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Showing posts from April, 2016

Wincle Beer Co - Rambler

What they say: “Strolling through ancient recipes we stumbled across the idea for this distinctive country ale. Plenty of Crystal Malt and Bramling Cross hops gives this beer a subtle balance of malt and autumn fruit hoppiness ” Another relatively young (2008) brewery and another one I hadn’t heard of. I liked the beer though, although more hoppier than I usually like. 4.0% A.B.V The Royal Oak , Hurdlow, Derbyshire. April 2016

Thornbridge - Wild Swan

What they say: “Wild Swan is white gold in colour with aromas of light bitter lemon, a hint of herb and a subtle spiciness. A great refreshing beer!” Brewed just up the road in Bakewell, this was - as regular Archive visitors will correctly deduce - not really my cup of tea. A nice refreshing summer ale though I guess and not too strong. 3.5% A.B.V. The Royal Oak , Hurdlow Derbyshire. April 2016

Marstons - Burton Bitter

What they say: “Brewed to one of our oldest recipes, using natural Burton spring water filtered through the gypsum beds of the Trent valley to produce a distinctively clear and bright full flavoured beer with a malty, biscuity taste. Although it is one of our session beers in terms of strength, it has a superb balance of malt and hop flavours which makes Marston's Burton Bitter the first choice for many of our customers…” Yes, I liked this. Nothing fancy and not too strong - indeed a good session beer. 3.8% A.B.V. Cheshire Cheese , Buxton, Derbyshire. April 2016

Robinsons - Unicorn

What they say: “Our award-winning flagship beer! Unicorn was born in 1896 and originally called Robinsons Best Bitter. Unusually light, agile, yet complex, Unicorn hasn’t changed in over a hundred years.  It was originally brewed by Frederic for his father William, at the Unicorn Inn, from where the beer eventually took its name, and where the Robinsons Brewery still stands. Dripping with heritage, it’s a magnificent, thirst-quenching, thoroughbred bitter. The first of a bloodline that continues to this day.” The nearest pub to our base at the campsite in Longnor Wood and the last remaining pub in the village was open all to rarely to rely on. Only one ale on offer, but this was a nice pint, although a little to light and pale for my taste.  4.3%. A.B.V. Ye Old Cheshire Cheese , Longnor, Derbyshire. March 2016

Cottage Brewing - Iron duke

What they say? Like their Conquest Best Bitter , this didn’t appear on the brewery’s website either, but quote this: “A deep ruby red traditional British bitter. Strong notes of toasted and chocolate malts and brewed with Challenger and Pilot hops to give a smooth and well balanced beer.” Another excellent pint from the Somerset based brewery. 4.3% A.B.V. The Pack Horse Inn , Crowdecote, Derbyshire. April 2016

Cottage Brewing Co - Conquest Best Bitter

The plan was, to do all the beers from Yorkshire before moving on to those from our week in the Peak District. However I ended up bringing some home with me and they’re still waiting patiently in the cupboard for my attention!We’ll come back to those when I’ve finished blogging about the rest from our trip, so, here’s the first ale ‘researched’ from  a bit further south: What they say? Oddly, this is not on their website but quote this: “A classic blend of hops and malts create this amber coloured best bitter” Yes, our first pint in the Peak District came from Somerset, in the wonderful Pack Horse Inn that had an ever changing selection of real ales. No matter, it was a mighty tasty pint, the A.B.V of 4.3% adding body to the beer. The Pack Horse Inn , Crowdecote, Derbyshire. April 2016

Harbour - IPA

What they say: “A modern interpretation of the British classic with pronounced American hop aromas. This golden ale has citrus characters and robust yet balanced bitterness." The latest in my selection of bottled beers from North Yorkshire, although as you can see from the label, I clearly wasn’t paying attention when I bought it, as it’s from er, Cornwall. Nevertheless, it was very enjoyable as the citrus wasn’t overly prominent, but at 5.2% A.B.V one to be treated with respect.

