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Showing posts from August, 2016

Copper Dragon – Best Bitter

What they say? Well nothing at the time of typing as the website is undergoing an overhaul, however say this: “Deep golden colour. Light caramel and a slight fruity nose. Bitter hoppy flavour with some caramel and fruity background” I got to try it’s stablemate Golden Pippin a couple of years ago and was excited to come across another one of their beers more suited to my awkwardly traditional taste buds. It didn’t disappoint either – a nice blend of flavours and light enough for a session beer. Excellent stuff. 3.8% A.B.V. August 2016.

Panther – Festive Panther

What they say: “A dark ale brewed especially for the festive season. A rich, smooth and full flavoured ale. The addition of mulled spic adds a warm aromatic flavour.” Hmm yum. Even in the summer I like a nice dark ale and this went down well although it was just a tad too sweet for my awkward taste buds. Another quality beer from this young  (2010) Norfolk brewery that made it back home to East Sussex before I got around to sampling it. Bottle conditioned, so store upright and pour carefully. 4.5% A.B.V. August 2016

J.W. Lees – Manchester Star Ale

What they say: “Manchester Star was a brew discovered in an old recipe book (from about one hundred years ago). Manchester Star is a 7.3% ABV, dark ale, with chocolate, malty overtones and a warming finish made from 100% British ale malt, chocolate malt and Goldings hops. Manchester Star Ale is available in 100 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide.” Another deliciously dark ale and what a punch it packed too – something I didn’t realise straight away having not read the label until the morning! Fortunately it was the only beer of the night. Delicious but treat it with respect. August 2016

Adnams – Explorer

What they say: “We use Tipple malt to provide the biscuity backbone of this blonde beer but it's the hops that give it its personality…………………..captures the spirit of discovery by blending Chinook and Columbus hops with the New World. The citrus attack will burst on your palate. Fantastic served chilled and the fruity hoppiness of the beer means that it goes well with cleanly flavoured foods. Try it with salmon, vegetarian options and with summer salads. (Contains barley). Silver medal winner at the 2015 Great British Beer Festival.” Yep, too citrusy for me but another good summer ale. 5% A.B.V. August 2016

Moonshine – Cambridge Pale Ale

What they say: “Pale coloured ale: a well balanced beer with a smooth malt profile that is complemented by a restrained hop flavour.” We were back in our old home town of Cambridge for a funeral and the post service gathering presented numerous research opportunities, although having to drive back to Suffolk, participation was extremely limited. This was brewed just a few miles away in Fulbourn and whilst it wasn’t really my thing – as you may have guessed it was good to try an ale from my birth place – well, near to it anyway. The Fulbourn Institute Sports & Social Club , Cambridgeshire. August 2016.

Wells – Eagle

What they say: “Wells Eagle is a copper coloured beer with a citrus, sweet and grassy nose. It’s has a dryish bitterness on the palate and is light, crisp and sharp. A firm favourite with Bedfordians and surrounding counties!“ Nice this. Easy on the A.B.V but still flavoursome. Much preferred to Greene King’s IPA of the same strength – the combination of flavours just work better in this for me. A great session beer I would happily drink again. The Fulbourn Institute Sports & Social Club , Cambridgeshire. August 2016.

Panther – Black Panther

What they say: “Our award winning stout is smooth and rich with a complex full flavour. It’s our dedication to the cunning and prowess of the mysterious Panther which has allegedly stalked the Norfolk countryside for almost a decade…….Hand brewed in Reepham, this dark rich ale is smooth with a complex full flavour, it has a bittersweet balance that leads to a dry finish. It’s a mysterious ale with bite.” Another tasty ale from Reepham in Norfolk. Well balanced and at 4.5% A.B.V not overly strong. August 2016.

