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Showing posts from January, 2015

Shepherd Neame - Master Brewers Choice I.P.A

What they say: Crisp and clean with a refreshing citrusy hop bite, This IPA is burnished gold in colour from the carefully roasted malts used in the mash tun. Hops are added at three stages in the brewing process to give the aroma and bitterness so typical of an India Pale Ale. Couldn’t find this on the brewers website, so I’m guessing it’s exclusive to Lidl, who were knocking it out for 99p. Lovely crisp bitterness but lacked a little body. Gassier than some bottled beers too but excellent value. 3.8% A.B.V. January 2015.

Dartmoor - Jail Ale

What they say: A full-bodied, deep golden brown beer, Jail Ale has a well-rounded flavour and a rich, moreish aftertaste. We’re proud to have achieved many top awards with Jail Ale in the Premium Bitter categories at numerous beer festivals. Another guest at nearby The Spanish Lady this was every bit as good as the blurb. Another strong ‘un at 4.8% with a lovely rich taste but not one to slosh back in a session. Well, I wouldn’t but maybe I’m a lightweight!

Theakston - Old Peculier

What they say: Old Peculier is a beautiful, yet very simple beer, brewed using a very generous blend of finest pale, crystal and roasted barley with two bitter hops combined with the majestic and noble ‘Fuggle’ hop to produce a beer of awesome full-bodied flavour with subtle cherry and rich fruit overtones. It tastes superb when accompanied by rich stews, strong cheeses and sweet puddings. Aah, it’s been a while since I’ve had a pint of this - certainly not since I started this blog anyway. Our other ‘local’ The Spanish Lady continues to present a changing range of beers and I was very pleased to get the chance to ‘research’ this again. Not a bitter and not a stout. Christmas pudding in a glass? Maybe not quite but dark and rich and I really enjoyed it as a change. 5.6% A.B.V so one to savour. January 2015

Windsor & Eaton - Canberra

What they say: Our third Jubilee beer, Canberra, is a rich chestnut coloured beer brewed with dark malts including Imperial, Chocolate, and Dark Aromatic.  As with the other beers in this series (Treetops and Kohinoor) it is inspired by the use of ingredients from areas of the Commonwealth. In this particular case, this ‘New World Commonwealth Ale’ uses Maple Syrup from Canada and hops from Australia (Galaxy) and New Zealand (Motueka and Nelson Sauvign). The last bit of ‘research’ in our stay in South London was this offering from a relatively local brewery. 4.0% A.B.V but tasted much stronger, with a lovely malty flavour it was perfect for a cold January day.

Wychwood - Hobgoblin

What they say: Traditionally craft brewed with Chocolate & Crystal malts and a blend of Styrian, Goldings & Fuggles hops to produce a full-bodied, Ruby beer that delivers a delicious chocolate toffee malt flavour, balanced with a rounded moderate bitterness and an overall fruity, mischievous character. Had this loads of times in bottle form - mainly thanks to frequent special offers in a certain German supermarket chain, but never on draught. It didn't disappoint and its one of my favourite ruby ales, thankfully slightly less potent at 4.5% than it’s 5.2% bottled equivalent. January 2015.

Young’s - Bitter

What they say: An easy to drink, refreshing cask ale with a fresh, fruity aroma that leaves a long, satisfying bitter finish. It is traditionally brewed to deliver a clean taste and is light and dry in flavour with a subtle taste of hops. My first beer of 2015, found at the Dulwich Woodhouse during our stay at Crystal Palace. Delicious, helped no doubt by the fact that, thanks to an email sign-up offer, it was free! Would happily drink this again and at only 3.7% A.B.V it’s a great session beer. January 2015.

