HCBC 4 – A Mini Meeting! (Part 1)

I must admit, I’ve been a bit lax when it comes to the actual reason I started this blog in the first place, but i’m determined to actually write up the results more regularly now so without further ado, welcome to Hutch’s Craft Beer Club 4!

We have a slightly smaller group than usual this time but with some absolute stunners to review for you, including 3 new entries into the upper reaches of our league table including our very first ‘unique’ class beer! One very sad omission this time is no Brett’s Corner, apparently going on your honeymoon is more important than trying beers with your mates.

Before we begin, a quick reminder of the rating system can be found here , essentially anything above 50 is decent, 60 is good, and above 70 is great! Also, scroll down to the bottom if you want the shiny graphical representations of these results!

On to the first beer!

Gintziki – Sour – 4.2% – Mad Hatter

Gintziki is a Gin Kettle Sour (4.2%) from the sadly defunct Mad Hatter Brewery. Now the selection that we get in for HCBC always aims to cover a wide range of likes and dislikes within the club, and the most contentious beer style is certainly sour beer. Of the five in attendance (Myself, Andrew, Tom, Sam R and Alex) you have two die-hard sour drinkers, one in the middle, and two who hate them, so seems like a fair judging panel this week! 

However, even a well balanced judging panel couldn’t save Gintziki which was overall a bit of a disappointment coming in at a 45.8 average. Remove Alex’s big outlier (11/100) and that does improve to 54.5 to be fair. Diversity is, unsurprisingly, very high coming in at 54.

The lowest rated category by some distance was drinkability, but it still performed fairly well in aftertaste even for some of those who didn’t rate the beer that well overall.

Andy’s Take – Scored it 62 – It’s a nice sour, but in my opinion not much more than that. It hits all the notes you would expect but without doing anything too different, which actually surprised me quite a lot considering the billing as a gin twist on their reliable Tzatziki sour. 

Position on the night – 8th (out of 8)
Disliked most by – Alex
Liked most by – Tom
Favourite of – No-one

See the Physics – DIPA – 8% – Verdant

Verdant have a reputation for producing some fantastic DIPAs, and I was pretty excited to try this creation, coming in at 8% in strength it is a bit of a big hitter! This one is a punchy DIPA hitting you with a fresh hoppy burst and alcoholic twang.

Sure enough it scored strongly with an average of 66.8 and a diversity of just 21, which is very low for this club! Generally, everyone enjoyed it with no one scoring lower than 56.

The best scoring category was aftertaste closely followed by overall taste. Tom clearly couldn’t get enough scoring it a whopping 36/40 for taste. Drinkability was understandably low on 5/10, but then what more can you expect from an 8%er!

Andy’s Take – Scored it 74 – Smelt absolutely fantastic, tastes very nice, but I think its just maybe 1.5% too strong as that alcohol flavour does dominate the aftertaste. Still a brilliant beer though and would definitely seek it out again.

Position on the night – 3rd
Disliked Most By – Alex
Liked Most By – Tom
Favorite of – No-one

Milk Stout Nitro – Stout – 6% – Left Hand Brewing Company

Now then. An elusive ‘nitro’ beer, becoming steadily less rare but for now not that common. This one a milk stout from our friends across the pond at Left Hand Brewing Company. Due to it being nitrogenated, this one needs a hard pour to formulate the thick head and creamy texture nitro beers are known for. This is a creamy milk stout with coffee and vanilla notes, accompanied by a bitter finish.

If the results are anything to go by, then more nitro beers would certainly be welcome here! A stunning average of 78.4 sends it shooting to the top of our all time list (though not for long!). Diversity of just 14, no scores below 70!

Sort of difficult to analyse these results as it’s all good news, but drinkability and after taste both stand out as the best categories, with an average 25/30 for after taste!

Andy’s Take – Scored it 74 – The nitro just makes it so so smooth, initially making it taste like a creamy latte with the subtle coffee notes, followed by healthy bitter notes on the aftertaste. Really nice.

Position on the night – 2nd
Disliked most by – Andrew
Liked most by – Tom
Favorite of – Sam R

Disruptor – IPA – 7.4% – Brass Castle Brewery

We conclude Part 1 with a New England IPA from Brass Castle Brewery in Malton, recognizable from their very distinctive can designs. It’s quite a hoppy, strong and considerably hazy beer which has quite a creamy mouthfeel.

Averaging in at bang on 60%, this is a nice solid NEIPA. Still came in as quite a divisive beer, with a diversity of 43 showing that it’s not to everyone’s taste. Funnily enough, I was right on the average for this one!

The best scoring category comes from initial taste whilst it didn’t score great in drinkability. This is another one where I would say that it probably needed to be 1.5% lower ABV.

Andy’s Take – Scored it 60 – I do think the alcohol just overpowers the rest of the beer, detracting slightly from what is fundamentally a nice, smooth, well hopped and fresh NEIPA. But saying that, the booziness did give a nice warmth to the whole thing, so 60 seems about right!

Position on the night – 6th
Most liked by – Sam R
Least liked by – Alex (This shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point, its a pale hoppy beer, Alex doesn’t do pale beers!)
Favourite of – No-one

Next Time

Cheers for reading Part 1 of HCBC 4, and I hope you’ll look forward to Part 2, featuring the best beer tried out of the 32 we have sampled so far! As always, see below for a gallery of graphs showcasing the results of this session! See you soon!

  1. ?
  2. Milk Stout Nitro
  3. ?
  4. See The Physics
  5. ?
  6. Disruptor
  7. ?
  8. Gintziki

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