It was only whilst writing up the last beer – Otter Ale – that I realised that I had not yet featured the consistently excellent Harveys Sussex Best. So, it’s fitting that this great local beer is the 100th beer to be featured this year. A cracking bitter, and as a permanent feature in our local watering hole The Rottingdean Club, it sets the standard for any guest beers that may feature. 4.0% A.B.V.
Sunday, 30 November 2014
Otter Ale is a very well balanced beer that
delivers the flavours of quality floor malted barley and finishes with a combination of fruit and some bitterness. Its nose is a
balance of malt and fruit.”
The latest guest in our local The Rottingdean Club and my 99th new beer this year. The malt seemed to edge it taste wise and the strength of the beer was clear from the taste. Enjoyable but a couple was enough, although the occasion dictated that I had three! 4.3% A.B.V.
The club always has Harveys Sussex Bitter on and it is always excellent so litmus test for any guest beer at the club is whether I would stick with the guest or go back to the Harvey’s. This time around the Harvey’s wins – but not by much.
Saturday, 22 November 2014
What they say: A truly classic highly popular English session ale made with Best Pale Ale and medium colour Crystal malts. Bitterness is well balanced using English Fuggle and Wye Challenger hops to give a fruity and spicy palate. Like all Hydes classic ales, Original is still dry hopped to the cask at racking with Fuggles to add further aroma and depth.
Not sure about the fruity spicy bit but nevertheless I really enjoyed this. Bitter but not to hoppy, this was guesting at what is becoming our regular Thursday night haunt, The Spanish Lady. Again, just a little too cold but otherwise excellent and reasonably priced too – for the south-east anyway! 3.8% A.B.V so a great session beer.
Sunday, 16 November 2014
What they say: Amber Ale with some citrus fruit aromas, chewy biscuity malt flavours, slight sticky sweetness and grapefruit piney hop flavours. Well balanced with hop flavours to the fore and an easy bitter finish
On offer at the lovely The Bank micro pub in Willingham from this North London brewery and as with the Solus Simcoe, poured straight from the cask. A little too fruity for me but The Portly Partner enjoyed it. 4.5% A.B.V
What they say? Well, nothing that I could find as at the time of typing they don’t have their own website however the good folk at www.perfectpint.co.uk reckon this:
Next in Star's Solus series, Simcoe is something
of a cult hop amongst American Craft
Brewers. It is closely associated with IPA
styles and is highly aromatic, often described
as both fruity and having an herbal, earthy,
The last few days of our Autumn half-term break saw us in Cambridgeshire to catch up with family and friends and staying on a site near the village of Willingham - although sadly not within walking distance.
An unexpected - and sadly rather late - find was The Bank micro pub offering half a dozen ales poured direct from the cask. Sadly we only got to try one each but a return visit for Christmas - along with the services of a local taxi - promises more ‘research’ opportunities.
As you may have guessed from perfect pint’s description, this golden ale from this young (2012)Lincolnshire based brewery was not really to my taste but I look forward to trying some of their other brews when the chance arises.
A full bodied Malty Monster of a beer, with undertones of molasses and oozing
fresh hoppy aromas from an all British blend – Scarily Good!
The latest beer to guest in our local The Rottingdean Club from just 12 miles away in Litlington and available only in October. A little too malty for me but I had a second pint just to make sure. Always good to see local beers on offer though. I hope Long Man are represented again soon as they rarely disappoint. 4.3% A.B.V.
Rottingdean, East Sussex, November 2014
What they say: Mermaid's Red™ bucks the shallow mid-range red ale stereotype. Loaded with Cascade hops, it delivers a fresh floral aroma and sharp bitter notes, all while delivering a solid kick of roasted malts that fades seamlessly into a rich, chocolaty finish with hints of clove and caramel.
Our last pint in Warwick was this offering at Wetherspoons and brewed by Wadworths in Devizes. Another alcohol loaded ale from across the Atlantic - too strong for a session and a bit syrupy in my opinion. 5.7% A.B.V.
Warwick - October 2014.
What they say: “………is a refreshing golden ale with a dry and bitter finish. Brewed with English Maris Otter, Caragold and Wheat malts, plus Hallertau Northern Brewer, Bobeck and Hereford Goldings hops. Winner of nine awards.”
A true golden ale so not really to my taste but it WAS refreshing and I would look forward to a pint or two on a nice warm summers day. 3.8% A.B.V. so session strength too.
Warwick - October 2014
What they say: “UBU (4.5% ABV) is our strongest and darkest beer: a distinctive, full flavoured beer with a sweeter finish. Brewed with English Maris Otter, Crystal, Black and Wheat malts, with Hallertau Northern Brewer and Cascade hops.”
Named after a dog on site allegedly called ‘Useless Bl**dy Urchin’ and a real tasty offering from this Warwickshire brewer established in 2005 and found in the Rose & Crown in Warwick town centre. October 2014
The Fourpenny was a frequent halt during our stay in Warwick thanks to their range of real ales. This wasn’t one of my better choices however - there was nothing wrong with it, but regular readers will know it wasn’t for me. 4.0% A.B.V.
Warwick - October 2014.
