zest from Ave Maria. It pours pretty light with a little haze and has a thin head which lingers around. Light sour notes on the nose with lots of those Seville oranges! For me, this was not too sour, I am a fan of sour beers so this is at the very low end of sours but works well with the zesty orange flavour. It feels a little like I’ve been tangoed with some booze thrown in, I mean this in a good way! Very drinkable and you could easily knock back a few at 3.5%.
Lapsang Lichtenhainer is a collaboration with Port Street Beer House, Manchester to celebrate their 5th birthday so another small run beer from Cloudwater which makes these guys ever changing in their beers and always has me coming back to try their new beers. Back to the beer…it pours very light with not much head retention and little carbonation. Big smokey tea smells coming from this and then when you take a mouthful smacks you round the face with a surprising slightly sharpe sour kick, followed by light tea notes and smoke. For me, this is a pretty well balanced beer but took me by surprise on the first mouthful! Another interesting beer from the boys in Manchester.
I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on this all week, today I finally managed to pick it up! Sadly, only the one for now as it was the last but beggers can’t be choosers. Now, the first Double IPA these guys made last year was outstanding so I was hoping for even better things from this 9.6% double. It’s got a lot of US hops packed into it, all from the 2015 harvest. Pours a dark hazy golden. It stinks of oily pine goodness from all those hops and tastes FANTASTIC. Fruity backbone, lots of bitterness at the forfront with a dry finish. I’m getting a slight pepper coming through on the end as well, all round a great IPA and you’d never know it was 9.6% if you’d not been told, it’s not to boxy but for me just right. If you’re a fan of double IPAs this is one for you, but be quick it won’t be around long!
Below is a little information taken from The Cloudwater website…
At the heart of our new venture is a deep love for the changing seasons, each bringing with it an invitation to enjoy the scarcity and abundance our natural environment offers. We want to showcase the ebb and flow by using seasonal ingredients at their very best, and taking inspiration from the change of lifestyle each season creates. Along the way there’ll be both old recipes and new experiments, as we use the best of both traditional and cutting edge techniques to create modern seasonal beer.
Right, after that big hitter I need to hit the hay! Until next time, cheers!