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Archive for March, 2012

Brewery –          Moor Brewing Company

Beer –                 Somerland Gold

Alcohol –          5.5%

Origin –             Pitney, Somerset

Style –               IPA

Season –          Summer

Whilst in Chester Beer & Wine last night, my wife Caroline picked out this beauty. She prefers the robust golden hoppy beers and this sounded right up her street.

This beer is just oozing with nostalgia…          Cloudy and hazy like a warm Summer sunset, over swaying fields of wheat; luminescent like the last shards of light casting long shadows across the dusk.

A sweet summer evening scent fills the nostrils, sugary and promising.

A zesty, zingy, surprise awaits you, weary traveller. Sit down by the meandering lazy river and relax, quench your thirst and savour the hoppy bitter taste.

Honestly you got to try this beer. Grass and Hay notes help contrast its bright citrus backbone making it wonderfully balanced, flavoursome, and satisfying.

Forget the Summer Cider craze, chew on a strand of hay, get out your fisherman’s hat and get on this!

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Brewery –          Brooklyn Brewery

Beer –                  Local 1

Alcohol –           9%

Origin –              Brookyln, New York

Style –               Strong American IPA

Season –          Spring

I’ve wanted to try this beer for a good while now but at a tenner a bottle from Chester Beer & Wine, it’s quite an expense when the pennies are tight.

But you only live once and I finally took the plunge. I’d seen this beer in the ‘1001 Beers to try before you die’ beer bible my brother bought me for Christmas and it certainly lived up to my expectations.

At 9% this is one to drink slowly, thoughtfully, and with reverence, but it’s bloody hard to do with a beer this good. Perhaps this is why I have a slightly fuzzy head this fair morn.

A stunning looking beer; cloudy and bright, with a golden orange hue. Bubbly, lively, and vibrant.

Strangely aromatic on the nose bursting with citrus notes but with a slight hint of sweet bubblegum, and punch.

The first swig provides a hit of strong alcohol flavour that gets right to the back of the throat, but then the complex flavours kick in. Crisp Pear flavours make this ale surprisingly airy for its high alcohol content. A beautiful crisp and fizzy mouthfeel are a result of its high level of carbonation, but then this gives way to a vague spiciness with further apple and pear notes on the palate. The finish is crisp, cider-like and tart, leading to a warming alcohol finish.

Certainly one to savour, wonderfully satisfying, and a great example of an American take on a strong Belgian beer.

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Brewery –           Shepherd Neame

Beer –                   Celebration Ale

Alcohol –            4.0%

Origin –               Faversham, Kent

Style –                Golden Ale

Season –            Spring

Having had a few beers, when the wife nipped down to the local off licence I asked her to get a couple of beers for me, certainly not expecting much from the fags and booze late corner shop.

She came back with a Green King IPA (boring) but then pulled this gem out of the bag.

The fact that I’d never heard of the beer, despite it being a Shepherd Neame, immediately got my attention.

The usual Shepherd Neame characteristics were there dark amber, hoppy, reliably satisfying; however this beer is softer, smoother, more quaffable, and surprisingly refreshing for a hoppy ale.

Deeply hoppy on the nose but not pungent, it has a sweet aromatic hoppy backbone. A developing bitterness gives a great deal of satisfaction after the beer has long gone.

Fresh, Hoppy, Clean, a great beer to clean the palate between courses.

Definately one for the HopHead

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Fullers – ESB

Brewery –          Fullers

Beer –                  ESB

Alcohol –           5.9%

Origin –             London, England

Style –                Cooper Ale

Season –           Autumn

ESB stands for Extra Special Beer, and that’s exactly what it is. Champion Beer of Britain on Three Occasions, its pedigree speaks for itself.

Orangey Ruby in colour, the head is creamy white, bright and full; Sweet and fruity on the nose,  

Delightfully flavoursome, Orangeybitter-sweetness dominates, punctuated by cherry notes, with a slight spiciness.

It’s punchy, and robust, with a warming alcohol kick. The finish is thick and syrupy with a hint of bitte chocolate which compliments the orange tang.

Rich, Full-bodied, warm and wonderfully inebriating.

 

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Brewery –          Brains

Beer –                 Original Stout

Alcohol –          4.1%

Origin –            Cardiff, Wales

Style –               Stout

Season –           Winter

I do love Brains beers. They all seem so wholesome, no nonsense, simple, and down to earth.

Brain Original is the epitomy of this good honest style. Silky black with a frothy almost crusty cappucino head that clings to the glass.

Aromas of coffee, toasted malts and chocolatey notes greet you. A solid bitter backbones gradually builds on the tongue; smokey yet creamy, light yet satisfying, with a lingering bitter smokey finish.

This beer would go great with a strong cheese on a thick crusty cob.  

 

 

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Hawkshead – Red

Brewery –          Hawkshead

Beer –                 Red

Alcohol –          4.4%

Origin –             Staveley, Cumbria

Style –               Copper Ale

Season –           Autumn

Simple Name but red is what it is… Not slightly red, or tinted, or chestnut red, but a real vibrant red. A beautiful looking ale with a soft off white head.

