Black Flag Brewery

Anything GoseChameleon: MosaicDouble IPA Citra and MosaicEkuanot IPAFangJuicadelic • SaisonSaison BlancSaison SorachiWhite Flag IPA

Anything Gose (5.2% ABV, bottle — collaboration with Black Isle Brewery)
Hazy straw with rushing carbonation and a thick white head that stays well. There’s a floral, slightly tart aroma, with some very light shortbread biscuit malt in the background. On the palate, a very refreshing, lightly herbal, slightly sour taste, with hints of lemon but also some lychee notes. The coriander and salt in the recipe make themselves known, but they’ve been used judiciously. The salty sourness really lingers on the finish. It’s a beer of light complexity, with the rare fragility of a gossamer-winged moth. A very fine collaboration. (18-12-2017)

Chameleon: Mosaic (3.8%, cask)
This session pale ale is hopped with a different variety each brew, this time featuring Mosaic. Very deep golden with a good white head, it is remarkably clear and has a clean apricot aroma. Hoppy on the palate, with stone fruit dominating, there is a bitter, quenching finish. (29-05-2015)

Double IPA Citra and Mosaic (8.7% ABV, cask)
Wow. To me this was the beer that really lifted Black Flag to the next level, heading to Beavertown and Magic Rock territory. Hazy pale yellow with a white head, pineapple dominates, with mango too and some grapefruit, while light, cakey malt makes the beer more fruity than bitter. Much better balance than I was initiall expecting after the aroma. There’s a lovely lingering citrus fruit finish. Very nicely done. (01-03-2017)

Ekuanot IPA (6.5% ABV, can)
Black Flag Ekuanot IPA(Pictured June 2017 at Beer & Bird, St Ives) Fresh, very hoppy, but very well balanced, with notes of tropical fruit and mango, yet with decent balancing Vienna malt (which I do love). The beer’s a hazy amber / orange, and a bit dank on the nose (in a good, modern IPA way). One of my favourite beers of 2017 so far. (13-06-2017)

Fang (4.5%, can)
Poured from a can, it smells like a pine forest instantly. The aroma includes hints of mango and pineapple, which is not unreasonable as it has been hopped with Citra and Mosaic. Hazy golden with a white head, it’s a bit thin in body, but I’d go back and try it again. One of Black Flag’s first cans. (22-08-2016)

Juicadelic (8.2% ABV, can)
Hopped with Citra and Mosaic, this juicy hop bomb of a double IPA is right en vogue, with tropical fruit, lemon pith and some blood orange notes in the mix. The use of oats in the recipe is interesting and does beef up the mouthfeel. But this really is all about the hops. The fruit flavour lingers in a long bitter finish that is a real lip-smacker. There’s a glorious aroma of soft stone fruit, orange pith and mango. Glorious. (06-05-2017)

Saison (6.1%, can)
Pale yellow with a white head and lots of carbonation, this is a nice Cornish interpretation of the classic belgian style. Bitter fruit notes verge on sourness, but there’s some good malt balance, with some lemon sherbet notes coming through. Very refreshing. (07-05-2016)

Saison Blanc (5% ABV, can)
Cor, this is good. A well-behaved saison with some wheat beer characteristics — a bit clovey. Hazy gold / amber with a zesty, herbal aroma, it’s very refreshing. (23-05-2017)

Saison Sorachi (6.1%, can)
Hop varietal version of the Saison (above), canned, with Sorachi Ace. Smells very fragrant and enticing; slightly tart. On the palate, it’s peppery with pear drops notes, and a hint of acidic bitterness. The Sorachi Ace seems a bit lost in there. (22-08-2016)

White Flag IPA (5.7%, cask)
My favourite of the Black Flag core range. This American-style IPA pours deep yellow with a white head and offers a fantastic aroma of tropical fruits. Lychees and grapefruit enter the fray on the palate and there is a long, satisfying bitter finish. (30-09-2015)

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