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Archive for the ‘Staffordshire’ Category

Site: http://www.freedombrewery.com/our-craft-beers/pioneer

Pilsner, 4.6%
Served at The Royal Oak, Oxford.

A rich lager, with a low level of fine head and little retention. This is a very odd beer. The website describes it as an English take on an American style pilsner, and that seems to be true, insofar as it is somewhere between the style of a pilsner and an English ale. For a lager, this has a surprisingly heavy and malty flavour, with a big and lingering mouth feel coming from the malt. Very little citrus flavours, but I could taste a slight hint of honey type flavours coming through the malt. Fairly high levels of bittering hop, with little aroma, but moderately well balanced. This beer still seems a bit unsure of what style it’s going for – as a lager, it’s far to rich, without the crispness or clean bitterness that you would expect for that style. At the same time, it’s not as full bodied as a classic British ale, so I’m not sure what to make of it. While I generally like odd beers, I don’t think I’ll be looking out for it in the future.

Overall score: 5.5/10

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Site: http://www.titanicbrewery.co.uk/p/our-beers/titanic-brewery-draught-beer-fleet/titanic-beer-captain-smiths.html

Bitter, 5.2%

Comments: A fairly standard strong english bitter. Tan in colour, fine white head and moderate retention. Initial flavours are malt driven, with somewhat sweet crystal malt dominating and hints of treacle. Bittering hop comes in towards the end, and balances out the finish. Even so, the general impression is not particularly impressive. Overall, an unmemorable but not unpleasant beer.

Overall score: 5.5/10

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Site: http://www.titanicbrewery.co.uk/c/our-beers/titanic-brewery-draught-beer-fleet/titanic-beer-stout/

Stout, 4.5%

Comments: I am always dubious about a ‘truly old fashioned stout’ which comes in at under 5% ABV. A dark brown colour, fine white head and some retention.  A grainy and sour aroma, which follows through into the initial flavour. This is predominantly sour, yielding to the bitterness of the dark malts, but without a noticeable hop character. The aftertaste is again sour, with less lingering bitterness than I would expect. Overall, this is a reasonably pleasant porter, but it doesn’t have the weight or depth of flavour to really make it as a stout.

Overall score: 6.0/10 (as a porter)

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Site: http://www.titanicbrewery.co.uk/c/our-beers/titanic-brewery-draught-beer-fleet/titanic-beer-white-star/

Bitter, 4.8%

Comments: A light and slightly summery ale, with plenty of aroma hopping for flavour. Golden straw colour, fine white head and moderate retention. Initial flavours are mainly given by the aroma hopping, with a slightly sweet underlying flavour. Very slight hints of wheat flavours, but only to give a rounded overall flavour. Finish is mainly hop driven, with a bitter but light aftertaste. I could happily drink this on a warm day.

Overall score: 7.0/10

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Site: http://www.burtonbridgebrewery.co.uk/Bottled/Beers/Bramble.shtml

Blackberry Stout, 5%

Comments: A blackberry flavoured stout from Burton Bridge Brewery.  Black colour, fine pale brown head and reasonable retention. The initial flavours are a surprisingly refreshing blend of blackberry and chocolate malt, which gives a definite astringency to the beer.  Fruit flavours are controlled, and blend well with the use of dark malts, but certainly dominate the aroma.  Hopping is limited, as appropriate for something like this, where the malt and fruit already gives enough bitterness and aroma. This is another example of a fruity beer which is not particularly sweet. I’d be happy to return.

Overall score: 6.5/10

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Site: http://www.marstonspedigree.co.uk/home.aspx

Pale Ale, 5%

Comments: A malty english ale, with some bittering and aroma hop. Golden tan colour, fine white head and good retention. Initially quite sweet, with malt flavours dominating early. These gradually fade to give way to some of the hops, giving a degree of bitterness which helps to balance the beer out. I can detect a few slightly odd fermentation aromas, but otherwise the beer is fairly clean. A good beer.

Overall score: 6.5/10

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Addendum: This is beer 150!

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Site: http://www.marstonsbeercompany.co.uk/our_brands/marstons/epa.asp

IPA, 3.6%

Comments: This really shouldn’t be classified as an IPA, no matter what the bottle says. As a golden ale, it’s quite pleasant, with a fine white head and good retention. A sour and not particularly crisp or sparkling mouth feel, Slight malt aromas, and very gentle hop for an IPA. Quite a creamy flavour, with well controlled sweetness. Malt flavours dominate the aftertaste, with little hop remaining. A pleasant enough beer, but certainly not an old-school IPA.

Overall score: 6/10

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