What they say: John Willie’s 100 has been brewed to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The pump clip features ‘Little Willie’ one of the first tanks or ‘land boats’ used in battle that shares its name with our founder. Like the illustration the beer is robust, with plenty of Challenger hops to give it flavour. The crystal malt blend makes it a more flavourful beer with a toasted mild sweetness.
Another offering in Wetherspoons International Real Ale festival and a great tasting bitter. Enjoyable and at 4.2% A.B.V. flavoursome but not too strong
Thursday, 13 November 2014
What better than a black ale for the Blogger in Black? – and this seasonal offering from the makers of Deuchars & 80/- was VERY black. The aforementioned ‘citric floral & herbal aroma’ was not overpowering. Strong stuff at 5.5% A.B.V but a great winter warmer.
Wetherspoons: Warwick – October 2014.
- the classic session beer, eminently drinkable.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Relax and enjoy this classic English ale brewed with Maris Otter, Crystal, Brown and Chocolate malts. Savour the delicious toffee flavours with a hint of coffee, perfectly balanced against the fruitiness, spice and hints of citrus from East Kent Golding, English Cascade and Challenger hops. Goes particularly well with meat or fish.
Another guest at our local - I can’t say I recall the coffee or chocolate but it was very tasty nonetheless and went very well with a cheese & onion toastie. From a young (2010) brewery in Kent but without the distinctive taste of Kentish hops and at 3.8% A.B.V not too heavy either.
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
What they say: “….Brú Rua is a hearty, robust Irish Red Ale made using Irish malts. The backbone of Brú Rua is a conventional caramel and red berry but overlaid with New World hops, providing juicy tangerine top flavours. This beer was named after the mythical warrior Cú Chulainn who was born by the River Boyne at Newgrange, in County Meath….”
A tasty offering from this very young Irish brewery only established in July 2013 and discovered on our trip around Ireland in the summer of 2014. 4.7% A.B.V.
Another bottled Irish Red from our summer in Ireland. Cannot find a website for the brewery so cannot give you their tasting notes. It’s been a while since I had this but I would say it’s a typical Irish Red - a lovely colour and a nice warm flavour but overly gassy. Didn’t enjoy it as much as O'Hara's
Our second choice on our recent visit to The Spanish Lady and couldn’t have been more different to our first ale - Wadworths Blunder Buss. Fruity and hoppy, so not really my thing and again too cold in my opinion. Nice to see local breweries getting a look in though. 4.8% A.B.V.
Thursday, 6 November 2014
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
What they say: “…a rich ruby beer full of all the flavours you would expect for the spookiest time of the year including pumpkin! A burnt, smoky character is balanced with light citrus flavours from Styrian Dana hops and there is a lingering bitter finish.”
Found this seasonal ale guesting at The Spanish Lady in Saltdean as part of their beer festival. It’s fair to see that previous visits to the ‘Lady haven't been very fulfilling beer wise mainly due to the ale being kept too cold. This was very good though, and from the makers of the excellent Tiger, I wouldn't expect anything less. Very enjoyable and at only 3.8% A.B.V easy on the head too!
What they say: “Founder's Best Bitter is our signature ale. Named after the founder of the original Hurst Brewery, George Thomas Saltmarsh, it is nutty brown in colour, has a rounded malty taste and is suffused with subtle caramel flavours.”
Brewed just 15 miles up the road in Hurstpierpoint this was another guest in our local, The Rottingdean Club.
Not too hoppy, not too sweet. My sort of beer and even better that it’s local too. Look forward to another pint sometime. 4.1% A.B.V.
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
What they say: A glorious showcase of the distinct, heavily hopped beers for which Shepherd Neame is famed, India Pale Ale delivers potent bitterness, offset with generous amounts of pale ale malt to deliver a balanced, yet uncompromising brew.
A big thanks to Alison at Twittercamp for giving my the chance to sample this again. A proper strong IPA but as you can see from the label it’s powerful stuff. Nice but go easy and you wont be disappointed – well I wasn't anyway!
Monday, 3 November 2014
An acceptable fuller bodied alternative to the much more widely available Smithwicks. We found this at a bar in Cahir, Co. Tipperary in July 2014. Stronger at 4.6% A.B.V.
What they say: Well, I’m not sure because I haven't as yet been able to find their website. Found this on offer at a bar in Cong, Co. Mayo, Ireland in July. On tap as pretty much all beer is in the Republic of Ireland – it was gassy (obviously) and too pale and flowery for me. An alternative if you get fed up of all the Irish Red ales but we didn’t see it offered anywhere else.
A golden beer whose aroma is dominated by hops that give characteristic citrus notes. Hops and fruit on the palate are balanced by malt and a bitter base. Dry hoppy finish with soft fruit flavours.
Sampled at the Three Horseshoes Inn in Houghton, Cambridgeshire in August 2014. Regulars to Ale Archive will know from reading the above that it’s not my sort of beer. To me it was akin to drinking a vase of flowers. Nothing wrong with it, but the ‘Bitter’ in the name is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion.
What they say: A true award winning best bitter with universal appeal. Tiger Best Bitter is a classic example of getting the perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness. Crystal malt gives the beer its rounded toffee character. Tiger is the Official Beer of the Leicester Tigers.
Have come across this a few times and welcomed the opportunity to sample it again at the Duke of Wellington in Willingham, Cambridgeshire in October 2014.
Couldn't agree more about the balance, this is a truly lovely pint.