Panther – Beast of the East

What they say: “Glorious strong amber coloured beer that melts on the tongue.” Sadly this doesn’t feature on the brewery’s website so there’s no taste chart – the above description was from A proper strength IPA and as such deserves and needs respect. Tasty stuff 5.5% A.B.V. August 2016.

Bath Ales – Dark Side

What they say: “With a roasted barley aroma, a deep, dark colour and a smooth, dry taste, we've ensured Dark Side has all the hallmarks of an exquisite stout……Dark Side is an impressive and seriously smooth stout, brewed with flair and diligence using a blend of dark roasted malts and an old-fashioned (and rather famous) English hop called Fuggles. Dark Side contains wheat and barley malt.” Black, so I liked it. Obviously! Seriously, velvety smooth and another great ale from Bath. Not too sweet and not too strong. 4.0% A.B.V. August 2016

Lacons – Encore

What they say: “Glowing with a pale amber hue, this flavour packed ale leads with delicate fruit aromas, comfortably balancing a dry pine and citrus crescendo of flavour throughout followed by a finish that is long and dry” I was looking forward to this having enjoyed the excellent Falcon Ale when it guested at our local last year. Again, this had the perfume like aroma but this time the flavour backed it up, so not one for me. The setting could have been worse though! 3.8% A.B.V. Beach View Cafe Bar , Suffolk. August 2016

Panther – Golden Panther

What they say: “Hand brewed in Reepham, this golden ale has a citrus flavour and a floral aroma. A light and refreshing ale with bite” The first of four ales from this Norfolk brewery procured the day before we moved over the border into Suffolk on our summer getaway. I found it a little bit fruitier than their scale above might suggest but, outside standing over a BBQ on a mild evening it went down well. Not one I’d rush back to but that’s not the fault of the beer. Looking forward to trying their other brews. Bottle conditioned so pour carefully. 3.7% A.B.V. August 2016

Woodfordes – Bure Gold

What they say: “A classic aromatic golden ale brewed using carefully selected pale and lightly roasted malts, in combination with American and Slovenian aroma hops to tantalise the palate.“ Another golden – they certainly seem to be popular – this time from the week know Norfolk brewer sampled on our first night over the border in Suffolk. Again, not my favourite type of ale but it was easy drinking and inoffensive. I had a second! 4.3% A.B.V. The Vulcan Ams , Sizewell, Suffolk. August 2016

Robinsons – Unicorn Black

What they say: “A modern twist on an aged old recipe, Unicorn Black is a dark, mysterious, ebony coloured stout with a distinct aroma of roasted malt and chocolate. Unicorn Black delivers a palate of roasted coffee and peppery hops. Rich, full-bodied and deeply satisfying. Perfectly balanced with a memorable bitter-sweet after-taste.” Black? Of course I liked it! Seriously, very smooth and I found the flavours subtle. I going to be on the look out for more black ales. 4.3% A.B.V. August 2016.

Ridgeway – Bad King John

What they say: “Bad King John is black, bitter, and intense. Like the ruthless man it honours. Do not come here looking for subtlety!” Another black ‘un and another one I liked. What they say is accurate. It’s 6.0% A.B.V and creeps up on you. Enjoyable but go steady. August 2016

Brewdog – Elvis Juice

What they say: “An American IPA with a bitter edge that will push your citrus tolerance to the brink and back; Elvis Juice is loaded with tart pithy grapefruit peel. This IPA has a caramel malt base, supporting a full frontal citrus overload - grapefruit peel piled on top of intense us aroma hops. Waves of crashing pine, orange and grapefruit round out this citrus infused IPA” Not my thing, fruity beers as regulars will know, but this was a gift and I wasn’t going to turn it down and it certainly packed a citrus punch. Not for me but worth a try if that is your thing. 6.5% A.B.V. July 2016.

