Weird Beard - Sadako. An imperial stout so dangerous it has to be sealed with wax. A nice touch I thought from weird beard, a little theater with my beer. When I poured this it was so black I’m  pretty sure it began to suck the rest of the colour from the universe, it was like a glass full of dementor. At 9.2% I was a bit worried this would be too strong for me, but the weird beard boys didn’t let me down. This is brilliant, thick and treacley the complex depth of flavours takes you on a journey of molasses and malt and coffee and smoothness that I’d expect from a breakfast stout, not such a powerful imperial. These geniuses are making such great beer and the addition of the bottle theater makes this one a must. Top notch.

Weird Beard - Sadako. An imperial stout so dangerous it has to be sealed with wax. A nice touch I thought from weird beard, a little theater with my beer. When I poured this it was so black I’m pretty sure it began to suck the rest of the colour from the universe, it was like a glass full of dementor. At 9.2% I was a bit worried this would be too strong for me, but the weird beard boys didn’t let me down. This is brilliant, thick and treacley the complex depth of flavours takes you on a journey of molasses and malt and coffee and smoothness that I’d expect from a breakfast stout, not such a powerful imperial. These geniuses are making such great beer and the addition of the bottle theater makes this one a must. Top notch.

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Siren Craft Brew - Broken Dreams Grand Cru. This barrel aged stout had me excited, the already out of this world broken dream aged in multiple bourbon barrels and then blended with cherries. It tastes like a dream, a beautiful blend of flavours from the breakfast stout given further depth and a little sweetness from the bourbon, then as a final farewell a little sourness from the lasting cherry. Unfortunately this beer was to carbonated for me, all of the finesse was lost as the fizz just made it a tough drink. A little smoother and this would have been perfection. Maybe I was just to eager to get in to it. I’ll  get another and let it age a bit more as I really want the beer to work.

Siren Craft Brew - Broken Dreams Grand Cru. This barrel aged stout had me excited, the already out of this world broken dream aged in multiple bourbon barrels and then blended with cherries. It tastes like a dream, a beautiful blend of flavours from the breakfast stout given further depth and a little sweetness from the bourbon, then as a final farewell a little sourness from the lasting cherry. Unfortunately this beer was to carbonated for me, all of the finesse was lost as the fizz just made it a tough drink. A little smoother and this would have been perfection. Maybe I was just to eager to get in to it. I’ll get another and let it age a bit more as I really want the beer to work.

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Wild Beer / Good George / Burning Sky - Schnoodlepip. What a ridiculous name for a beer, and with pink peppercorns, wine barrels, passion fruit and hibiscus in the mix this is a brew of intrigue. I have heard promising things about this three way intercontinental collaboration so I was pretty excited to try it and boy oh boy did this deliver. I love a sour beer, when done with finesse there is a freshness to them. This is done with such a keen eye for detail that every flavour plays it’s part perfectly. The beer balances the sour and the sweet, the deep and complex with the freshness to deliver a pink beer that makes you ache for more. High Abv it may be, but very drinkable and a perfect accompaniment  to a hot summers day. Playtime is over gentlemen, this beer is collaboration perfected, it is both daring and delicious, there is not a foot wrong, no flavour out of place, this is spectacular. You have to try this beer. I’m definitely getting more of these, I’d like to see how a more matured bottle tastes as I suspect that things will only get better. Unbelievably good work guys.

Wild Beer / Good George / Burning Sky - Schnoodlepip. What a ridiculous name for a beer, and with pink peppercorns, wine barrels, passion fruit and hibiscus in the mix this is a brew of intrigue. I have heard promising things about this three way intercontinental collaboration so I was pretty excited to try it and boy oh boy did this deliver. I love a sour beer, when done with finesse there is a freshness to them. This is done with such a keen eye for detail that every flavour plays it’s part perfectly. The beer balances the sour and the sweet, the deep and complex with the freshness to deliver a pink beer that makes you ache for more. High Abv it may be, but very drinkable and a perfect accompaniment to a hot summers day. Playtime is over gentlemen, this beer is collaboration perfected, it is both daring and delicious, there is not a foot wrong, no flavour out of place, this is spectacular. You have to try this beer. I’m definitely getting more of these, I’d like to see how a more matured bottle tastes as I suspect that things will only get better. Unbelievably good work guys.

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Quantum and Elixir - Elixum.  Smoked porter sounded promising and after the stockport sour disaster I was hoping quantum would deliver something special. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be the beer completely missed and I’m not sure I didn’t get a bad bottle but to me it tasted of smoked soap.  It is rare i get a beer I truly dislike but this was so unpleasant I had to ditch it  after only half the bottle. It might have been been a bad batch or just not for me but this one was awful.

