One woman's ale journey

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

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Hadrian Border Newcastle Commercials

A different Newcastle brown ale to the famous one brewed and mass produced by S&N, this ale from Hadrian Border brewery was brewed to commemorate the centenary of World War I and some of the proceeds are going towards events planned to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of the great war in 2018.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

This is a deep chestnut brown ale with a small but thick frothy beige head.  It has an amazing malty, chocolate and treacle aroma that is replicated in the lovely taste.  It has a slightly bitter aftertaste once the maltiness wears off but that's easily dealt with by taking another sip, and this delicious addictive beer encourages you to do so.  

It's softly carbonated making it a very smooth drink with the thick head remaining until the end, leaving heavy lacing on the glass.  With malty sweetness, chocolate hints and a citrus burst at the end, it is indeed a fitting ale for heroes.

A very nice brown ale and, although it was a limited edition, it bears a striking similarity to Hadrian Border Brewery's Tyneside Brown so I do believe that Ale Be Seeing You Again.

Brewed by Hadrian Border Brewery, Newcastle upon Tyne
4.7% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Hadrian Border Brewery

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Bath Ales Gem

This is a fabulous deep amber, toffee coloured ale with a subtle aroma of hops and malt that almost smells like you have a glass of rich melted toffee.  There's not much head to write home about and what is there very quickly disappears leaving a flat looking ale.  Like I would never judge a book by its cover, I wouldn't judge a beer on appearance alone so let's dive in for a taste.

There isn't really a predominant taste, it's all very subtle.  It's equally sweet to start and bitter to finish with a slight spicy/floral hint throughout.  Now and again I get a hint of bread or biscuit but it's all so very subtle that no sooner have I tasted it than it has gone.  It's a very smooth ale but it just feels as if it should be more carbonated almost as if it's been open too long, making it slightly flat.  

It's a bit of a ghost of a beer so just a 3 pint rating from me, which is slightly disappointing as I was looking forward to this one.  It just needs a bit more oomph!

Brewed by Bath Ales, Warmley
4.8% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Bath Ales

Monday, 17 April 2017

Brains Welsh Golden Ale

A traditional looking beer - a lovely deep golden body with a frothy white head.  The head does disappear but it leaves just enough to remind you it is there.  There is a bit of sediment in this one, so I poured carefully to minimise the cloudiness.

It smells of citrus fruits and hops, kind of like an IPA mixed with a bitter.  The carbonation is excellent, with bubbles bursting on your tongue to leave bitter grapefruit notes.  It has a subtle hop flavour, resulting in a crisp, refreshing beer.

Brewed for Marks and Spencer by S.A. Brain & Co, Cardiff
4.6% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at S.A. Brain & Co Brewery

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Wychwood Imperial Red

I do love my ruby ales and on today's menu we have Imperial Red from Wychwood.  With red in the name, it was no surprise to see a glorious ruby hued beer flow out of the bottle with a small, but thick, beige head.

It has a sweet malty smell with a hint of a metallic aroma, almost as if you were smelling a bloody battlefield inhabited by the warrior on the label.  The taste is something that my tastebuds enjoy: a mixture of toffee, malt and something I can only describe as a red liquorice laces aftertaste.

Fizzy and tasty, it's a really enjoyably ruby and Ale Be Seeing You Again.

Brewed by Wychwood, Oxfordshire
4.7% ABV

My rating:

Friday, 17 March 2017

Guinness Original

Well we couldn't celebrate St. Patrick's Day without a little drop of the black stuff, not that I need an excuse to have a little drink of Guinness.  I usually have a few cans in stock but this one came with a Christmas gift and I do like my bottled beer.

I feel a bit cheeky reviewing Guinness, it's always a guaranteed 5 out of 5 or 10 out of 10 but what makes it so special?  It's that black as coal look with the thick beige head that not even a scrubbing brush could remove.  It has a quite unique dark treacle, sweet molasses, liquorice and earthy smell that cries out to be tasted.

Guinness really is as smooth as velvet with a dark chocolate, treacle and liquorice taste.  It is the original and the best with the most amazing head in the world that laces the hell out of the glass.

I'm not going to ramble on too much, who doesn't love Guinness?  If you haven't tried it, you must have been living on the moon.  With a fridge full of handsome black cans, this is one I can definitely say Ale Be Seeing Again!

Brewed by Guinness, Dublin
4.2% ABV

Friday, 10 March 2017

Woodforde's Norfolk Bitter

Now this is what I like to see!  A lovely toffee amber colour and a thick white head.  It has a slightly hoppy fruity sweet smell and absolutely no sign of sediment, despite the bottle referring to it. 

This Norfolk bitter is a top class bitter without even a hint of a metallic aftertaste. It has just the right amount of carbonation as a rush of bubbles fizz across the tongue, bubbles that burst with an explosion of delicious malty fruitiness.  All that's missing is a smoking jacket and a roaring fire.

Brewed by Woodforde's, Norfolk
4.5% ABV

My rating:
Norfolk Bitter is specially brewed for Marks & Spencer but you can find out more at Woodforde's Brewery.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Brains The Rev. James Rye

There is an amazing malty treacle smell as this tasty-looking ruby ale is poured.  Added to the fabulous ruby colour is a thick beige head that doesn't lose any of its body at all.  It is the closest I've ever seen to a Guinness style head.

Sadly, the taste is not what I imagined at all; it has an unexpected bitter and slightly metallic taste with a strong grapefruity aftertaste that lingers a bit too long for my liking.  The head is simply amazing though and what head that does disperse actually sticks to the side of the glass.

Thumbs up for the head and aroma but let down by the unexpectedly bitter and metallic taste.

My rating:

Find out more at Brains Brewery