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Showing posts from March, 2016

Belhaven - Grand Slam

What they say: “ A clean refreshing ale with grapefruit citrus aroma and taste and a long, dry refreshing bitter finish. Perfect to celebrate Six Nations Rugby.” From the Greene King stable. Ok, but not really my thing - would probably taste better to me on a warm summers night. Was the ale of choice for of some of my camping pals at our recent Twittercamp though. 4%A.B.V. The Robin Hood, Cambridge. March 2016

Joules - Slumbering Monk

What they say: “Our premium beer, full bodied with malty and nutty fullness, hints of caramel giving it a round, soft, satisfying smoothness……….Like Pale ale we balance the beer between bitterness, from Hops, and the body from the malt.  Monk has a higher concentration of malt which delivers a stronger beer.” I liked this, next to no fruitiness and just a hint of sweetness stopped it from becoming one of my favourites. It didn’t stop me having quite a few pints of it though - purely for research purposes obviously - during our Twittercamp meet in Cambridge. 4.5% A.B.V. The Robin Hood , Cambridge. March 2016

Woodforde’s - Nelson’s Revenge

What they say: “A powerful malty beer with great depth of flavour. Appealing hoppy aftertaste. Delicious with beef and ale pie or steak and kidney…Rich and floral aromas, sweet Norfolk malts and a burst of 'citrus' hops embody this mouth-watering premium beer. .” Yes, very malty but enjoyably so and a full flavoured ale from this Norfolk brewery. Sadly there was no pie to accompany! 4.5% A.B.V. The Pickerel , Cambridge. March 2016

Box Steam - Whistleblower

What they say? Well, nothing. This doesn't appear on the brewery’s website so presumably it’s a seasonal or special. Anyway, ever reliable the good folks at say this: “A clear, golden-coloured wheat beer brewed with continental yeast. Initial hop bitterness with hints of melon, grapefruit and pear gives way to a soft, dry finish. Saaz hops add a wonderful herbal spice aroma” The latest to guest at our local The Rottingdean Club and the last before we headed off in the caravan for our Easter break. To be honest, had I actually read the pump clip and noted that it was a blonde wheat beer I probably wouldn’t have tried it. A bit too fruity for me but otherwise ok. 4.7% A.B.V. The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. March 2016

Portobello - Chestnut Ale

What they say? There’s nothing on the website about it by the ever reliable folks at reckon this: “A nutty bitter with a malty backbone and a bitter finish.” A nice winter warmer. I’ll take their word for it about nutty - I’m allergic to most so haven't got a clue what they taste like! Enjoyable but not one to knock the ever excellent Harveys Sussex Best from it’s top spot in the club. 4.5% A.B.V. The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. March 2016

Wychwood – Goliath

What they say “The beer to slay a mighty thirst. A full bodied and robust ruby bitter brewed with pale crystal malts, with a rich malty taste and a hefty whack of fuggles and goldings hops” Not as distinctive as good old Hobgoblin, but still packed with flavour and very enjoyable without being overpowering. I liked this. 4.2% A.B.V.

Timothy Taylor – Landlord

What they say “ The drinkers’ favourite, a 4.3% classic pale ale with a complex citrus and hoppy aroma. A recent survey revealed that Landlord has the highest proportion of drinkers who call it their favourite ale. And it has won more awards than any other beer, winning both CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain and the Brewing Industry Challenge Cup four times……….A strong classic ale with a golden amber colour. It has a scent of caramel, light fruits and roasted malt hints” Yum. Yummity Yum. There’s not much that beats this in my opinion – save for the draught version which I find truly delicious. Found this lurking in Sainsbury’s in Crystal Palace during our recent trip there. Heading north soon for the Easter break and very much look forward to sampling the draught version. 4.3% A.B.V.

Batemans - XXXB

What they say “A classic English copper-red bitter, brewed with pale, crystal and wheat malts, and hopped with English Goldings and Styrian Goldings varieties. Triple XB has a rich aroma of biscuity malt, hop resins and vine fruits. Peppery hops, ripe fruit and juicy malt fill the mouth, followed by a long, luscious finish packed with earthy hops and a dry, cracker biscuit like maltiness.” I couldn’t honestly say that I picked up all those flavours, but that’s probably more down to my palate. What I did pick up was a mighty fine 500ml that was just as enjoyable as the draught version. More full bodied that the excellent XB at 4.8% A.B.V and very tasty.

