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Top 10 beers in the world press

Stone and wood limited release stone beer, Stone and Wood Brewing, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Chris Shanahan, of Australia’s Good Food, reviewed this limited release beer from Australia’s Stone and Wood Brewery, whose team he said “excel as brewers and marketers, building each year on their ever-changing, annual Stone Beer.”

“This year it’s a black, 6.4% ale with deep, complex, fruity, nutty flavours and moderate, toasty bitterness”, he said. “The addition of wheat malt gives a lively boost to the sweet, plush mid-palate.”

Black ale, 6.4% abv

Return of the Dread Domestic Stout 330, Little Creatures, Fremantle, Western Australia

Shanahan described this 7.2% Australian stout as a “hearty, winter-only brew”.

“It’s a serious stout: dark as night and high in alcohol (7.2%), with powerful roasted malt flavour, opulent palate and a mother load of bitter Fuggles hops balancing the sweet malt.”

Stout, 7.2% abv

 Bear State, Thornbridge Brewer, Derbyshire, UK

In the UK, Michael Bates of York’s famed brew shop and quirky pub,The House of Trembling Madness, recommended Thornbridge’s Bear State writing in the York Press.

He said: “Pouring crystal clear amber, with bright gold highlights, one finger of dense white foam lingers for the duration, lacing pleasingly along the inside of the glass. White grapes, cantaloupe, and freshly peeled apples mingle with orange juice and pears to create a tropical, zesty nose. Beneath this sits some butterscotch malt, and lemon pith.

“Honeyed caramel malts and blanched almonds are led by sharp blackcurrants and lemons, before caramelised oranges and crisp, clean, malt lead into mango puree and dry, zesty hop bitterness. Grapefruit, dry and tart, cleans the palate while a heady aroma of blueberries and spearmint lingers in the finish.”

American-style IPA, 7% abv

Kentucky Old Fashioned Barrel Ale, Alltech Brewing Company, Lexington, Kentucky, US

Graham Averill, writing for US-based Paste Magazine, tested Alltech’s Kentucky Old Fasioned Barrel Ale, a beer which seeks to emulate the classic Old Fashioned whiskey cocktail.

He said: “There’s a light, almost rosy color to the beer, and strong notes of oak and whiskey on the nose. It has a creamy mouthfeel, and there’s plenty of wood in the taste, a bit of bitter orange, and oh yeah, whiskey. A good bit of whiskey. You also get some caramel sweetness as the beer warms. And just like a proper Old Fashioned, the cherry and orange are mainly background noise—minor layers of subtle flavor that are mostly there to enhance the other dominate characteristics of the drink.”

Barrel aged ale, 10% abv

Unforgiven red rye ale, Tempest Brewing Co.,Galashiels, Scotland

Colin Campbell, writing for Glasgow’s Evening Times, predicted a good year for Scotland’s Tempest Brewing Co., following the release of its red rye ale, Unforgiven.

“No surprises at the aroma”, he said. “It’s sweet campfire smokiness with tart gooseberries and bark. Pouring gives you a clear and deep amber, the colour of dying embers, with a light tanned head. But the taste is surprising. It’s shockingly alive and complex, and may be something of a challenge for anyone who’s not a fan of smokey beers. The smokiness, obviously, is dominant but there’s a lot more going on: fruits, spices, salt. The initial hit is peppery and exciting, like a gun battle in your mouth. There’s something sweet there too, like vanilla or caramel or wafer biscuit, but, like a shooting star in the night sky above you, it’s away in a moment.

“And then there’s a sourness, almost bloody, and a gentle sweetness of nectarines; light hops bring the notion of a soft breeze carrying the scent of those loch-side reeds near to where you sit by your campfire. It finishes slowly, bitterly and dryly.”

Red rye ale, 5.4% abv

Allagash White, Allagash Brewing, Portland, Maine, US

Moving across the Atlantic to the, Jason Baldacci recommended this east coast Belgian-style white beer from Allagash in Portland, Maine.

