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Archive for April, 2012

Marble – Dobber

Brewery –          Manchester Marble

Beer –                  Dobber

Alcohol –           5.9%

Origin –              Manchester, England

Style –                I.P.A

Season –           Summer

I know what you’re thinking… 5.9%,  IPA,   Central Northern English Brewery…. Yes my friends it’s another Jaipur challenger!

Looks the part with its orange amber colouring and hazy glow, topped off by its lively white frothy head.

Scents of Lily’s and other floral notes give it a light and airy nose. Hoppy undertones and sweet passionfruit help give it the extra depth.

A decent amount of carbonation give this ale a fresh, zesty, and lively mouthfeel balanced by its bitter hoppy backbone. Intense grapefruit, is a welcoming contrast to the sweet tropical fruit notes.

The finish is extremely bitter, to the extent that it provides almost a minty numbness leaving you begging for the next swig.

Solid, Satisfying, Thirst Quenching, Exciting, and packed full of flavour.

Jaipur or Dobber… it’s too close to call! Let me know which is your favourite?! 

 

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Brewery –          Dark Star

Beer –                  Sunburst

Alcohol –           4.8%

Origin –              Partridge Green, Sussex

Style –                Golden Ale

Season –           Spring

A pale, smooth, lager like ale but do not be forlorn, for its simple looks belie it’s deeper complexity and flavours. 

Sweet honey notes, along with crisp apple creates a tangy sharp sweet nose. Thoroughly refreshing, the sweet tangy flavours continue in the taste controlled by a hefty hoppy punch.

This ale is unusual as it tastes stronger than it actually is. The flavours are deep, decisive, and bold; far more intense than some other hop driven and carbonated golden ales.

The finish is bitter long, smooth, and satisfying.

Great Ale, Great Brewery… Join the Dark Side!

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Brewery –           Fischer

Beer –                  Ambree Reserve

Alcohol –            6.3%

Origin –              Strasbourg, France

Style –                 Amber Ale

Season –            All Year Round

Spied this beauty on my 1st visit to Sandbach’s wonderful ‘Beer Emporium’. Comes in a stylish swing top bottle, embossed motifs, and at 6.3 cl (630ml to us in the UK) it’s a chunky and solid bottle of fun.

If the bottle is beautiful, then what’s inside is absolutely stunning. 

A Dark amber orange brew, silky and still and luminescent.  It has a deep hoppy nose, uncommon for the more continental brews, but also holds a slight vanilla sweetness which gives a depth and roundness to the aroma.

Wait for the foamy mountainous white head to settle before taking the first anticipated swig, unless you can’t wait, and don’t mind a face full of froth!

A good amount of alcohol flavour wraps around the mouth, but this is accentuated by spicy notes of ginger and nutmeg, and a sweet aromatic orange fruitiness, continuing through a long soft sweet finish.

This beer would be great as a finishing accompaniment to a nice warm bread and butter pudding; certainly a dessert ale!

Sweet, Spicy, Strong, and Satisfying, with a funky bottle to boot!

I cannot suggest you try this enough!

 

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Brewery –          Blakemere Brewery

Beer –                  Two Tone Special Chocolate Stout

Alcohol –          5.0%

Origin –               Northwich, Cheshire

Style –                 Stout

Season –            Autumn

A work mate, visited the brewery over the weekend and as he’s not the biggest fan of Chocolate Stouts he thought he’d kindly get me a bottle and see what a thought.

I’m a big fan oF Chocolate stouts, as I think Stouts should be thick, heavy, and flavoursome; satisfying to the core.

Two Tone has a thick  black, oil slick colouring, with a light brown soft head.

Most chocolate stouts have a dark chocolate nose, but brew tastes lighter, with milk chocolate notes, with hints of hazelnut, and malty biscuit.

Initially, Coffee flavours develop on the tongue, but it’s a light cappuccino style which leads to a developing bitterness from the Dark Chocolate backbone. Earthy, and leathery notes add to the bitterness giving this a dark, rough, original feel.

The finish is bitter, with more dark chocolate, and cocoa, with a slight tangy mouthfeel on the sides of the tongue.

I think ‘Two Tone is an apt name for this brew; lighter milk chocolate notes lead deeper and deeper towards dark chocolate, with a solid full cocoa finish. It tastes like a micro-brewery beer, not refined and elegant, but rough and ready, home-made, and these are qualities which I admire in a beer.

Thumbs up to Northern Brewing, a chocolate lovers delight.