Jennings - Sneck Lifter

What they say “An award winning beer, a strong, satisfying ale, wonderfully warming and full of complex flavours, which create an intriguing beer of great character.” Originally just a winter warmer but now in the permanent line up, it’s a tasty robust strong ale that’s still great for those chilly evenings in front of a nice open fire. 5.1% A.B.V so not a session beer unless you like paracetamol! And in case you’re wondering about the unusual name, Jennings say this “In northern dialect sneck means door latch and a sneck lifter was a man’s last sixpence which enabled him to lift the latch of a pub door and buy himself a pint, hoping to meet friends there who might treat him to one or two more”

Youngs - 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.” The draught version of this was my first taste of 2015 - and one I enjoyed immensely and this bottled version was the first of 2016. Equally enjoyable but a little different - slightly stronger than the 3.7% A.B.V draught at 4.5% and bottle conditioned for a more authentic draught taste. Would happily drink again. and again!

Adnams – Old Ale

What they say: “This is a mild ale style beer brewed with East Anglian pale ale and Crystal malted barley and Boadicea hops. It’s dark red/brown in colour with an aroma of caramel and nutty chocolate. The toffee and chocolate also come through on the palate along with hints of red fruits, all balanced by a smooth bitterness. A traditional speciality winter warmer with flavours of fruit, malt, roast grain, and a hint of caramel…” Dear old Adnams, they rarely disappoint – and seemingly less intent on world domination than their fellow suffolk brewers Greedy King. This was no exception. I’m sure I’ve had it before but don’t appear to have logged it in the archive. A classic winter warmer without being too potent at 4.1% A.B.V. The Postal Order , Crystal Palace. February 2016

Twickenham - Grandstand

What they say “ A well-hopped and well balanced refreshing amber session beer. Triple hopped with Brewers Gold gives light citrus notes and a fresh clean finish. The one beer to have when you’re having more than one.” Those who noticed the word citrus will guess correctly that this wasn’t one of my favourites. A good session beer but not ‘bitter’ enough for me and a bit too fruity. 3.8% A.B.V.   The Postal Order , Crystal Palace. February 2016

Triple F - Alton’s Pride

What they say: “A traditional English bitter brewed using water from the Hampshire chalk hills. Full and clean tasting, initially malty then tangerine fruit and resinous hop build to a quenching bitter finish. Camra Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2008” This was my  first taste of this Hampshire based brewery and it was perfectly acceptable although I found it a little light on flavour for my taste. At 3.8% A.B.V though a good session bitter. The Grape & Grain , Crystal Palace. February 2016

Gadds | Dog Bolter

The Brewery: “We’re a team of 10, operating a 15 bbrl brewery, a shop, an office and a couple of delivery vans. We produce around 1 million pints of beer a year and deliver to pubs, clubs and restaurants throughout East Kent. We brew distinctive Kentish beers, using years of knowledge, experience and understanding – we’ve been around long enough to know what we’re doing, and not so long as to be old fashioned.” The Beer: “This sturdy dark porter is brewed with six different malts for a satisfying, rich, malty body full of roasty, chocolatey flavours, all balanced by a deep and lasting hop bitterness. This one hits the spot like no other.” Having enjoyed other offerings from this great little Ramsgate based brewery I was very much looking forward to this and wasn’t disappointed. No, it’s not a Best Bitter but I enjoy a Porter or two occasionally, particularly when they are as good as this. 5.6% A.B.V The Postal Order , Crystal Palace. February 2016

Volden - Session Ale

What they say “Classic session bitter; tangy and moreish” A brewery of few words then! But then they’ve only been at it since 2015, set up to supply pubs in the Antic group, of which Westow House in Crystal Palace is one. Yeah, I like this. A tasty beer helped by the fact that - with our CAMRA cards-  it was only £2.80 a pint. Hopefully, the opportunity will present itself to try some of the other beers in the range. Westow House , Crystal Palace. February 2016.

Cheddar Ales - Gorge Best

What they say “ A distinguished best bitter with warm malt flavours and a clean bitter finish.Brewed using the highest quality Pale ale, Maris Otter, Wheat, Crystal and Roasted malts and hopped with a blend of Challenger, Goldings and East Kent Goldings whole hops.” Another excellent guest at one of our favourite watering holes in Crystal Palace. Best Bitter is my choice of ale and this was delicious. Nothing fancy, just a mighty tasty pint, served at the right temperature and in excellent condition.   The Grape & Grain , Crystal Palace. February 2016

Cotleigh - Uncle Sam

What they say: “Sherbet nose with a hint of liquorice and grapefruit.” The first new ale I got to try after my six week holiday from ‘researching’ was in Wetherspoon’s in Crystal Palace, South London, who always have a great and changing range of ales. This seasonal offering was from Somerset based brewer Cotleigh - another new one for me. Didn’t take to this but regulars reading the above description will not be surprised - it’s just not my thing. They do a wide choice of ales though and I look forward to trying some of their other offerings. The Postal Order , Crystal Palace. February 2016