Thursday, 31 December 2015

Cliff Quay – Seadog

WP_20151223_20_08_09_ProWhat they say: “A strong Pale ale with a light amber colour. Brewed with lashings of hops to produce a balanced but drinkable strong pale ale, with a prominent floral fruity aroma, a clean malty palate and a satisfying crisp bitter finish. Ha ha me hearties!”

Well, the very last entry of 2015 is from Suffolk, and was sadly disappointing, because on opening it was as flat as a pancake, so it’s not fair to pass judgement on it. Will track another down at some point.

So that’s it for now. Happy New Year Everyone. Here’s to 2016 and a busy year of ‘research’.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Earl Soham – Victoria Bitter (mini-cask)

WP_20151223_09_49_31_ProWhat they say? Well nothing. As I’ve mentioned before, this great  brewery from Suffolk don’t muck about with flashy websites. They just brew beer. Have tried the cask version – and loving it, the mini-cask didn’t disappoint either. Very easy to set up too. A very fine pint indeed. 3.6% A.B.V.

Gadds – Little Cracker

IMAG0356What they say: “Our yule special is crafted with crystalised rye malt for a bright red berry flavour and well bittered with a melange of the spicier Kent hops to lend a distinctively festive character to this unique ale”

Well, I certainly got the bitter but didn’t pick up very much of the red berry flavour. It didn’t taste as ‘Christmasy’ as I expected, but a perfectly drinkable pint. 5.0% A.B.V.

The Red Lion, Ramsgate, Kent. December 2015

Gadds – No.5 Best Bitter

IMAG0357What they say: “The aroma is toffee malt and fresh green hops with a full body and lingering bitter finish”

I was so pleased to come across this on or first ‘research’ expedition whilst staying in Ramsgate. I’d already tried the bottled version back in March and that was lovely – read my entry HERE. I wasnt disappaointed in the cask version either, it was as I remembered it – very tasty indeed. At 4.5% A.B.V it was full of flavour but not one to be taken too lightly.

Sir Stanley Gray, Ramsgate, Kent. December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Earl Soham – Brandeston Gold

WP_20151223_20_07_54_ProWhat they say? There’s not much on the brewery website at all – but then this is a small local brewery who clearly concentrate their efforts on brewing. www.guestales.co.uk say this though: “A burnished gold coloured beer, full-bodied with a warming fruity aroma and a deep resinous malt flavour. Uses barley grown for the brewery at Brandeston.”

I’m not a particular fan of golden ales as regulars will know, but I liked this one. I didn’t find it too citrusy or flowery like some golds. Another great find from our time in Suffolk. 4.5% A.B.V

The brewery shop, Debenham, Suffolk. December 2015.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Cliff Quay – Bitter

WP_20151218_21_12_26_ProWhat they say: “Brewed with pale, crystal and black malts, this is an amber coloured classic bitter beer. It has a glorious fragrant honey sweet aroma with hints of citrus fruits. Deep malty depths of flavour and hints of marmalade and toffee balanced with a refreshing bitterness combine to produce a satisfying drinkable beer.“

Originally brewed on the site of the old Tolly Cobbold brewery in Ipswich by this relatively young (2009) Brewery – but don’t let that put you off. It’s taste belied it’s strength and this was a very drinkable beer indeed. And at just 3.4% A.B.V it’s not going to have you reaching for the paracetamol too often.

Earl Soham brewery shop, Debenham, Suffolk. December 2015

Earl Soham – Sir Roger’s Porter

IMAG0252What they say? Again nothing on the brewery’s web site, but www.perfectpint.co.uk quote this: “Black, full bodied and can be sweet. Brewed using pale malt, crystal malt, chocolate malt, and roasted barley, with mostly Fuggles hops and a few Goldings.”

Not my usual ale of choice but I do like a porter every so often and this one didn’t disappoint. Like it’s stablemate Victoria Bitter, sampled just around the corner from the brewery so it was in excellent condition. 4.2% A.B.V

The Woolpack, Debenham, Suffolk. December 2015

Earl Soham – Victoria Bitter

IMAG0249What they say? Well, not a lot on their website but the chaps as www.perfectpint.co.uk quote this: “ Light, hoppy and bitter. Brewed using a standard pale malt and crystal malt mix with Goldings and Fuggles hops.”

Well, I didn’t find it too hoppy, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed it, helped no doubt by the fact that it was brewed about half a mile up the road from where we were drinking it. A great beer from this local Suffolk Brewer and at 3.6% A.B.V not to strong either.

The Wooldpack, Debenham, Suffolk. December 2015

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Greene King – Suffolk Springer

WP_20151214_16_43_19_ProWhat they say? Well, I couldn’t find a single mention of it on Greene King’s website. However, this is the description on www.ratebeer.com “A 6% abv dark ale is created using a traditional brewing method of making two beers of different character and strength, which are then blended together. The beer takes its name from the racing term ’Springer’, a racehorse whose odds dramatically shorten before the race. “

Ok, that don’t tell you too much but what we have is a premium dark ale that went down quite well – perhaps too well for something approaching double the strength of a lot of beers. A nice winter warmer but I didn’t find it particularly outstanding. December 2015

Monday, 21 December 2015

Woodforde’s - Wherry

WP_20151215_13_38_41_ProWhat they say: “Fresh and zesty with crisp floral flavours. A background of sweet malt and a hoppy 'grapefruit' bitter finish characterises this champion bitter.”

Not sure about the grapefruit bit but nevertheless this is a lovely pint from the popular Norfolk brewery, sampled over the border in Suffolk on the first ‘research’ expedition of our winter getaway. I’m sure I’ve had it before but it must have been before the Ale Archive was born. Nothing fancy but a good drinkable session bitter. 3.8% A.B.V

The Highwayman, Suffolk. December 2015.

White Horse – Champion the Wonder Horse

WP_20151211_19_26_18_ProWhat they say: “A deep rich red beer with a dominant roasted character, and a smooth biscuit aftertaste on the palate.”

Another nice pint guesting at the same time as the Inn Keeper from Long Man at our local. On balance that was still my favourite and this didn’t quite pass the Harveys Sussex Best test but it was a nice pint all the same. 4.5% A.B.V. Our last pint in our local before we headed off on our travels for Christmas.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. December 2015.

Long Man – Inn Keeper

WP_20151211_19_26_11_ProWhat they say: “A fruity winter ale with a deep red hue and delicious warming flavours from a blend of six speciality malts that combine with festive fruit aromas and balanced bitterness to finish.”

Oh yum. Yum yum yum. Yes, I loved this, and would happily drink this all the time. These winter warmer style ales can sometimes be excessively sweet and fruity. This wasn’t, it was just gorgeous. The latest to guest at our local, it passed the Harvey Sussex Best test – yes I would swap to this. Another local brewery too, so even better.

The Rottingdean Club, Sussex. December 2015

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Glamorgan – Bluestone Bitter/Cwrw Gorslas

WP_20151128_18_57_48_Pro What they say: “A bitter with an accomplished balance of spicy resinous hop aroma. The bitterness remains into the finish with dry fruit notes alongside subtle undertones of roasted flavours. Known as Bluestone Bitter in England and Cwrw Gorslas in Wales”

I am grateful to the website www.ratebeer.com for the above as I couldn’t find a listing for Bluestone Bitter on the brewery’s website. Another guest at our local this was a lovely pint – everything I enjoyed about a beer. It has ousted – temporarily the regular and always excellent Harveys Best as my ale of choice. 4.0% A.B.V so not too potent, but very enjoyable indeed.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. November 2015