Beer O'Clock Show

The 1st Beer of Xmas


For my 1st beer of Xmas by true love sent to me…

Honest Brew ‘Riwaka Hop IPA’ (personalised label edition) (5.3% ABV / 330ml)

So after weeks of planning the big day is finally here. After a couple of warm up beers (Modus Hoperandi by Ska Brewing & New World IPA by Northern Monk) the time had arrived to tuck into the much-awaited first beers of the #12BeersofXmas…

image (4)The beer poured a light golden colour with medium carbonation, a solid head and a lovely ‘craft haze’.  Initially there are big tropical aromas and on the first sip this is matched with equally big tropical flavours. Lime, pineapple and maybe some grapefruit coming through and giving way to a syrupy sweetness and subtle bitter after taste.

I was left with a semi-dry finish and the sweet, tropical tones are turning almost floral as it nears the end of the glass.

Overall, a really smooth, tropically laced IPA which certainly left the palate wanting for more.

#12BeersOfXmas – leave a review of your beer for today below (or a link to your blog) and your Twitter name so we can give you a shout out. Merry Beermas!


  1. Nearly forgot today was day 1 but managed to find a great opener!

  2. First beer in and already a substitution from the original list, d’oh!

    #1 Cottage Brewing Christmas Porter

    I’m not over familiar with Cottage Brewing’s output, in fact I can’t recall trying anything from their range before, despite them being award winning brewers from the West Country.
    Their seasonal brew “Christmas Porter” looks fantastic, it’s the colour of rich molasses, it gives very little away on the nose other than a sweet creme caramel aroma.
    It’s incredibly smooth and creamy for a porter ( that epithet normally promises something beefy and complex), but not without distinct toasted malt flavour. A little spice on the finish is a surprise and most welcome, before diving in for more!

  3. My day one review is here:

    To be honest, I’m worried none of my other beers are going to hit these heights!

  4. @philipjkelly

    Day 1: Ama Mora Bira Amarcord

    Brewers notes: High fermentation beer, 9% alc. vol, brewed with a special selection of Pascucci Coffee produced by the local company, based in our region, and pure cane and Malawi sugar. A structured but elegant beer with a hint of hazelnut and Italian espresso.

    Thought I’d kick things off with one that could be a big hit or a big miss. In the end it kind of sat in the middle.

    Really fizzed out of the bottle so took my first sip from the froth. It poured with a mountainous head on it which needed quite a time to settle. Really strong coffee smell (not surprisingly) and from that I expected it to be quite bitter. In fact it was quite sweet, probably down to all the sugar. Strong coffee taste but not as strong as expected. No real bitterness. Very smooth.

    After a while though my tongue felt like it had had 20 double espressos with and extra shot in each washing over it. Not sure I’d rush back to have another but certainly an interesting beer to get things going.

  5. Day 1 New Belgium Trippel

    This is a treat for me. New Belgium was finally available for sale in my state, Ohio, just the beginning of this week. They can be had for $3 for a 650ml bomber bottle.
    I cracked open the bottle and poured it. It is a golden color with a very thick rocky white head. It was very effervescent bubbles that danced around the whole time.
    In the aroma I was picking up a sweet and light; lots of pear and Belgian yeast, though the yeast is more of a spicy aroma. Some banana and sweet bready malts. Peppery and floral.
    Big bready flavors form a pretty strong backbone, with banana, pear, yeast, and coriander adding complexity. It’s peppery and fairly bitter. The alcohol is strongly hidden, definitely doesn’t taste like it has the 7.8% abv listed. The beer finishes with some higher hoppy bitterness than I’m expected in a triple too.
    Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, with a nice dry finish.
    This is a great example of a Tripel coming from an American brewery. I really like it. $2.99/bomber is an awesome deal for this brew. Highly recommended. I’m impressed.

  6. Late posted review. Day 1 beer was from Sierra Nevada’s beer camp range and it was no 95 Imperial Red Ale. As soon as the bottle was opened the beer smelled powerful. Heavy west coast hops very much to the fore. First sip is a flavour explosion. Big strong malty flavour followed up by the hops. This is a pretty serious beer. Initial impression is that it’s something special but then it never quite thrills you. If anything you get abit sick of the big flavours. I would have loved to see what this was like if left to age. It felt too soon to drink at its best. Massive beery potential though.

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