Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Otter – Dark

WP_20170214_14_00_55_ProWhat they say: “At 3.8%, Otter Dark is a traditionally dark brown session beer with a soft mouth feel. The wide range of floor malted barleys deliver a substantial malty base flavour with balanced bitterness from the chocolate…..the traditional English hops ensure this beer is traditional to the Otter stable and deliver fruit and bitterness in the taste with a gentle bitter finish.”

I do love Otter beers and this was no exception though I found it just a little insipid. I’m guessing that I normally associate darker beer with a more full bodied flavour. Nice enough though and easy drinking.

The W G Grace, Bristol. February 2017.

Wickwar – Try Time

WP_20170214_20_56_23_ProWhat they say: “To honour the noble game and to celebrate the RBS 6 Nations, we have brewed a special 3.8% ABV ale fit for champions. Using a front row of 3 world class hops, Styrian Celeia, Fuggle & Challenger; a creative midfield malt duo of Flagon & Crystal, blended with our free running Cotswold water and given that special line out spring from our own unique yeast, Try Time is a golden, full-bodied ale fit for the tournament. It's time for your try.”

The taste certainly belied it’s strength – a great tasting beer in a great pub.

The Nova Scotia, Bristol. February 2017

Moles – Elmo’s

WP_20170214_20_17_33_ProWhat they say: “Medium bodied pale ale. Refreshingly bitter with a fruity spicy aroma from the Williamette hops, balanced by the Maris Otter malted barley leaving a long bitter finish.”

Little did I think that I would be trying a second Moles beer soo soon after the first  - Rucking Mole – but this was equally as enjoyable. Found in a great pub too. 4.4& A.B.V.

The Nova Scotia, Bristol. February 2017.

Loddon – Hullabaloo Best Bitter

WP_20170212_13_04_22_ProWhat they say: “Rich, nutty and malty with a dry hop finish….English Fuggles impart a dry, herby bitterness which is balanced by the distinctly biscuity flavour of Crystal and Amber malts..”

Ever since I had my first Loddon beer – the excellent Hoppit back at the end of 2013 - I’ve wanted to try another one. This didn’t disappoint although it wasn’t crystal clear and was coming to the end of it’s life – or cask. Or maybe both. Looking forward to trying it in better condition. 4.2% A.B.V

The V-Shed, Bristol. February 2017

Butcombe – Union

WP_20170211_19_19_43_ProWhat they say: “They called the winter of ‘78 ‘the winter of discontent’. Widespread strikes across the public sector brought the country to a standstill as workers fought for their rights. To mark this tumultuous period of British history, we’ve created a beer for the people…..fruity, smooth and packed with Super Pride hops, this beer is strikingly good and very sessionable. This Pacific Ale keeps the bitterness low and lets the aromatics shine through with every single sip.”

From their ‘78 range – the year Butcombe began brewing. Strong stuff but I didn’t find it too hoppy. The first new beer on our stay in Bristol. 4.8% A.B.V.

The Cottage Inn, Bristol. February 2017.

Moles – Rucking Mole

WP_20170128_13_42_39_ProWhat they say: “A chestnut coloured premium ale, using the traditional Maris Otter English malt, with Fuggles and Goldings hops; fruity and malty with a smooth bitter finish”

Another welcome guest at our local from the Wiltshire based brewery. Not too fruity – a nice balance of flavours. 4.5% A.B.V.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. January 2017

Belhaven – Robert Burns Ale

WP_20170128_13_11_15_ProWhat they say: “Our tribute to The Bard is a classic, malty Scottish ale…..brewed with 100% Scottish barley for a rich, toffee-malty flavour……great with stews, sausages and of course, the perfect accompaniment to haggis”

The latest to guest in our local and a very welcome one too. Belhaven is owned by Suffolk’s Greene King but this is still brewed in Scotland. A lovely pint. 4.2% A.B.V

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. January 2017

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Rochefort - 6

WP_20170122_20_58_28_ProWhat they say: “This beer, the oldest of the three Rochefort Trappist beers, has the reddish colour of autumn leaves, a soft body and an earthy, herbal palate (a hint of Darjeeling tea), which develops into a deep fruitiness.”

My last taste of 2016 was a Trappist beer so it seemed apt that the first of 2017 would be too. Another one packed full of flavour – and alcohol. Not one to be sloshed back in a session but very enjoyable indeed. 7.5% A.B.V.

January 2017

Nethergate – Stour Valley Gold

WP_20170113_22_11_14_ProWhat they say: “A smooth and refreshing golden ale brewed with citrus hops. It has a lovely fresh zingy aroma with a touch of spice early on and a gentle bitterness at the end.”

Another one at the excellent Jolly Brewers in Milton that keeps an ever changing selection of real ales. Again, a bit hoppy for me but not overpoweringly so. Nice on a hot summers night I would imagine. 4.2% A.B.V

The Jolly Brewers, Milton, Cambridgeshire. January 2017

Sadlers – One Stop Hop

WP_20170113_22_10_58_ProWhat they say: “…….pale ale, single hopped with the East Kent Goldings variety which provides a subtle bitterness and a citrus floral finish.”

A collaboration with Greene King to celebrate the hop harvest in September and I really liked this – the fruity finish certainly wasn’t overpowering and it wasn’t too hoppy for my fussy taste buds either. 4.3% A.B.V

The Jolly Brewers, Milton, Cambridgeshire. January 2017

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Milton Brewery – Sparta

WP_20170114_20_13_47_ProWhat they say: “Refreshing pale bitter. Packed with hop flavours and crisp bitterness. Part of the Ancient Cities range of beers.”

A bit too hoppy for me but otherwise a nice flavour. One of the joys of travelling is that you get to try beers that don’t get on the national circuit. This particular visit to Cambridgeshire was to see Trev’s Mum who was not too well at the time. We chose to stay at a pub rather than the cheap but bland Travelodge and was able to indulge in some unscheduled ‘research’ as a result! Brewed just a few miles away and I hope subsequent visits will give us the chance to try more from their range.

The Jolly Brewers, Milton, Cambridgeshire. January 2017