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Beer Reviews

Two Eclipse Hops Rose Heavy Brewlander Sours: Love Potion #9 Sour & Every Rose Has Its Thorn Sour

 

Singapore's craft brewery Brewlander recently put out two Eclipse hops focused beers - Love Potion #9 and Every Rose Has Its Thorn.

I'll admit I was intensely attracted to the notion that both beers would be heavy on the rose flavours given that it's just a particular flavour I enjoy - in fact it's rather popular in Asia, which also ties in to the basis of these two brews anyway, but more on that later.

 

First of let's talk abit about Eclipse hops because I'm not all too familiar with them - it's far easier to find Citra, Cascade, Galaxy, Simcoe, Mosaic, which are beloved by craft breweries for making really juicy citrus forward IPAs or real grassy stuff mirrors the devil's lettuce. And while I like those big juicy oranges, pineapples, pomelos, apricots, grapefruits it kinda gets boring after awhile. It's really like having a thousand shades of orange - I get the point! I don't particularly enjoy the dank grassy stuff so not much to comment there (although the really honeyed ones are solid).

 

 

What about the Sabro, Nelson Sauvin, Cashmere, Strata hops that promise all sorts of fruit baskets like coconut, honeydew, lemon, lime, strawberries? Nada. I've yet to find one that clearly expresses those flavours. But that's for another review.

So about that Eclipse, I'm reading some online descriptions here given that it's not as commong "This hops imparts fruit forward flavours of sweet mandarin, zesty citrus peel and fresh pine needles." Damn it!

But with the allure of rose flavours too strong, I'll indulge myself anyway.

Brewlander Love Potion #9 Sour - Review

So first up, we've got Love Potion #9. This is a sour that's inspired by Bandung and a song by The Searches (admittedly I don't know who that is), a local rose syrup-flavoured condense milk-fuelled drink that I loved growing up, and is supposed to come with notes of rose and coconut. 

  

Tasting Notes

Color: Milky Pink

Aroma: Lots of milk candy, rose syrup, bandung but alittle less creamy. It's really aromatic, sweet and floral with a distinct thick milkiness.

Taste: Bandung but lightly carbonated and not quite as dense as the drink itself. It's still full-bodied, really milk and creamy, layered with lots of rose florals and candy canes.

Finish: The creamy coconut milk really makes a showing here - really milky and aromatic, sweet and lightly nutty. It's alittle bit brighter and more lifted here. The flavours are incredibly smooth and silky, reminiscent of white florals and fresh linens. It fades out really seamlessly.

  

My Thoughts 

For once a beer that delivers as promised! Here was all the rose and coconut flavours layered atop a solid milkiness that was just incredibly tasty and well-balanced. It never felt too heavy, overpowering or boozy. This was incredibly enjoyable with solid balance, full-bodied flavours and texture. It was aromatic on the nose, really flavourful on the palate and faded out beautifully on the finish.

The flavours were at every point incredibly expressive and fragrant and yet never overkill or too confectionary. It's ridiculously drinkable as well - I finished it before I knew it.

That said you have to enjoy sweeter and more floral flavours for this to hit you as well as it did me. Also one thing to point out - I'm not sure where the "sour" was - but I'm not complaining since I don't enjoy sour flavours anyway.

My Rating: 8/10

Brewlander Every Rose Has Its Thorn Sour - Review

Onward! We're off to a flying start. Now we've got the Every Rose Has Its Thorn sour. It's an homage to the band Poison (again never heard of them). And is supposed to offer up notes of rose, coconut and lime. As mentioned here we've got Eclipse hops, and there's supposed to be some inspiration of syrup limau (lime syrup) here too.

I should point out - I have for a while now had a weird obsession with wanting to find a lime note in a beer. That has not thus far panned out well - breweries seem to confuse lemon with lime... But let's keep our hopes up here.

 

Tasting Notes

Color: Fruit Punch Red, Hazy But Not Milky.

Aroma: This was more floral but less milky. Rose water, with a light tartness of raspberry jam.

Taste: An immediate floral tone of rose water and candy canes. Beneath which is a lime popsicle, Solero ice cream, with a lime milky creaminess. This is brighter and less heavy bodied with a light zestiness.

Finish: Clean, with more of that milky lime popsicle flavour continuing to lift up. A light puckering red berry tartness at the finish.

 

My Thoughts 

Fascinating! This was a different take compared to the first Sour - well, for one this was actually alittle bit more tart with some clearer acidity - but also it was more on rose water than milky rose syrup, with a really solid rendition of a Solero lime popsicle. Finally I've found lime! This time it's properly lime!

Very enjoyable, this was brighter and less heavy, with more contrasting flavours, it's certainly less sweet and not as dense as before. It's less confectionary and alittle more jammy.

My Rating: 8/10

 

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Overall

Very enjoyable bunch of seasonal brews from Brewlander! Two Eclipse hops brews but expressed very differently, it's as if I were seeing two sides of the same rose flavour. That said, unless the Eclipse hops produces rose flavours, I'm not quite picking up on it - not complaining tho.

Between the two, the Love Potion #9 was alittle narrower in flavour and was more dense and confectionary sweet, while the Every Rose Has Its Thorn was more complex and with a wider palette of flavours, brighter and not as heavy.

For me, the Love Potion #9 was my favourite because it was right down my alley of milky rose syrup Bandung flavours with a splash of coconut milk - good lord what a dream! While I was very happy to have finally properly found the lime flavour in a beer (finally it's lime not lemon!) for the Every Rose Has Its Thorn, I'm personally not so much a fan of the tartness which comes with the sour style, and I also prefer more full bodied, sweeter brews. 

That said, I think conventional beer drinkers might actually prefer Every Rose Has Its Thorn for more of a contrast of flavours and more balance.

Well, I like what I like eh!

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot