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Archive for the ‘Strong ale’ Category

Site: http://innisandgunn.com/our-beers/favourites/original/

Oak aged beer, 6.6%

This is a sweet and aromatic beer, with a toffee colour, restrained hopping, and little head retention. The first thing that hits you is a sweet beer, but with the specifically malt characteristics masked by the aromas coming from the oak. There’s a definite vanilla and rich honey flavour, and the hopping is only just at the level to cut through the sweetness, leaving a well balanced beer. The aftertaste continues in the same way, with some slightly tart characteristics coming in, but still a fairly sweet finish. I’d be very happy to have this again.

Overall score: 7.0/10

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Site: http://www.knopsbeer.co.uk/home/musselburgh-broke-1

Scottish Ale, 4.5%

A chestnut coloured ale, with little head, and a fully malty character. Everything about this beer is driven by the malt. The aroma is subtle, and mainly comes from the chocolate malt and roasted barley. Initial flavours are remarkably sweet and light, without any of the cloying mouthfeel that one might expect from a malty beer. There’s a vague hint of hop, but most of the bitterness is coming from the dark malts. Even these are quite light, and the aftertaste is more aromatic than dense, with a good mix of sweetness and astringency. Altogether, this is a very nice beer, but somewhat difficult to place. It’s light enough in mouthfeel to have on a warm day, but the darker malt flavours are a bit more punchy than your typical summer pint.

Overall score: 7.0/10

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Site: http://www.sintbernardus.be/en/beers.html#abt12

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

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Site: http://www.shepherdneame.co.uk/our-brands/bottled-ales.aspx

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

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Site: http://www.biereperle.com/nos-bieres

Strong amber ale, 11%

Comments: You know, when you see a beer coming in at 11%, that this is going to be unusual (particularly coming from an English perspective). According to the bottle, this is a 5-continent beer, with european malt, US and NZ hops, Cote d’ivoire Guinea pepper and chinese ginger. Together, this leads to a surprisingly fresh and fruity beer, opaque and amber in colour, with a coarse white head but little retention. Initial flavours are intense, with the heavy sweetness of the malt coming through in force. This is balanced out by the various aromatics, but not by a significant level of bitterness. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter, with the spices still lingering, but not overpowering the beer. I don’t think I could drink this every day, and you certainly wouldn’t want to serve it with fish, but as a dessert beer, it’s brilliant.

Overall score: 8/10

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Site: http://www.biereperle.com/nos-bieres

Brune, 9%

Comments: A Belgian inspired christmas beer, very pleasant, surprisingly easy to drink, and quite mad. Tan colour, opaque due to the yeast in the bottle, pale brown head, fairly coarse and little retention. Initial aromas are mainly from the alcohol and the caramel malts. Initial flavour surprisingly not particularly sweet, but quite sour and grassy. This beer is spiced, but I can’t quite pick out the components of the blend. Sweetness kicks in towards the end, with some vague hop bitterness, but only enough to balance. The finish is sweet and quite mild. Overall, I quite like this, and would be very happy to have it next Christmas.

Overall score: 7.5/10

Thanks to Philippe Artzner (the grandfather of the brewer) for passing this on to me!

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Site: http://www.wadworth.co.uk/ourbeers.html

Strong ale, 5.8%

Comments: A fairly classic british strong ale. Tan colour, fine white head and moderate retention. As might be expected, most of the flavour comes from the heavy malt used, giving a somewhat sweet beer, with plenty of crystal malt characters. Hop is only moderately used, but is enough to largely cut through the sweetness of the beer. Even so, the aftertaste is not particularly dry. I’d be happy to have this if there wasn’t much else, but probably won’t remember it.

Overall score: 6.0/10

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