To Øl Mr. Series 2019
Only a few posts ago was our round up of To Øl’s Ms. Series 2018 (we’ve been slack at Beer Voyage as of 2019 - how was that written in September?!), so you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re seeing double here. I know three of the last five posts have been about the same brewery but we are not turning into some fan page for To Øl despite how much we love them.
The Danish brewing supremos are back with their next installment of the colourful series, only this time, it’s the misters time to shine. I enjoyed last years aforementioned Ms. Series so much that deciding if I should pick up the next incarnation was an easy choice to make.
The beers this time round sounded even more Up My Street, I mean:
Mr. Blonde - Cucumber, Lime and Black Pepper Gose. 5%
Mr. Brown - Imperial Salty Caramel Cookie Dough Double Coffee Fudge Chocolate Milk Hazelnut Butter Vanilla Cocoa Crumble Brown Ale. 9%
Mr. White - Double Dry Hopped Jasmin TeaPA. 5.5%
Mr. Orange - Double Dry Hopped Session IPA with Khaki Fruit, Orange Peel and re-fermented with our To Øl Instant Crush Brett. 5%
Mr. Pink - Pomegranate, Watermelon and Blood Orange in a Triple Dry Hopped Double IPA. 8%
Mr. Blue - Imperial Blackcurrant Stout. 10%
A DIPA, an impy stout, a sour and a beer with a description so daft it’d make Omnipollo blush - surely, this was going to absolutely slay? (I’m sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Queer Eye lately.)
There’s only one way to find out - the patented*, Beer Voyage Expectation vs. Reality Beer Review. With bonus Reservoir Dogs rankings!
Without further ado:
Mr. Brown // Imperial Salty Caramel Cookie Dough Double Coffee Fudge Chocolate Milk Hazelnut Butter Vanilla Cocoa Crumble Brown Ale 9%
Expectations: With a name like this I think it’s going to struggle to live up to its billing. I’ve been burned before (looking at you Omnipollo and your ‘black butter vanilla volcano salt mocha maple white chocolate ganache’ which, whilst really good definitely didn’t match the name) so am cautious how much this matches the description this will be. Happy to be proven wrong and it’ll likely be great either way. I don’t really know what point I’m trying to make.
Reality: This smells delightful. Delightfully artificial but delightful all the same. And it tastes just the same. Beer snobs will forever frown on ‘pastry stouts’ (basically, any dark beer with a fancy adjunct in it) but I’m a sucker for them and so this beer is definitely for me. Whilst the name is over the top, there are elements of its name prominent. There’s a whole host of nuttiness in this beer backed up by fudge, chocolate and vanilla. Despite this, it’s not overly sickly or sweet with the malts and hops bringing in the bitterness. I can’t say I can really taste salted caramel, cookie dough or coffee but who cares? The beer is great and that’s all that matters. Probably the best of the bunch.
Reservoir Dogs Rating: Tarantino’s character in the film. Gets zero screen time and SPOILER ALERT dies off-screen. Another beer that doesn’t match its film namesake but for good reason this time.
Mr. White // Double Dry Hopped Jasmin TeaPA 5.5%
Expectations: I’ve had variations of tea based pales before and they’ve all been a little lacking. Too subtle in flavour and a bit bland so this is probably the beer I’m least looking forward to. Jasmine tea is pretty boring anyway.
Reality: Sadly, I was right. A pretty standard pale ale. Perhaps a little bit perfumed but otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to tell this was meant to be a beer with a twist of sorts. I drank this one first so it can only get better from here.
Reservoir Dogs Rating: No similarities to Harvey Keitel’s performance as Mr. White - this beer has no depth or sense of humour. Hardy fuckin’ har. 1/5.
Mr. Orange // Double Dry Hopped Session IPA with Khaki Fruit, Orange Peel and re-fermented with Brett 5%
Expectations: A khaki fruit is a persimmon, apparently. I’m still none the wiser. I’m intrigued by the re-fermentation angle and hope it gives this beer a funky twist.
Reality: Well, if I’d drank this without knowing the additions, I’d have guessed it was just a DDH pale. It has a hint of orange but I can’t taste anything else really so I still don’t really know what a khaki fruit is. Similarly, the brett funk doesn’t really appear here at all. It’s still a very decent pale but it promised a lot and delivered very little.
Reservoir Dogs Rating: Nothing like Mr. Orange (SPOILER ALERT), in that he is revealed to be an undercover cop. Sadly, the twist for the beer was pretty much nowhere to be found so it falls short by some margin. 0/5.
Mr. Pink // Pomegranate, Watermelon and Blood Orange in a Triple Dry Hopped Double IPA 8%
Expectations: Fruity DIPAs are dime a dozen these days but it’s rare to see watermelon in a beer, usually because it’s quite hard to detect the flavour. This beer does sound right up my street so I’m very much looking forward to cracking this open, especially now the sun is starting to make its first appearance of the year.
Reality: This is very good. It’s bold and quite tart due to the pomegranate. I can’t say I can taste any watermelon but it’s a very fruity beer. After the initial fruit punch, it gives way to quite a bitter finish from the blood orange and the abundance of hops. Great stuff.
Reservoir Dogs Rating: This beer matches up to the film version of Mr. Pink quite well. It has a bit of bite and sharpness to it and would probably steal your diamonds and leave you for dead. 4/5.
Mr. Blue // Imperial Blackcurrant Stout 10%
Expectations: Another style I love. Imperial stout made with blackcurrants sounds amazing. I’m expecting quite subtle fruit undertones with this but am pretty excited to try it all the same. This is the least out-there sounding beer of the bunch surprisingly.
Reality: Reality is almost the polar opposite of my expectations - the fruit dominates this beer and it works brilliantly. The initial aroma is roasted malts and a hint of fruit but the first mouthful flips that and smacks your chops with blackcurrant tartness. It surprisingly sour for a stout and I was quite sceptical at first but once the fruit settles, the dark beer classics come rearing their head - there’s roasted malts, there’s coffee, there’s chocolate. It all makes for a well rounded beer.
Reservoir Dogs Rating: SPOILER ALERT, Mr. Blue dies off screen after being gunned down by the police so I can’t really make a comparison. It’s definitely not a beer that you’d want to drink off-screen? 0/5.
Overall, pretty good - two disappointments, one good beer and three great beers. I enjoy a collection of beers like this as I get to try a lot of styles I wouldn’t otherwise and even though I may not enjoy them as much as other styles, that’s part of the fun of trying new beer.
I’m off to watch Reservoir Dogs.
* Not patented in any way whatsoever