Sainsburys - Yorkshire Bitter

What they say? Well, quote this: “A classic and beautifully balanced Yorkshire bitter combining hoppy notes with bittersweet malty undertones and a dry, refreshing finish” It’s not that often I go for own label beers, but this from the supermarkets’ ‘Taste the Difference’ range was just £1.50 so I thought I’d give it a go. One word: delicious. Now one of my top five bottled ales, but then it’s brewed by Black Sheep so to me, it’s hardly surprising it tasted so good. Everything I like about a beer was here. Brilliant.

Wharfe Bank - Yorkshire IPA

What they say? The single page (at time of typing) website doesn’t give a lot away, but once again the good folk at come to the rescue: “Amber in colour with a complex mixture of mature fruits, a citrus nose and a crisp dry finish” Yep, you’ve guessed it - a little too fruity for me, not one I’d rush to sample again, but that’s just my taste. 5.1% A.B.V.

Yorkshire Dales Brewing - Nappa Scar

What they say: “A truly well balanced bitter. Brewed with Maris Otter, Munich and Crystal Malt for light caramel notes. The Northern Brewer bittering hops are complimented with two varieties of American hops for citrus flavours and aroma.“ Another quality bottle conditioned ale from YDB. Thankfully the citrus wasn't too prominent for me. 4.0% A.B.V.

Yorkshire Dales Brewing - Great Shunner

What they say: “A dark ale brewed with Maris Otter, vienna and munich malts and a little crystal malt for a subtle biscuit flavour. The hop varieties provide a fine balance and characterise the beer with a spicy finish.” What a wonderful selection of beers we found in our time in North Yorkshire over Easter. This was another delicious ale from YDB. Bottle conditioned so pour carefully and enjoy! 4.2% A.B.V.

Yorkshire Dales Brewing - Garsdale Smokebox

What they say? “A truly memorable smoked porter with a real complex depth of flavours. Made using traditional smoked malt from Bamberg Germany” Hmm delicious. I loved the smoky flavour in this, it put me in mind of a malt whisky I had a few years back. It didn’t taste overly strong, but don’t be deceived as it weighs in at 5.6% A.B.V.

Skye - Black

What they say: “The colour comes from dark roasted barley, balanced with just the right amount of sweet, rolled oatmeal. We mill both right here in the brewery, giving us complete control over flavour and freshness. The true taste of malt shines through, balanced by the sweetness of pure Scottish heather honey.” Yes, just a slight deviation from the Yorkshire ale trail whilst we were staying in Ripon during our recent Easter break. The reason being that I spotted this in Booths and know some friends that really enjoy their caravan trips to Skye, and yes the name appealed too. Anyway, explanation aside, I really enjoyed this. I loved the combination of flavours - I could really get into black ales if they’re going to taste as good as this.

Ilkley Brewery - Mary Jane

What they say: “Multi-award-winning pale ale packed with American hops. Intensely refreshing and satisfying, with surprising balance and body for such low abv. Named for the character in the Yorkshire folk song On Ilkla Moor Baht’at and is our best-selling beer by a country mile. Hast tha’ been a’cooartin Mary Jane?” Nice and light at just 3.5% A.B.V but regulars will know from the above description that it wasn’t for me. Too pale & hoppy for my taste but each to their own. It’s been great finding all these different beers in our time in North Yorkshire though.

Wharfe Bank - Crimson Rambler

What they say? Well nothing as the brewery's is just a single page, however come up with this as the commercial description: “This new deep-ruby beer has a light, fruity aroma, leading to a distinctive malty character from the Vienna and Munich malts used, resulting in an easy-drinking (yet distinctive) flavour. Hops: Admiral, Crystal, Summit” Another offering during Wetherspoon’s beer festival at Ripon and a local ale brewed over the border in West Yorkshire. Ok, but I found the fruity whiff a little strong. A nice enough pint though but another strong ‘un. 4.8% A.B.V Ripon, North Yorkshire. March 2016

Batemans - Dark Lord

What they say: “A dark, mahogany beer with a rich, nutty flavour and spicy bittersweet finish.” Anyone who knows me, will know of my interest in all things noir - I’m not called the Blogger in Black for nothing - so of course this pump clip piqued my interest. But it was also a very tasty beer -  beautifully dark in colour and a taste that seems to bridge the gap between bitters and porters. I liked this very much, but sadly it’s only a seasonal. 4.4% A.B.V. Ripon, North Yorkshire. March 2016.

