Happy New Year everyone! And Happy #Tryanuary!
I, for one, have absolutely NO intention of giving in to the detox mania that is hauling thousands in to a month of misery.
Be Happy. Happiness is seriously underrated.
Anyway, in the spirit of Tryanuary, I’ve been a bit busy. You’ll start seeing (and in some instances, tasting) the results shortly. Furthermore, in the same spirit, here are six recommendations for (hopefully) something new for you to try this month. Some will be limited, so better be quick!
It’s Rather Hoppy Darling – Cheshire Brewhouse (Congleton) – 4.2% abv – Session IPA – 330ml – Direct from the brewer.
As Pale as a spring morning, golden and bright with a light white head pushing out a huge citrus and tropical aroma like a fruit salad chewy sweet, pineapple, kiwi, mango. Just so juicy on the nose!
Oh dear, oh dear is this GOOD! This thing is wearing a grass skirt and dancing a hula! Mango, passion fruit, kiwi dancing all around the mouth with a light digestive biscuit base. Just. So. Fruity.
The swallow is followed by a bracing bitterness and leaving a big hoppy resinous aftertaste. This is the first Beergasm of 2016 and no mistake!
Very pale golden colour, lively from the bottle shop was decanted, but nice white lacy head nonetheless with a big aroma booming out full of apricot, grapefruit and a squeeze of lemon.
Got my saliva glands going…..
Oh baby…. This is one pithy little beast.
Medium bodied, this beer hits you with tart astringent fruit, grapefruit and lemon to the fore here. The carbonation having softened after the decant, this is really smooth, fruity, but ultra dry.
Really dry. A tongue curler!
That Belgian yeast aids that dryness with a little peppery spice and helps to accentuate the dry slightly resinous hoppy finish.
Another special beer from Stalyvegas.
And only 60. I’m lucky. Grab one if you can.
APA – Brewsmith Beers (Ramsbottom) – 5.0% abv – Pale Ale – 500ml – Direct from the brewer.
Brewsmith are in the early days of their bottled beers being in the wild. But, so far, so excellent. Everything top notch so far. But how will this stack against the Bitter, Oatmeal Stout & Gyle 50?
Mid golden in colour, a light thin white head emitting a lovely fragrance of tropical fruits, with peach, passion fruit and a hint of mango hitting the nose.
In the mouth? Light carbonation and a medium body. Really smooth on the tongue with lashings of mango and peach assailing the tongue, swiftly followed by a resinous hit of hop bitterness.
The second mouthful confirms the impressions of the first, but the hopping tastes and feels even more resinous and grassy following that tropical dance.
This is another superb beer from a brewery that have produced a range of bottles that just get more impressive as they go on.
Moderate strength Pale Ales and Stout? I wouldn’t look an awful lot further.
A deep and dark brown, almost black, beer, with a warm ruby glow, a light mocha coloured head giving an aroma reminiscent of vanilla toffee ice cream, with a little molasses or rum note. Appetising.
Oh yes. Really smooth, medium to full bodied beer this is. Really beautifully chocolaty in the mouth with a sweet cocoa malt allied to a slightly more bitter chocolate. A little sweet vanilla intrudes as you run it around the mouth. Such an easy drinking beer this.
The second and subsequent mouthfuls reveal a little rum hint following the sweet chocolate taking you towards a dry chocolate and herbal hop finish.
Another lovely beer bought from an excellent shop/bar, Drink in Hebden Bridge which fell victim to the recent devastating floods that hit that beautiful old town.
Hope they’re cleaned up and sorted soon. Am sure to visit Hebden Bridge for a few beers shortly. This’ll be my first stop.
Nowt – Five Towns Brewery (Wakefield) – 6.7% abv – Stout – 750ml – Direct from the brewer.
This beer pours as black as Hades cellar, had a lacy coffee coloured head and gave off am aroma full of dark bitter chocolate, licorice and the merest hint of smokiness. In short, seductive.
Yes. Yes. YES! I feel like Meg Ryan in the cafe table scene! Oh shit but this is bloody stunning!!!
Full bodied and unctuous, this is creamy smooth. Hitting the bullseye with an initial bitter chocolate hit, this is quickly embraced by some seriously spicy licorice, just oozing out.
That licorice is augmented by that light smoky touch. What shocks slightly (although it REALLY shouldn’t!) is such a hoppy bitterness that follows it. And stays. Then the smokiness returns lingering through to a slightly sweet, yet dry smoky and bitter hoppy finish.
I yield to none in my love of Malcolm Bastow’s Pale Ales, but this is right up there with his best pales.
And THAT is (as The Velvelettes sang) really saying something.
XS Imperial Stout – Saltaire Brewery (Shipley, W Yorkshire) – 8.9% abv –Imperial Stout – 330ml – Bought from the brewery shop
I’ve held onto this for over 9 months since I bought this Hell black beer, with the slightest of fiery red tinge at the edges with a thin beige head and an aroma oozing out with vine fruits, old leather and a little sweet licorice. Mmmmmm…..
Now then. It’s no surprise that I’m find of Imperial Stouts, but this is sooooo good! Rich, smooth, loaded with vine fruit that tastes like it’s soused with dark rum. Bitter espresso in here, with chocolate and a languorous smoky trace. This is just love…..ly!
Ooohhhhh, but this is so good. Those dark fruit flavours laden with sweet raisin just tingle, or maybe that’s the late hopping with Bramling Cross, but I’m just sinking in this here chair and luxuriating….
Yeah. Nice beer…… #Understatement