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Archive for the ‘Cornwall’ Category

Site: http://www.penpontbrewery.co.uk/penpont-brewery-shop/monks-brew-1127-copy/

Abbey style ale, 6.4%

A sweet and fruity beer, with a light mouthfeel and little head. To increase the fruityness, this beer is apparently flavoured with juniper and various spices. The effect is quite clear – the bitterness is very restrained (due to the low level of hopping), and the malty sweetness comes out clearly. Given this is marketing itself as an ‘abbey style ale’ and uses a Belgian yeast, I would have expected quite a lot more sourness; as it is, the balance between sweet and sour flavours is swung definitely in the direction of the malt. Later flavour is a little more tart than the beginning, but I can’t shake the feeling that this is barley water, even though it’s over 6% alcohol. I quite like the flavour of this, but it would be better with a fuller feel, as at the moment it just seems a bit too delicate.

Overall score: 6.5/10

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Site: http://www.staustellbrewery.co.uk/beers/bottled-beers.html

Cornish Lager, 4.8%

Comments: A reasonably well executed lager, without anything particularly memorable. Moderately sweet, and not a particularly sharp or sour flavour. Hops only really come in at the end, with a touch of bittering and the vaguest hint of aroma hop present. Aftertaste is not particularly dry, but is quite clean. Pale yellow in colour, fine white head but no retention. This is in no way a bad beer, but I won’t remember it in a week or two.

Overall score: 6.0/10

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Site: http://www.sharpsbrewery.co.uk/our-beers/chalkys-bite/

Strong ale, 6.8%

Comments: A moderately sweet strong ale, with a clear influence from Belgian lambic. Golden colour, with early head but zero retention. Initial flavours mainly come from aroma hop, which mellows out fairly quickly, giving way to a sweet and somewhat malty beer. Sour fermentation flavours linger throughout, providing balance, but there is not much in the way of bittering (but more than you would expect in a belgian beer). Apparently this is flavoured with wild Cornish fennel, but I can’t taste anything of that sort. Overall I quite like this, but it’s sweeter than I expected. A good beer.

Overall score: 6.5/10

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Site: http://www.staustellbrewery.co.uk/beers/bottled-beers.html

Hefeweizen, 4.8%

Comments: This is a british take on a classic german hefeweizen, and has the classic light colour, a fine head and good retention. Quite controlled on the aromas, which works well, with only hints of banana and vanilla flavours coming through. That being said, the wheat is clearly there, and the characteristic sweetness is noticeable. Very little mouth feel, particularly in the aftertaste, I feel this beer would have been improved by having slightly more malt character and a fuller mouth feel. Little hope, but this is typical and appropriate for the style. Overall a pleasant aromatic beer.

Overall score: 6.5/10

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Site: http://www.staustellbrewery.co.uk/beers/bottled-beers.html

IPA, 5.5%

Comments: This is a light coloured golden ale, with a solid dose of aroma hopping. The bottle describes this as ‘powerfully hopped’, but this only extends to aroma, and the beer itself is quite sweet and not particularly bitter. Initial flavours mainly come from the hopping, which blends very well with the sweetness of the beer. Not as much alcohol or malt characters as in some traditional IPAs, but certainly enough malt to give an interesting character. Very little aftertaste, with the lack of bittering hop noticeable and a sweet finish. If this beer had held up its promise of serious hopping through to the aftertaste, it would be brilliant. As it is, it makes for a very pleasant beer, but not a proper job for an IPA.

Overall score: 6.5/10

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Site: http://www.sharpsbrewery.co.uk/our-beers/doombar/

Bitter, 4.3%

Comments: A tan beer with a fine white head. Very light in flavour, with no clear direction to the beer. A little bittering hop and a very slight malt flavour are present, but this beer is ‘easy drinking’ in the most bland sense of the term. Nothing wrong or memorable here.

Overall score: 5.5/10

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Site: http://www.staustellbrewery.co.uk/beers/cask-beers.html

Served at The White Horse, Oxford

Bitter, 4.2%

Comments: A light tan beer with a fine white head but little retention. Sweet light malt flavours are well balanced by solid use of aroma hopping, giving a reasonably aromatic beer. Bittering hop mainly appears in the aftertaste, leading to a fresh finish. An initially quite sour flavour, with a touch of lemon flavours, but well restrained, and it’s not allowed to overpower the beer. I’ll certainly be willing to have this again.

Overall score: 7.0/10

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