Quantum and Elixir - Elixum. Smoked porter sounded promising and after the stockport sour disaster I was hoping quantum would deliver something special. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be the beer completely missed and I’m not sure I didn’t get a bad bottle but to me it tasted of smoked soap. It is rare i get a beer I truly dislike but this was so unpleasant I had to ditch it after only half the bottle. It might have been been a bad batch or just not for me but this one was awful.

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Siren Craft - 10 Finger Discount.  In case you were wondering the name is slang for shoplifting as this collaboration will ‘rob your tastebuds.’ It is citra aged over cedar wood and boy is it good. The cedar adds a touch of depth to the citrussy hops and creates something just a little different. If you are looking for something a little alternative grab yourself one of these. Just pay for it please as these boys deserve to get paid for their genius.

Siren Craft - 10 Finger Discount. In case you were wondering the name is slang for shoplifting as this collaboration will ‘rob your tastebuds.’ It is citra aged over cedar wood and boy is it good. The cedar adds a touch of depth to the citrussy hops and creates something just a little different. If you are looking for something a little alternative grab yourself one of these. Just pay for it please as these boys deserve to get paid for their genius.

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Quantum - Stockport Sour. Well, when I purchased this I figured there was high potential for this to be a horrific beer, but I took a chance on a beverage that has pinapple and scotch bonnet chillies matched with lactobacillus.  It was horrific, nicely sour and well produced but the pinapple didn’t come through and the afterburn of the chillies made it feel like I was drinking heartburn.  Full marks for an interesting and well produced effort, I finished the bottle because it felt well produced.  My view is if someone cared enough to craft it I should care enough to finish it (I also hoped it might get better). Bottom line this just didn’t work for me.

Quantum - Stockport Sour. Well, when I purchased this I figured there was high potential for this to be a horrific beer, but I took a chance on a beverage that has pinapple and scotch bonnet chillies matched with lactobacillus. It was horrific, nicely sour and well produced but the pinapple didn’t come through and the afterburn of the chillies made it feel like I was drinking heartburn. Full marks for an interesting and well produced effort, I finished the bottle because it felt well produced. My view is if someone cared enough to craft it I should care enough to finish it (I also hoped it might get better). Bottom line this just didn’t work for me.

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Ringwood - Old Thumper. Ok, so anything that on the front of the bottle describes itself as ‘Full of flavour craft ale’ makes me suspicious that it will actually be neither, in fact the message actually managed to annoy me a little, it doesn’t say anything about what the beer really is.  The description does this beer a disservice, the beer itself isn’t trying too hard to be cool and now, it is a nice malty ale with plenty of character.  Classic, rather than craft and there is nothing wrong with that. Ignore the twee, try hard messaging of the packaging marketers  and get yourself down to sainsburys to give it a go. And Ringwood,  I know you were probably trying to look a little less like a big brewery, but stop trying to hard, just make good beer.

Ringwood - Old Thumper. Ok, so anything that on the front of the bottle describes itself as ‘Full of flavour craft ale’ makes me suspicious that it will actually be neither, in fact the message actually managed to annoy me a little, it doesn’t say anything about what the beer really is. The description does this beer a disservice, the beer itself isn’t trying too hard to be cool and now, it is a nice malty ale with plenty of character. Classic, rather than craft and there is nothing wrong with that. Ignore the twee, try hard messaging of the packaging marketers and get yourself down to sainsburys to give it a go. And Ringwood, I know you were probably trying to look a little less like a big brewery, but stop trying to hard, just make good beer.

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Little Valley Brewery - Vanilla Porter. I wanted to love this beer, it had it all going for it, vanilla, darkness and a relatively low Abv.  It is tasty, not too rich, but the vanilla never seemed to properly break through. Maybe I was too eager and should have left it in the bottle a bit longer. It was a nice porter, it was a decent beer, I just would have liked a little more vanilla.

Little Valley Brewery - Vanilla Porter. I wanted to love this beer, it had it all going for it, vanilla, darkness and a relatively low Abv. It is tasty, not too rich, but the vanilla never seemed to properly break through. Maybe I was too eager and should have left it in the bottle a bit longer. It was a nice porter, it was a decent beer, I just would have liked a little more vanilla.

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Buxton Brewery - Axe Rocks. Hell yeah! This is a beer mash up, taking the wonderful  Axe Edge  and mashing it with the equally sublime  Black Rocks. The result is so off the scale brilliant you can never go back. Greater than the sum of it’s parts Axe Rocks is characterful, hoppy (but not over done) and dark. There is nothing else I can say other than this beer is just brilliant. Thornbridge better watch their backs.

Buxton Brewery - Axe Rocks. Hell yeah! This is a beer mash up, taking the wonderful Axe Edge and mashing it with the equally sublime Black Rocks. The result is so off the scale brilliant you can never go back. Greater than the sum of it’s parts Axe Rocks is characterful, hoppy (but not over done) and dark. There is nothing else I can say other than this beer is just brilliant. Thornbridge better watch their backs.

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