Beer review – milkshake vs smoothie

It’s been a busy weekend. Not content with simply chilling out in the bank holiday sunshine, a beer in one hand and a burger in the other, I decided it was time to move home as well.

Hours of back-breaking, sweaty work later, my new flat is full of boxes that I’ve yet to unpack. Stuff that for a lark. Time for a beer.

Unbarred, Honeycomb Milkshake Pale 

Note my extremely fancy t shirt

On such a hot day, I was in the mood for something cool and light. Fortunately, bottle shop Ghost Whale has plenty of options; it takes me fifteen minutes of my valuable drinking time just to browse the fridges and shelves. Eventually, some handsome honey bees leapt out at me and the prospect of a honeycomb milkshake was too much to resist.

This absurdly complicated four-way collaboration (as with all group projects, I am left wondering which brewery did all the work) uses honey malts and honey harvested from hives in Brighton and Hove. I’m expecting plenty of sweetness, some lighter floral notes, and, given this is a milkshake pale, a thick, satisfying mouthfeel.

Honeycomb pours amber and cloudy. The aroma is sweet and floral, as expected, but it’s gentler than I’d hoped. It’s hanging around my nostrils hoping to be asked in, not kicking the doors down. It’s more of the same on the palate, with gentle honey sweetness darkening to caramel.

The mouthfeel is excellent, like sipping on a cloud. But with such a subtle aroma and flavour, anything else would be entirely inappropriate.

This beer is not in your face; it’s sweet and gentle. Perhaps it might pair well with pudding, but as the start of a night on the town, we can do better. 1/5 

Morgondagens, Hockeyfrilla 

Once again, I am incredibly frustrated. My partner is picking better beers than me.

She doesn’t even *like* beer.

I’m not going to pretend I understand anything on the label

Hockeyfrilla pours a deep, dark purple, like blackcurrant fruit pastilles or a blackberry smoothie. Immediately the aroma hits you. Sour red fruits: raspberry, blackberry, and sour cherries. This is an absurdly fruity beer.

The sourness hits first on the tongue, followed by blackcurrant sweetness. That evolves again into sour cherry – then, just as I’m writing that off as the finish, my tongue is caressed by dark, salty liquorice right at the back end.

Hockeyfrilla is perhaps the polar opposite to the Honeycomb Milkshake Pale. While the Honeycomb is light and subtle, Hockeyfrilla breaks your windows, drags you outside, and takes you on an adventure. I’m intrigued, and my beer-hating girlfriend has found a beer she loves. 4/5

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