Omnipollo is the latest ultra-cool Scandinavian gypsy brewer to reach our shores, and the three on show here are all predictably brewed at Belgium contractors extraordinaire De Proef.
All are variants of pale hoppy beers and the first, Zodiak, is an American IPA. Very pale yellow it pours and it oozes tropical fruit juiciness in a weird, pungent and not very pleasant way; it takes a turn for the damp and mouldy after the initial burst. It scratches a hop itch on the palate alright, with spiky and soft fruit effects at once, giving the effect of some bitter grapefruit past its best on some generic biscuit malt. An odd complaint I would possibly have is that it could use some more malt heft to help round it out, though with the wobbliness of the fruity hop expression on top, this might throw the whole thing even further out of my comfort zone.
A simple and serviceable IPA but one that, as well as being in need of a bit of cleaning up, gets nowhere near good value for its 6.5% ABV.
A step up is Leon, billed as a Belgian pale ale. A fairly broad and vague style this proves to be, and Leon dips his toes into the saison, tripel, and Belgian blond pools of influence. It looks like all of the above, being clear gold and sporting a big white head that smells of spicy, yeasty, funky goodness. To taste it's cleaner, candied apricot and peach with a spicy wheaty grist and faint minty highlights. Coriander dominates the finish and the whole thing plays like a delicious and refreshing hoppy beer for people who are partial to the classic Belgian styles mentioned above.
Finally, we get to Nebuchandnezzar, an imperial IPA that came highly recommended to me and that immediately announced its intentions once in the glass. A veritable Babylonian hanging garden of ripe, juicy tropical fruit with pineapple and mango playing up front to a sharp amd zesty citrus mix at the back. It's got properly punchy bitter grapefruit skin and bittersweet tutti frutti to taste, which really rounds out with time to show off just how much mouth watering sweetness a double IPA can have without spoiling the hop attack.
Good stuff indeed, though it would want to be at the inflated Scandi-gypsy-cool price of €5 a bottle.