So, as a new-years resolution, I have decided to start a blog about the beer I drink. Given my current location, most of these beers will probably be from southern England, and so will be English ales.
The blog style is something that will hopefully develop organically as I start writing reviews, so I’m not going to dictate at this point how it is going to work. The only thing I will post is the beer grading system, which is based on that used by the Adelaide Uni Stein Club.
10. The holy grail of beer. Only one or two beers worldwide, if that many, would fall into this category.
9. An extraordinary beer. You would travel to get this beer. Price is unlikely to be an issue.
8. An extremely good beer. You would go out of your way to look for this beer.
7. A very good beer. You would select this beer over other alternatives, and its presence would influence your opinion of the pub serving it.
6. A good beer. You would choose this over alternatives, but probably not remember where you found it.
5. An ok beer. You would be happy to accept this if it was offered to you, or if there were no alternatives.
4. A mediocre beer. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and this beer would fall into that category.
3. A poor beer. You would be unwilling to drink this without very good reason.
2. A bad beer. You would not drink this.
1. Horse piss. You have tasted equine urine, and have found it preferable to the beer in question.
0. Not beer.
Posted in Admin | 12 Comments »
Strong abbey ale, 10%
Comments: A fairly classic high alcohol Belgian beer, with a reasonably well balanced flavour. Dark in colour, fine off-white head and some retention. Initial flavours are very mellow, with no noticeable hop aroma, and the sourness of the malt only coming after the initial taste. The slightly fruity characteristics develop with the sourness, but the end result is still somewhat lethargic. This could be very good if you want a strong but not too aggressive beer. This is certainly not a bad beer, but probably won’t be remembered given the competition in the Belgian Trappist style.
Overall score: 6.5/10
Posted in Belgium, St Bernardus, Strong ale, Trappist ale | 1 Comment »
Strong ale, 6.5%
Comments: A british strong ale, tan colour, fine white head and moderate retention. Initial flavours are mainly driven by the crystal malt, which gives a beer with a full body and reasonable sweetness. Apparently this beer is triple hopped, but this is only just enough to cut through the malt, however is present very early on and in the aftertaste. The finish is quite lingering, with the intensity of the sweetness feeling uncontrolled, even with the bitter flavours from the hop. This is not a bad beer, but will certainly not be a favourite.
Overall score: 5.5/10
Posted in Kent, Shepherd Neame, Strong ale | Leave a Comment »
Comments: A cloudy straw coloured beer, with fine head but no retention (as expected for a wheat beer). Quite a sweet flavour, with most of the character coming from the wheat - some passionfruit aromas but no banana. A slightly peppery aftertaste, but little mouth feel. Not unpleasant, but certainly not the height of American brewing.
Overall score: 5.5/10
Posted in New York, Ommegang, Witbier | Leave a Comment »
`Farmhouse saison’, 7.7%
Comments: A slightly cloudy beer, golden straw coloured with a somewhat coarse white head an moderate retention. Stylistically this is clearly aiming at Belgium, but with a higher hop level than is common in Belgian beers. Sweet and fruity in the afterstate, but quite high carbonation and a correspondingly harsh mouth feel. A dry but not clean aftertaste, this is not the best representative of the style.
Overall score: 5.5/10
Posted in Blonde, New York, Ommegang | Leave a Comment »
Golden bitter, 3.9%
Comments: A golden bitter, clearly aiming at a lager drinking market. Dominated by aroma hops, but with a few odd fermentation aromas. Overall, I found this to be not a particularly crisp beer, with wet lettuce coming to mind. Aftertaste is again dominated by the aroma hop. Not a memorable beer.
Overall score 5.0/10
Posted in Bitter/Mild, Cumberland, Jennings | Leave a Comment »
Comments: A dark beer, in the European overbrewed style. Quite aromatic, with the belgian wheat sourness coming in clearly, and not much in the way of roasted malt flavours. The malt is the main flavour here, however due to the high alcohol and triple fermentation, the beer is not overly sweet, even with the caramel and toffee characters which come quickly to the fore. I can’t really detect much hop, but the malt is enough to keep the flavour going to the end. A very good beer, but I think I prefer the Delirium tremens.
Overall score: 7.0/10
Posted in Belgium, Huyghe, Score 7+, Trappist ale, Tripel/Quadrupel | 1 Comment »
Ruby Ale, 5.0%
Comments: A fairly classic english bitter, brewed by Marston’s at the Wychwood brewery, then sold under the Waitrose ‘Duchy Originals’ label. Light tan colour, with coarse white head and little retention. Initial impression is of a very sweet beer, with some malt characters to back it up. Hopping is limited, with a touch of aroma detectable, and bittering only to balance out the sweetness. The overall effect is moderately fruity and sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. This is a perfectly reasonable beer, but I doubt Waitrose will become known for their brewing.
Overall score: 6.0/10
Posted in Duchy Originals, Marston's, Oxfordshire, Red ale | 1 Comment »