The nose is of autumnal red berries, with cherry notes, and a surprising amount of chocholate.  

A wonderfully earthy bitterness awaits, with further chocolate and cherry notes, with hints of a slight spiciness. Warm, satisfying, full flavoured, leading to a dark chocholate bitter finish.

Not one you could dirnk all night, due to its robust stong flavours, but a beer to savour, delight, and devour!

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Budvar – Yeast Beer

 

Brewery –          Budvar

Beer –                 Krouzkovany-lezak (Yeast Beer)

Alcohol –          5%

Origin –             Czech Republic

Style –               Lager

Season –           Spring / Summer

I’m certainly not known for being a lager fan but I’d like to set the record straight. It’s not the style that’s the issue, it’s the mass production, which leads to lack of care and attention, poor flavour, over carbonated… you get my drift.

This lager caught my attention whilst looking on Artichoke Restaurant in Chester’s website, where some kind soul had made special mention of this lager which they’d managed to get a few barrels of, and used the phrase ‘come and try it before it runs out’

This is one hell of a good lager; in fact the best lager I’ve ever tasted!

And  as it’s just 5 minute walk from my house, and the bar is child friendly, I get to take the little one along.  Just as the Geordie’s call Newcastle Brown Ale, “Dog” (walking the dog was their excuse to go get a pint), I think I’ll call his lager Henry, and I’ll certainly be taking my little boy Henry for a walk this afternoon!

Now I don’t usually go into details as to how certain beers are made but as this extra process in its production makes such a different I thought I’d let you all know;

Taken from the BudweiserBudvar website http://www.budweiserbudvar.co.uk/EXCLUSIVELY-ON-DRAUGHT

“Budvar Yeast Beer is the unpasteurised version of Budvar Original, encapsulating all the same taste cues and as fresh as if it were being drunk at the brewery tap

It’s brewed with the same care and patience as ORIGINAL,has the same ABV of 5% and uses the same ingredients in a 100 day brewing cycle.

The big difference is that being unpasteurised with extra yeast cells being added by hand at the last stage of the brewing process, Budvar Yeast is a brew of almost worldly freshness and purity”

Now my blurb!

Budvar Yeast is beautifully crisp, clear, lightly carbonated (hooray) and has a frothy, clean bubbly white head.

Fresh is the word to describe it’s taste. Cut grass, sweet, refreshing, crisp; like sinking a pint of Spring.

Far from having a bitter, tinny finish like many lagers, Budvar Yeast has a sweet lasting and smoother finish, leaving you longing for the next swig.

Calling this a premium lager would not do it justice. Platinum Lager, Royal Lager, Mega Lager… it’s certainly a cut above the rest.

I stongly suggest you hunt this lager out… In fact visit http://www.budweiserbudvar.co.uk/EXCLUSIVELY-ON-DRAUGHT any pray you’re near one of the few pubs that are selling it!

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Brewery –          Thwaites

Beer –                  Tavern Porter

Alcohol –           4.7%

Origin –              Blackburn, Lancashire

Style –                Porter

Season –            Autumn / Winter

I love this beer as it tastes, smells and looks like an old fashioned, no nonsense brew. History and heritage written all over it. 

This beer is certainly not rounded or balanced, but that is part of its charms. It feels amateur, rough, earthy; it’s what you’d expect to find in a dark old smokey Victorian tavern and that’s what really makes this beer stand out from the rest.

Deep Inky Black with a suddy tan head, earthy and smokey on the nose.

The earthiness continues into the taste, with leathery notes (don’t let this put you off), as it’s smokiness continues to develop leading to a creamy solid bitter finish.

Great with a cigar, a slab of steak, and good company!

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Brewery –          Crouch Vale

Beer –                  Brewers Gold

Alcohol –           4.6%

Origin –              South Woodham Ferriers, Essex

Style –               Golden Ale

Season –           Spring

The name Brewers Gold conjures up so many fond memories, and hearing it’s on at the local ale house leaves me palpably excited!

Claiming to be a light, thirst quenching beer it doesn’t do itself justice!

The first thing that hits you with this ale is just how much flavour they manage to cram into it. It literally bursts with fruity, citrusy flavours. Sweet, Zesty, but wonderfully balanced, and dangerously easy drinking.

Light, golden and lightly carbonated, it’s wonderfully refreshing, and quaffable.

A dry, bitter-sweet and lingering finish leaves you longing for the next swig.

Good god…    Thanks for BG

 

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Brewery –          Moorhouse’s

Beer –                 Premier

Alcohol –          3.7%

Origin –             Burnley, Lancashire

Style –               Bitter

Season –         Autumn

Surprisingly light colouring for a bitter, it’s golden amber hue and more lively head give it the appearance of a golden ale.

Bitter on the nose, it has quite a tang to it, but it’s light and airy.

A solid bitter backbone yet it has a smooth mouthfeel, and is rounded off by a hoppy lasting finish.

At 3.7% it certainly fits into the session ale category. Refreshing, Thirst Quenching and reliable.

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