One woman's ale journey

A beery boozy journey with delightful snacks along the way and a book in my hand.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Adnams Lighthouse

Oh this gets top marks for beauty: a light amber, toffee coloured ale with a perfect creamy head, but will it taste as good as it looks?

It has a very hoppy aroma and smelling predominantly sour and metallic, it doesn't really smell very appetising but on to the taste...

The blend of malt and hops makes this a crisp, dry and refreshing ale; I was surprised that I didn't pick up any metallic taste with it featuring so much in the aroma.  It's quite fizzy and a little oily in the mouth with a subtle citrus bitterness in the aftertaste.

With just enough malts scraping through to make it quite an enjoyable bitter but, at a paltry 3.4% ABV, it wouldn't be one I would necessarily recommend to bitter lovers, however, I think it would be a perfect crisp, refreshing and thirst quenching drink on a summer's day more suited to pale ale fans.

Brewed by Adnams, Suffolk
3.4% ABV

My rating:

Sunday, 20 January 2019

St Austell Proper Job

A traditional looking IPA; deep golden yellow with a slightly off-white frothy head.  There is a bit of sediment in the bottle so you have to pour it slowly and carefully to get a lovely clear ale.  The head is amazingly robust and lasts right down to the last drop.

There isn't a strong aroma but what comes through are yellow fruits; predominantly lemon, grapefruit and pineapple.  As you know, I'm not a fan of the very citrussy beers so this is nice and subtle and not off-putting at all.

I was really surprised with the taste as it is a lot sweeter than I expected.  It's an IPA so it is citrussy but the sweetness takes the edge off it perfectly.  The aftertaste is also quite pleasant; it's bitter as expected but is more juicy grapefruit than lemon squeezy washing up liquid, so that gets a thumbs up from me.  It's quite fizzy in the mouth; tickling the tongue like sherbet.

It's not often I really enjoy an IPA but I really liked this one.  As St Austell have used American hops instead of the traditional Citra hops, the sweetness counteracts the bitterness and blends perfectly to create a very palatable drink for this dark ale lover.

Brewed by St. Austell Brewery, Cornwall
5.5% ABV

My rating:

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Brakspear Hoppy Holidays

What a vision of coppery loveliness!  This is a beautiful molten toffee copper coloured ale with a very robust, tight cream head.  The head appears so smooth, very much like a Guinness.

It's well named 'Hoppy Holidays' as the initial aroma of hops and sweet malts gives way to delicious Christmassy smells of red berries and a touch of cinnamon spiciness.  The taste is surprisingly bitter with a hint of lemon coming through after the first burst of toffee and malt biscuits.  I noticed the bitter citrus less as I drank it and the smooth malty flavours intensified.  It's softly carbonated giving a smooth but slightly thin feel and that oh so impressive head clings on for dear life right until the very last drop.

I have to say that I do love the honey bee caps on Brakspear ales, so I had to take a photo to share with you if you haven't seen one.

Smooth and malty, I wouldn't call it a Christmas ale but I'd definitely have another one if I was looking for a light bitter.

Brewed by Brakspear, Oxfordshire
4% ABV

My rating:

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Magic Rock Dark Arts

I love the crazy Pac-Man style images on the can of this stout by Magic Rock Brewing and the stout looks pretty amazing too.  It's dark and almost black, apart from a ruby tinge when you hold it up to the light, and it has a tight dark beige head as you would expect from a classic stout.

The aroma is out of this world; predominately chocolate and malt with a slight whiff of freshly brewed coffee.  The taste, however, is even better as you experience a huge dose of liquorice and malt followed by bitter chocolate and sweet bramble fruits.  Lightly carbonated, it has a very smooth feel and slips down far too easily for its strong ABV of 6.0%.  Despite the head being small, it leaves good lacing on the glass.

Dark Arts gives Guinness a run for its money in the stout stakes.  It's lighter and fizzier than Guinness but much tastier.  I loved the intense maltiness and Ale Be Seeing You Again, Dark Arts!

Brewed by Magic Rock Brewing, Huddersfield
6.0% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Magic Rock Brewing

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Wychwood King Goblin

I do think that you are always guaranteed a good beer from Wychwood and King Goblin is no exception.  I love the look of this one: a warm amber, ruby tinged colour topped off with a loose beige head, however, the head does disappear quite quickly, leaving a thin foamy layer.

There isn't a strong aroma, although what I could smell reminded me of dark red fruits, sweet malts and warm spices.  It's quite fizzy to start with but it has a lovely treacle taste and a liquorice aftertaste.  The taste of sweet black treacle lingers on the tongue until your next mouthful...and in my case, I didn't have long to wait.

It's a shame the head didn't last very long at all as it gives it a flat appearance which belies the yummy taste you're about to experience.  For me, King Goblin was absolutely divine and Ale Be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by Wychwood, Oxfordshire
6.6% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Wychwood Brewery

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Wadworth 6X

Just my kind of colour!  A beautiful dark copper coloured amber ale with a thick frothy cream head that, despite first appearances, disappears to a thin layer.  It has a mouthwatering aroma of fruit and sweet malts with a slight hint of hops so I couldn't wait to dive in.

I was certainly not disappointed as the sublime malty flavour exploded on my tongue.  The bitterness of the hops is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the malts, which left a very pleasant sweet aftertaste.  The carbonation is perfect for an amber ale with gentle bubbles giving a very smooth feel as it slips down far too easily.

Wadworth 6X really surprised me; I think I was perhaps a little guilty of judging a book by its cover as the label did nothing to entice me.  6X can be perfectly described by 2 idioms (is it just me that thinks of the 2 silly bulls moment in Blackadder whenever I think of grammatical nouns?).  Anyway, the two very apt idioms I was thinking of are: appearances can be deceptive and it's what's inside that counts.

Ale be delighted to see Wadworth 6X again!

Brewed by Wadworth Brewery, Wiltshire
4.3% ABV

My rating:

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Hadrian Border Brewery Tyneside Blonde

A pale golden ale with very energetic bubbles that rush to the surface to maintain the little white head right to the end.  It doesn't have a strong aroma but there's a definite whiff of hops and sweet malts with a hint of banana.

There is a subtle mix of flavours as the tangy hops mix with the sweet malt.  It doesn't have a strong taste as it's only a 3.9% ABV ale but it does have a nice bitter aftertaste.  The bitterness has a lovely dry finish with no hint of citrus as the tongue tingling bubbles burst on your tongue.  It is quite fizzy and relatively thin and would get a rating of 'canny' (not bad) here in the North East as opposed to 'belter' (top notch) for a five star ale.

Brewed by Hadrian Border Brewery, Newcastle upon Tyne
3.9% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Hadrian Border Brewery