Acorn - Yorkshire Pride

What they say: “ Light golden ale with well balanced creamy malt and good bitterness. Bags full of whole hops for the aroma impart a grassy, citrus aroma .” Very easy drinking but a little too pale and hoppy for me - one that would go down well on a warm summers night though I reckon. 3.7% A.B.V.

Leeds - Leeds Best

What they say: “A classic Yorkshire Bitter. British malted barley and English First Gold and Goldings hops blend perfectly with our unique Yorkshire yeast to create a full flavoured, well balanced classic Yorkshire pint.” Delicious. One of my favourite bottled beers. Full of flavour but not too strong to enjoy a few. Will be hunting this one down again. 4.3% A.B.V.

Vale Brewery - Punk is Dead

What they say? Well, it’s not to the brewery website, so may well have been a special for Weatherspoon's beer festival, however   say this: “American red IPA style, a hoppy aroma leads to biscuit malt flavours which, in turn, yield to the American hop flavours, resulting in a vibrant character and a long finish” Not bad, but too hoppy for me and at 5.0% A.B.V too strong to consider as session beer. Wetherspoons, Ripon, North Yorkshire. March 2016

Iron Maiden (Robinsons) - Trooper 666

What they say: Infused with strength. Inspired by Iron Maiden. Handcrafted by Robinsons. At the request of fans, and following the huge success of TROOPER, Robinsons have made an even stronger ABV limited edition of the original brew. TROOPER 666 is the same award-winning TROOPER recipe but brewed to a higher gravity of 6.6% ABV. The result is another wonderfully authentic beer that is charged with even more flavour and even more alcohol. Packed with malt, TROOPER 666 is slightly sweeter than the original. This is a full-bodied, extra strong bitter, with a complex malt character and notes of caramel combined with a fruity hop finish. Strong it certainly was. I’m glad I tried it, but as someone who swills down a pint far too quickly, this was just too strong for me. A pleasant enough taste but not as ‘aggressive’ as expected. Weatherspoon's, Ripon, North Yorkshire. March 2016

Williams - Black

What they say: As you would expect this brew pours a dark black/brown with aromas of Coffee, Liquorice, roast & chocolate malts. On the tongue there's light roasted malt flavours, with a caramel sweetness and a dried fruit hoppiness. Oh yum. With ales like this I could really get into black ales. Clearly the name and colour appealed to my dark side but I just loved the taste of this. Went back the next day I was looking forward to trying it again, but something else was on. A cracking pint. Wetherspoons, Ripon, North Yorkshire. March 2016

Rudgate - Battle Axe

What they say: “A robust and smooth drinking premium bitter. Only the finest raw materials, Yorkshire malted barley, English whole hops and local water are used” Delicious. A good no frill best bitter named after the mother-in-law! Really liked this and look forward to trying it again. 4.2% A.B.V. The Tan Hill Inn , North Yorkshire. March 2016.

Timothy Taylor - Boltmaker

What they say: “ A well-balanced, genuine Yorkshire Bitter, with a full measure of maltiness and hoppy aroma – Boltmaker is first choice for the discerning drinker – on both sides of the Pennines.” Another truly delicious pint from TT - almost toppled Landlord as my favourite from them - but not quite. A mighty fine pint though. 4.0 % A.B.V The Royal Oak , Ripon, North Yorkshire. March 2016

Timothy Taylor - Ram Tam

What they say: “A dark, strong beer that has a reputation as a ‘Winter Warmer’. Wholesome and satisfying, this mellow beer has body and depth, leaving a pleasant fruity afterglow” Our first proper pint on our recent trip to North Yorkshire - and what a pint. They say a winter warmer but I’d drink this anytime. I’ve never had a bad Tim Taylor pint. 4.3% A.B.V The Royal Oak , Ripon, North Yorkshire. March 2016