Tuesday, 14 November 2017

500: Harvey’s - IPA

20171028_203505What they say: “IPA was once a mainstay brand of countless traditional breweries. Often referred to as ‘ordinary bitter’ by way of differentiation, there is little that is ordinary about it. Premium malted barleys and local aroma hops combine to create a beer that is light and refreshing. Fragrant hop flavours impart a full but delicate bitterness to this classic table beer………….Light and refreshing. Delicate, grassy and earthy hop aroma. Bitter and balanced malt flavours.”

The 500th entry into the Archive is brewed just a few miles away and is a stablemate to the excellent Sussex Best Bitter – one of my all time favourites. Light & refreshing it certainly was and was a pleasant ‘school night’ treat thanks to the lower alcohol content. Served a bit colder would make a nice summer ale too.

3.5% A.B.V. October 2017

499: Caledonian – Edinburgh Castle

20171027_193901What they say: “We shook hands and made the deal with Historic Scotland, allowing us to use the world-famous landmark and its name for our 80 Shilling Ale. Without doubt, this is an Edinburgh icon both inside and out……Since the 1880s beer brewed in Scotland had been categorised by the shilling wholesale price per hogshead. The shilling system is one of Scotland’s contributions to brewing history. Edinburgh Castle writes another delicious page in that history…….Brewed with no less than five malts this russet brown classic has a malty caramel and fruity aroma and a superb creamy head. Its complex bittersweet and satisfying malt flavours deliver a soft hoppy finish that’s dry and spicy…….This malty Scottish ale is well suited to great pub food, especially red meat dishes, pies and broths. Smooth, creamy and very easy on the palate, this is a satisfying long drink that hits the mark.”

Yep, that fruityness was a bit off putting for me and it was more hoppy than my awkward palate prefers. Clearly the long journey south didn’t do it any harm though – it was in excellent condition. 4.1% A.B.V

The Swan Inn, Denham, Buckinghamshire. October 2017

498: Rebellion – Smuggler

20171027_185118What they say: “An amber coloured, special bitter with a distinctive fruity hop character, and lasting bittersweet finish…..91% Maris Otter pale ale malt, plus crystal & chocolate malts in the mash tun….English Fuggles & Goldings hops in the copper….Late addition American Cascade and Amarillo hops in the hop-back for aroma.”

That fruit hop carry on, although subtle meant that I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as their IPA – still a nice pint though. 4.2% A.B.V.

The Green Man, Denham, Buckinghamshire. October 2017

Sunday, 12 November 2017

497: Rebellion – IPA

20171025_195705What they say: A copper coloured, easy drinking beer. Well balanced malt and hop flavours continue to a long, refreshing and clean finish…….92% Maris Otter pale ale malt, plus crystal & chocolate malts in the mash tun……English Fuggles & Goldings hops in the copper……..ate addition Styrian Goldings in the hop-back for aroma.”

Loved this. Perhaps not a true IPA but a nice combination of flavours – a good basic bitter that was, as they say, easy drinking. Just 3.7% A.B.V but really tasty. Local too – brewed just a few miles away.

The Oaks, West Hyde, Hertfordshire. October 2017

Saturday, 11 November 2017

496: Caledonian – Poltergeist Porter

20171025_195530What they say? Well, nothing on Caledonians’ website sadly but this seemed a fair description: “Dark brown full bodied with smoky, nutty and biscuit chocolate. “

Loved this. Reminded me a bit of Smoke Stack Stout – but a little less smoky. The opportunity came up to try it again when it appeared locally and I happily took it. Always a great time of year for these dark ales. 4% A.B.V.

The Oaks, West Hyde, Hertfordshire. October 2017.

495: Exmoor – Fox

20171017_194116What they say: “As subtle as the creature after which it is named, this is one of Exmoor Brewery’s most popular ales. Four malts are mixed in the mash tun and deliver a graceful and sleek malty mouthfeel. Hops are Goldings, producing a burst of delicate citrus and slight spice on the mid-palate, and Progress, which soothes the finish with a soft bitterness, while more malt comes forth to produce a delicious and lingering bittersweet character….It would be a crime to swamp this beer with fiery flavours or big bruising dishes. Instead, let the self-possessed bittersweetness work its magic with fragrant Thai and Chinese dishes, such as Singaporean noodles and sweet and sour pork.”

Not tried this with food but will happily agree with the rest – a well rounded ale from this popular brewery from the south-west. 4.2% A.B.V.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. October 2017.

494: Long Man – Old Man

20171017_194106cyclops-old-manWhat they say: “This original dark beer has soft malt notes of coffee and chocolate that combine with a pleasant light hoppiness to create a rich, full tasting Old Ale of times gone by.”

Oh my this was nice. Not too sweet for my fussy palate and the combination of flavours worked well for me.  Brewed just a few miles up the road too.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. October 2017

Sunday, 5 November 2017

493: Lord Conrad’s – Lobster Licker

20171014_223632What they say: “A red ale with a hint of America hops”

Just a hint, thankfully. Enjoyed this and the brewery certainly come up with some great names for their beers too. 4.2% A.B.V

The Jolly Brewers, Milton, Cambridgeshire. October 2017

492: York Brewery – Otherside IPA

20171014_214212What they say: “An International Brewing Awards 2017 Silver category award winner, Otherside IPA is a Maris Otter pacific pale ale packed full of antipodean promise. We’ve selected four of the best New Zealand grown hops to provide a feast for the taste buds. Expect a host of tropical fruit notes against a background of citrus and pine from dry hopping with Motueka.”

Not for me this – there was nothing wrong with it – clear and bright but just too hoppy and fruity for me. Good to see variety though at this great pub that always has a great selection of real ales. 4.5% A.B.V

The Jolly Brewers, Milton, Cambridgeshire. October 2017

491: Fuller’s – Oliver’s Island

20171014_202007What they say: “The latest Fuller’s ale to make its bow, Oliver’s Island is a crisp, thirst quenching beer that draws inspiration from a local landmark. Every day, rowers glide serenely past the Griffin Brewery towards the island in the Thames - reminding us just what can be achieved by pulling together…”

Ok, so golden ales are not my favourites but this offering from dear old Fuller’s was delicious – but then I don’t recall having a bad beer from them anyway. The citrus and florals were kept well in check. 3.8% A.B.V

The Lion & Lamb, Milton, Cambridgeshire. October 2017