American Barley Wine – ABV 9%

Toffee apples, sweet orange and crisp hoppy bitterness: this Torrside bottled beer was rated as one of the best of 2016 – and standards haven’t slipped one bit.

Look: The beer pours a dark, almost brown amber with a thin white head.

Aroma: Marmalade and toffee apples combine in an enticing aroma

Taste: There’s lots of resinous pine bitterness the insane levels of hopping.

Verdict: Enjoy this now to get the best of the hops, or keep it a while to mellow and mature those toffee fruit flavours into something wonderful and complex. Its up to you, but we’re sure you’ll enjoy it either way.

Sandanista! IPA – ABV 7.4%

A crisp, dry IPA with loads of bitterness an “avalanche” of eight hops such as Apollo and Ahtanum, plus zesty lime, orange and juicy mango and pineapple.

Look: Sandinista pours dark golden and slightly hazy with a pillowy white head.

Aroma: Lime, mango and pineapple and bitter notes

Taste: Adding to the tones the aroma you also get pine needles and zesty orange peel.

Verdict: This is lovely, crisp, easy drinker with a huge hop burst said ‘avalanche’ – which includes Citra, Centennial, Crystal, Cascade, Bobek, Summit, Apollo and Ahtanum.

Bourbon Barrel Aged American Barley Wine – ABV 10%

Monsters Imperial Porter – ABV 9.5%

Monsters: With Strange Aeons Imperial Stout – ABV 10%

A warming and complex Imperial Stout, black and smooth, with lots of chocolate, rich roast, that sort of thing. We prefer stouts with low carbonation, so don’t expect a big fluffy head – unless you take its name at face value and age it for a long while.

I’m Spartacus IPA – ABV 6.8%

Grassy and resinous, this Simcoe-driven India Pale Ale has loads of layers, including a refreshing grapefruit bitterness and tropical American-hop citrus tones.

Look: This particular Spartacus pours a hazy light golden colour.

Aroma: Grapefruit, lime and pine with the sort of grassiness you expect an APA, but which doesn’t overpower the other aromas.

Taste: There is bitterness against the booziness of the alcohol without the usual dry finish you’d normally expect a beer of this style. Best served fridge cold.

Food pairing: Beers of this style work extremely well with salty fried foods. 
Try pairing it with the crispiness of salt and pepper king prawns.

I’m So Bored With The USA – ABV 7.4%

A slightly different take on a modern, hazy IPA. Hopped to American IPA levels but brewed with entirely European hops.

Monster’s Lab: Torrist Saison

For something a little different: it’s Imperial, brown and our first beer with saison yeast! Bringing together the dry and toasty flavours of brown malts with the spice and fizz of a Belgian saison.