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Brewery –          Blueball Brewery

Beer –                  Frambozen

Alcohol –          4.3%

Origin –             Runcorn, Cheshire

Style –                Fruit Wheat Beer

Season –           Summer

On our first visit to Kash Bar my wife chose a pint of Frambozen beer. Again usually fruit beers are served in small bottles or half glasses, but true to form, Kash give a frothy cool crisp full pint of Heaven!

Pink, pearlescent, cloudy, and luminescent; this beer is stunningly different looking, with a bubbling white, overflowing head.

The nose is sweet, with summer fruit raspberrys and white chocolate.

The mouthfeel is really smooth for a fruity wheat beer; uncarbonated, with the Blueball tang always tingling the tongue.

Notes of sugary pear and orchard scents, compliment the strong raspberry flavours, ending with a slightly hoopy dry raspberry finish.

This beer is incredibly fruity but wonderfully smooth. It feels like a cross between a wheat beer, a fruit beer and a mild, with wonderful intense fruit flavours, intensely Summery and drinkable but with an inherent smoothness mildness.

Weird, wonderful, and delightfully different.

 

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Brewery –          Blueball Brewery

Beer –                  Black Betty

Alcohol –           7.2%

Origin –               Runcorn, Cheshire

Style –                 Black IPA

Season –             Summer

It was my first trip to Kash Bar, Chester over the weekend after finding out that it is child friendly hoorah!

Stepped up to the bar and asked for a pint of Black Betty… didn’t realise the strength of it! Usually beers of this strength are served in half measures but like the Blueball beers, there’s no messing around! A pint you ask… then a pint you’ll get!

This is rich and smokey brown black ale, interestingly highly carbonated with a frothy cappuccino head, and served a beautifully sculpted Kash Challis.

Dark Chocolate, Smokey with hints of Coffee on the nose, and laced with deep dark fruits. The strong alcohol content is apparent in its aroma; sweet and punchy.

The mouthfeel is smooth but like all the Blueball beers I’ve tried thus far there is an appealing tanginess to the brew giving it a modern and vibrant feel. It coats the tongue, thick and silky but this increases the time the beer is on the tongue, intensifying the flavours; longer, and deeper.

The coffee and dark chocolate on the nose give way to liquorice and blackcurrant flavours with the solid strong alcohol content apparent throughout, and leads to a lingering and clinging sweet finish.

This beer is packed full of flavour; it’s exciting, gripping, thoroughly satisfying, and is scarily drinkable and sinkable at that ABV!

 

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Blue Ball – Oor Bonnie

Brewery –          BlueBall Brewery         

Beer –                 Oor Bonnie

Alcohol –          5.0%

Origin –             Runcorn, Cheshire

Style –               Scottish 80 Shilling

Please be aware that this is a review of the bottled Oor Bonnie and will therefore differ from the cask due to the higher ABV and the conditioning of the ale.

Having tried the Eine Kleine Kolsch last week I thought I’d see what other delights BlueBall brewery had to offer. I was looking to get Spanked at Chester Beer & Wine (get a bottle of Spank beer, another BlueBall ale) but they did not have any in so I thought I’d give this a go.

The brew is a deep, robust, and vibrant red, with a soft white head.

Tangy and sweet on the nose

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Brewery –          Brains

Beer –               The Reverend James

Alcohol –           4.5%

Origin –             Cardiff, Wales

Style –               Copper Ale

Season –            Autumn

The venerable Revvy James, another solid performance from Brains.

A wonderfully coloured, rich burnt orange, glowing brightly with an off white halo.

Sarsaparilla on the nose; sweet and slightly medicinal.

It has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, silky on the palate with notes of butterscotch maltiness, held in place by an underlying hop character.

The finish is sweet and moreish but a slight tanginess leaves you gasping for the next swig.

A great beer, softer and lighter than the Brains SA  but just as well put together.

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Brewery –          Schlenkerla

Beer –                  Rauchbier

Alcohol –           5.1%

Origin –              Bamberg, Germany

Style –                Smoked Beer

Season –            Autumn

An acquired taste I believe, is the easiest way to describe the appeal of this beer. If you like hotdogs and you like drinking, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll like drinking hotdogs!

Pours a deep dark, thick and  brown with a mature white head. Wood smoke and meaty on the nose initially the heaviness is off-putting, however the taste is less intense, smoother and the smokiness prevails over the meatiness, leaning towards barbecue flavours. The lingering smokey finish is beautifully satisfying and makes the brew surprisingly drinkable.

This beer wold go great with strong cheeses, but I wouldn’t suggest trying to drink a few of them as the taste gets a bit overwhelming.

Certainly an unusual style of beer, and the Schlenkerla is the smokiest of the ones I’ve tried.

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

 

 

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