My #12BeersOfXmas – Day 3 : Russian Imperial Porter (RIP) – Howling Hops Brewery


I bought this in March. From The Cock Tavern in Hackney (Howling Hops’ own pub/brewery). It’s a beautiful pub. Their cask beer is superb, the American Brown especially. Then I saw this. I HAD TO HAVE IT. Me and this beer have travelled a long way.

And I have demonstrated ENORMOUS willpower to hold back this long.

Satanically black, I swear I can see a pentangle in there somewhere! That cafe au lait head just draws me in.

The smell? Dark fruits. Molasses. Rum. Old leather. If hell smells like this, I want a first class ticket.

Good. Grief. This. Is. *******. Fabulous.

Bitter chocolate comes first. That is then jumped on and blanketed by espresso. Bitter. That is smothered by port wine. Sweet molasses. It’s like a black liquid trifle with a coffee cream topping.

The finish is sweet, boozy and warming. I would sell a kidnety for a cask of this.

And I’ve got a bottle. You haven’t. Cue smug face.

“Silky Black Fighting Beer” – What a fine description.

Go to The Cock Tavern. Say that I sent you. Then thank me later.

My #12BeersofXmas – Day 2 : Radical – Rivington Brewing Co


Rivington Brewing are a brewery that intrigue me. This is the first bottle of theirs that I have had and I grabbed it one night recently in the excellent new Micro Pub Bunbury’s in Bolton. I bought it, because I had been hugely impressed by a Belgian Ale that they had casked at the little DuBFest in Horwich. It had been a while since something brand new shook me like that.

To this beer. It’s a moderate 4.9%, hazy gold (I deliberately tipped the yeast in) with a creamy white foam and a fruity nose with a distinctly Belgian yeasty banana split aroma with something more herbal – maybe a coriander hint.

In the mouth? Nice carbonation and really creamy smooth. Banana toffee and some sweet clove with a pronounced peppery note. This, my friends, is lush! With the second mouthful, the saliva glands are doing overtime! This is really refreshing with that banana toffee giving way to a little coriander leaf with the mouth drying on the swallow leaving you wanting another mouthful.

Don’t mind if I do!

I don’t know Ben particularly well, but each beer I have had has been superb. I want more….Rivington Brewing Co