“It pours a cloudy, golden-blonde color in the glass with thick, frothy foam on top and has an aroma of peppery spice and citrusy yeast”, he said. “On the palate, the biscuity malts lend a hint of sweetness up front, and the wheat in the grain bill keeps the mouthfeel nice and creamy. Following in the tradition of Belgian Witbier, Allagash White is also brewed with coriander and dried orange peel, both of which lend a spiciness to the beer that’s very prominent on the mid-palate and lingers through to the finish. At 5% alcohol content, Allagash White is complex in flavor yet very easy drinking, and a beer that would be incredibly enjoyable for both a novice and a connoisseur.”

Belgian-style white beer, 5% abv

Stand Out American Pale Ale, Long Trail Brewing Co., Vermont, US

“Four. That’s how many consecutive weeks I’ve had – and enjoyed – Long Trail’s new spring seasonal, Stand Out American Pale Ale”, wrote Chris Morris in The Star Ledger.

“Stand out pours a Sierra Nevada-like golden amber – the standard for a modern American Pale Ale – with a thick, creamy white head. A bit of chill haze makes for a cloudy body, with yeast particles floating for a few minutes until settling at the bottom. The aroma is a nice collection of herbal and citrus hops atop a bready, slightly toasted pale malt body. A hint of yeast comes through on the end, but absolutely no alcohol is noticeable.

“Unsurprisingly, the taste follows in the footsteps of the aroma. A toasted malt body gives way for the herbal and citrus notes of the Equinox hops. Lemon and juicy tropical fruits light up the palate, but are kept in check so nicely, allowing for a well-balanced, highly drinkable, yet still highly flavorful beer. There’s a hint of some bitterness on the backend (42 IBUs) as well. The light-to-medium body combines with a healthy carbonation to make for a smooth, crisp mouthfeel.”

American pale ale, 5.2% abv

Odell 90 Shilling Ale, Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins, Colorado, US

Denise Neil, writing for the Kansas-based Wichita Eagle, said Odell Brewing’s flagship 90 Shilling Ale was “minimally hoppy, crisp and refreshing” with a “slight sweet finish.”

“90 Shilling Ale is named for the way Scotland once taxed beer. Only the best beers were taxed 90 Shillings”, she said. “It is a beautiful, rich amber color. This is one of the many craft beers that will be at the Wichita Riverfest, so everyone can try it.”

Amber ale, 5.3% abv


 Down to Earth, Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, US

Joshua M. Bernstein, writing for, gave Amendment’s Down to Earth Session IPA a spin this week, making comparisons to the brewery’s previous Bitter American – a 4.4% “extra pale ale” which he described as an “easy-sipping tango of nuts and biscuits, grapefruit and pine, lemons and flowers.”

Comparing it to the brewery’s more recent Down to Earth, Bernstein said: “Though branded a session IPA, Down to Earth is not all that different from Bitter American. The ABV (4.4%) and bitterness (42 IBUs) are identical, and like its predecessor, DtE is made with plenty of Golden Promise malt, which supplies that nutty, toasty note. The huge difference is the hops. The session IPA is lavishly flavored with voguish Mosaic, a cultivar that calls to mind berries and tropical fruit. The beer drinks crisp and clean, the bitterness a moderate peck on your palate. It’s a session IPA tuned to modern tastes, a cooler-ready crowd-pleaser that’ll keep the party going all day and night, whether you’re picnicking, at the beach or taking care of a tiny, precious human.”

IPA, 4.4% abv

 Coconut Porter, Maui Brewing Co., Maui

Garrett Cruce, a certified beer sommelier, gave his thoughts on Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter writing for Virginia’s, describing it as a porter that “makes a great choice for a summer cookout”.

“The aroma is mineral with toast and cocoa, betraying just a hint of the toasted coconut used in the brewing”, he said. “Chocolate and the bittering of the toasted malt is all over the flavor — I got little of the coconut in the flavor. Regardless, at 6% this beer is still going to go down easy with a big flavor that pleases.”

Porter, 6%

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