Truman’s - Runner

What they say: Runner is a dark copper bitter that weighs in at 4% abv. Brewed with three different types of hops and five types of malt, it is packed full of flavour yet remains unashamedly easy drinking.   Yep, a great best bitter, I really enjoyed this offering from this re-established East London brewery. Found in The Two Chairmen in a quiet side street just off Trafalgar Square in London, but saw it on other bars too. December 2014    

Adnams - Southwold Bitter (Mini-cask)

What they say: Southwold Bitter is a beautiful copper-coloured beer, late and dry-hopped with Fuggles for a distinctive, lingering hoppiness. Our first experience of a mini cask was not disappointing. As long as you follow the instructions and give it plenty of time to settle - at the right temperature - you will be rewarded with an ale comparable to what you would get in a pub. Great for parties - or in our case -  Christmas in a caravan, we will certainly look out for another one when the need arises.

Shalford - Levelly Gold

What they say? Nothing as the website is down at the time of typing, however this description cropped up a lot on the ‘net: Golden summery ale. A refreshing bitter with a pleasant finish. Made with First Gold Hops, an agreeable alternative to lager. My third ale from this Essex based brewery and it didn’t disappoint, though I again didn’t handle it carefully enough and ended up with a cloudy pint as it’s bottle conditioned. Also the last one of 2014! 4.0% A.B.V.

Shalford - Barnfield Pale Ale

What they say? At the time of typing their website appears to be down, however I found this on the ‘net: Crisp semi dry palate with slightly bitter hops offset by some clean malt. Frothy creamy and almost spicy finish. A nice refreshing beer found in an East of England Co-Op somewhere in Suffolk. Bottle conditioned so store and poor carefully - something I forgot - numpty. 3.8% A.B.V. December 2014

Portobello - Star

What they say: Star is the first beer we ever brewed. It’s a smooth, balanced bitter, which is deliciously floral with lovely coffee notes at the very end. We love it & we’re never going to stop brewing it. Our first pint on our return to Crystal Palace and Wetherspoons offering, The Postal Order - now in the Good Beer Guide -  and it was only fitting that it was from a London Brewery, established in 2012. A nice pint at 4.3% A.B.V. December 2014

Adnams - Yuletide

What they say: Brewed for Christmas, Yuletide is a wonderful 4.5% abv dark ruby beer with a good balance of flavours and a dry, spicy finish with grapefruit bitterness. Brewed with East Anglian Pale Ale, Chocolate and Amber malts and hopped with First Gold and Eldorado hops. Another great ruby ale for those dark cold winter nights. Exclusive to Wetherspoons. 4.5% A.B.V. December 2014

Titanic - Festive Thirty-Five

What they say: “….It is brewed using all-English ingredients, with pale malt providing a deep golden colour and sweetness, balanced by a generous hop character throughout.”   Brewed to celebrate 35 years of Wetherspoons - and credit where it’s due they always offer a great selection of ales. Too hoppy for my tastes but in good condition. 5% A.B.V

Shalford - Stoneley Bitter

What they say? Well at the time of typing their site appears to be down, however this text appears on a number of web sites:  Stoneley Bitter is a medium brown bitter, with a well balanced flavour of malt and hops. Can’t argue with that. Procured in a Co-Op in Suffolk, this beer from over the border in Essex was very enjoyable but bottled conditioned so store, handle and pour carefully or you’ll end up with a cloudy beer. 4.2% A.B.V December 2014

Okell’s - Aile

What they say: Pronounced "Isle", our smoked porter, "Aile" is the Manx word for fire and nothing evokes the dark smokiness of a cosy winter night by the old pub hearth, than this sumptuous, global award-winner. Find your favourite chair and enjoy some pure indulgence. Another guest at the excellent Duke of Wellington in Willingham, near Cambridge, who certainly keep a nice pint. In fact you always get the choice of either hand pulled or straight from the cask. Sadly the chairs nearest the lovely roaring fire were taken, which given the weather was not surprising. However this smooth velvety seasonal offering from the Isle of Man was perfect medicine for my sore throat. Excellent stuff but at 4.8% A.B.V. this medicine may make you drowsy! December 2014.