Bottles don’t appear to have been a priority in the last few weeks. Which isn’t of itself a bad thing. It’s always nice to get out to some excellent hostelries, as I have done for the last month or so.
However, I have also been lucky enough to come across some absolutely belting beers (including the best bottle I’ve had this year so far!) So, with neither further blather nor ado….Let’s begin!
A golden beer with a light fluffy white head and an aroma slightly sweet and fruity with peach and a hint of apple.
Medium bodied, this beer has that slightly sweet fruity initial flavour with again peach and some stewed plum and forest fruit and a flowery fragrant flavour that I can’t quite pick, backed up with a bracing bitterness.
That sweetness gives way to quite a grassy and resinous aftertaste and finish. This takes me back to beers from my youth, maybe just a wee bit more bitter. And that’s no bad thing!
Ultra Pale straw yellow beer with a light persistent fluffy head giving a spicy yeasty nose with notes of banana and a little gooseberry.
Oh yes. This’ll do Monkey! Tart, dry and spicy. Banana again upfront, but soon retreats in the face of some sharp and tart lemon notes which in turn yield ground to that yeasty Saison spiciness. Yum.
Second mouthful and there’s a little Sauvignon Blanc winey sharpness and tartness, that tartness leading to a short and very dry spicy finish. An incredibly refreshing beer.
Copper golden in colour, lively carbonation giving a big white head and an aroma reminding me of orange toffee.
Big bodied beer this. Smooth textured and really fruity with peach, orange marmalade and a hint of blackcurrant lurking at the back, also an almost yeasty dryness to finish on the swallow. Mmmm….
This beer doesn’t hide its strength as it’s quite warming as it slides down. More fruit in the second mouthful, with plum and more hedgerow blackberry sitting on top of the marmalade, jammy and spicy. The finish is fruity and dry leading to a sticky herbal and slightly resinous aftertaste. A proper English IPA. Big and fruity and beautiful.
Dark brown beer with a light and fluffy white head and an aroma of woah….. Cold coffee. Mmmmmm…….
And oh yes…. That coffee comes through loud and clear! Lovely smooth and bitter coffee flavour in full effect but with quite a spicy hop kick at the end.
Smooth and medium bodied in the mouth, this is as good as it was on cask. The coffee is potent enough, the bitterness of the brew being added to by the grassy hops that come through in the finish.
When I first heard of this, it sounded ludicrous. But it works. Really well. Black coffee and hops. What’s not to love?
Dark brown almost black beer with a cream coloured lacey head with a light aroma of chocolate powder and spearmint.
Another of their limited bottle “Tickety Few” range, this is medium bodied and really smooth. The flavours are really subtle and take a while to reveal their charms. First up is the chocolate, which manages the trick of not being too sweet.
Second mouthful gives a little of the mint which is very subtle and takes some finding. This may be down to using mint leaves as opposed to any extracts, which is to be applauded.
Further mouthfuls build on the minty hint and the beer takes on a pleasing kind of light mint Aero quality. The signature Belgian yeast lends its hand to a rapidly drying finish and also imparts a spicy note to proceedings.
Another really nice beer from this increasingly impressive brewery. I’d love to try this on cask.
Ultra Pale golden and lightly hazy with a decent white head and a lightly sour and Orangey citrus aroma from the addition of Amarillo hops.
Hmmm…. A palate cleanser and no mistake. The first sip had me salivating like a rabid dog! This is surprisingly enjoyable (and I say that because Sour beers aren’t exactly my “go to” style)
Yes it is sharp and has a saliva inducing acidity, but this beer isn’t as enamel stripping as some sours that I’ve had. This has a distinct citrus fruitiness working in harmony with the sourness making it a very thirst quenching and (I go back to that phrase) surprisingly enjoyable!
The lingering aftertaste is quite marmaladey and dry.
An excellent beer. Looking forward to Dark Matter now!
Deep golden, almost copper coloured beer with an abundant yet quickly dissipating white head with a booming peach and Mango aroma with a hint of mandarin.
Drinks a lot easier than such a beer should! First sip reveals fruity sweetness, deep and quite savoury, heavy with mango. Almost a medicinal note – my mind off cure!
Warming and soothing add it slides down the throat too. I swear this could be just the thing to cure my little chest problem!
Big chewy malt base that these hops dance on that fruitiness is ever-present and fades only slightly into a big sticky resinous aftertaste. Impressive.
A bright golden beer with thick white head and a hugely fruity nose with gooseberry and a little orange in there.
Oh bloody hell this is good! That gooseberry upfront is bloody tart in this medium bodied belter. The fruitiness dries out almost immediately making me pocket my lips and suck in my cheeks like a Les Dawson housewife sketch! Wow that is dry!
That arid fruitiness is backed up by a bracing bitterness too and the whole is tied up with a resinous bow of an aftertaste and finish.
I had this as one of my beers at MBCF this year. That was good, but this is so much better! Woof!
A big dark brown almost black beer with a creamy beige head and an aroma full of chocolate and dark fruits with just a hint of wood smoke.
Oh my. This is a proper beer.
Full bodied beer this. An initial chocolate sweetness slides into a chewy fruitiness full of dark fruit. This, in turn, yields palate space to a little salty tang before that smokiness pushes to the front. At this point, my gums are tingling.
A second mouthful and the dates make their chewy fruitiness more felt, merging and blending with the chocolate to make more than the sum of their parts. In the aftertaste, I don’t know if it’s from the dates, but this starts to have a dessert wine note to it, slightly – but not overly – sweet and gently warming.
This is one hell of a beer. And one which feels as if it would just love to be drunk along with a slab of rich fruit cake. And I have another bottle. Which I’m saving for Xmas. To go with……
Bloody gorgeous stuff.
Quote the bottle label “May Cause Confusion” – Hmmm…. This Amber coloured beer has a light white fluffy head with a full aroma of mango and peach tropical fruitiness.
Oh me oh my!!! This is a bar room bully!!! Full bodied is an understatement, this is certainly a big beer. And knowing how much Stuart Neilson & Malcolm Bastow like their hops, I should have expected no less!
Christ on a bike, there is a bit of everything in here! There is tropical peach & mango, there is a bit of grapefruit, there is a while bloody forest of resinous pine, this is just so damn juicy and….. Well…. BIG!
Chewy malt, with a little toffee biscuit sweetness, meets a hop store used without restraint. This is bloody gorgeous. And maybe the best DIPA I’ve had yet (and they brewed the previous best with their 300 collab!)
Just a big juddering, knee-trembling beergasm! The best bottle so far this year. (And I’ve had a few!)
The barman smiles at me, his wife she gives a secret wink
They listen patiently to me, my story I unfold
I see their faces change, the lights grow dim I’m losing hold”