Bath Ales – Barnsey

What they say: “Rich in fruit with hints of chocolate, we’ve made Barnsey a full-bodied dark ale that is both complex and deeply satisfying. Barnsey  is a truly rewarding and enjoyable beer, carefully brewed using a mix of Maris Otter, Chocolate and Crystal malts together with Bramling Cross hops. Barnsey contains wheat and barley malt” Ah, a nice dark one. Subtle but full bodied at 4.5% A.B.V. July 2016. A welcome respite from a recent plethora of goldens.

Brakspear – Oxford Gold

What they say: “Oxford Gold has a citrusy flavour with a fresh and zesty fruity finish. This pale ale has a gold, glittery glisten with crystal malts to enhance the body of the beer. The fresh aroma is contributed by a selective blend of Fuggles, Goldings and Styrian hops. Oxford Gold is the perfect accompaniment for fish, chicken and salad dishes.” Have had this a number of times as it often crops up in assorted boxes from supermarkets. A nice summer ale and as it was – unbelievably – a warm summers day when I drank it, it went down well, although being a golden, not my favourite. 4.6% A.B.V August 2016.

Wye Valley – HPA

What they say: “HPA is a truly delightful pale ale. It’s smooth on the palate, and boasts a citrus hop aroma leading to a balanced bitter finish. Locally grown Target and Celeia hops play an important part in making this such a distinctive beer. With Maris Otter pale malt and malted wheat also being used, this is very much a pale ale with all the right ingredients.” Had the draught version of this back in 2013 – again a nice summer ale in my opinion, but not one I’d choose on a winters night with a roaring fire. Ok though. 4.0% A.B.V. July 2016.

Brentwood – Golden Galaxy

What they say: “A rich golden beer with a gentle malt complexity. A slight sweetness on the nose leads to a fresh tropical aroma of passion fruit, and the hop character stays with you through the taste.” I probably should have had this first but after the London Red it tasted a bit insipid – my fault rather than one of the beer. 4% A.B.V The Lexden Crown , Colchester, Essex, July 2016

The London Beer Factory – London Red Ale

What they say: “A red ale full of flavour and rich with caramel and toffee notes, with a clean, crisp, and malty finish.” A collaboration with Greedy, sorry, Greene King apparently and tasty it was too, but then I’m quite partial to a red ale. Or two. Quite full bodied at 4.5% A.B.V. The Lexden Crown , Colchester, Essex. July 2016

Pheasantry – Lincoln Tank Ale

What they say: “Designed to raise money for the Lincoln Tank Memorial, amber, well hopped.” Another one at the excellent Engineers Arms and following on from Inferno this was much more my sort of thing from a very young (2012) brewery. 4.2% A.B.V. If you like your real ale – or cider for that matter, this pub is well worth a visit if you are in the area. At the time of typing they have ten, yes 10 ales on offer, and six ciders. I could have spent a LOT longer here had time, money, and my liver allowed. The Engineers Arms , Henlow, Bedfordshire. July 2016

Oakham Ales – Inferno

What they say: “Light ale with complex fruit leaving a dry, fruity, bitter finish on the tongue.” Not what I was expecting given the name and regulars will know that I’m not a fan of fruity beers. One must experiment though and there was plenty to choose from in this great pub in Bedfordshire. 4.0% A.B.V. The Engineers Arms , Henlow, Bedfordshire. July 2016

Wye Valley – Bitter

What they say: “A cornerstone of our range of real ales, this chestnut-coloured wonder is a mouthwatering example of a cask-conditioned bitter.Brewed using Maris Otter and Crystal malts together with locally grown Target and Goldings hops, Wye Valley Bitter has a delicate hoppy aroma leading on to a full malty flavour and ending in a crisp, clean bitter finish.” A straightforward name for a straightforward beer, but that’s no bad thing in my book when it seems so many are trying create something unique that ends up smelling like a vase of flowers. A good honest pint of bitter. It was lovely – and the right strength to have a few without reaching for the paracetamol in the morning. 3.7& A.B.V The Twelve Bells , Cirencester, Gloucestershire. July 2016