One woman's ale journey

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

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

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Wainwright The Golden Beer

As you would expect from a golden beer, this is a perfect light molten gold colour with a thin loose white head that disperses to a thin film.  On opening, there is a very strong smell of hops but also a hint of sweet fruit that made me think of pineapple.  I also got a strange whiff of dirty water like you often get with Shepherd Neame ales.

I was really surprised by the depth of flavour: an initial smooth, sweet taste mixed with fresh cut grass and straw is followed by a strong hoppy aftertaste with a hint of liquorice.  The aftertaste reminded me of strong hoppy beers like Stones.

It's so softly carbonated that it tickles the tongue and the beer itself has good body and isn't too thin.  I loved the beery taste but the dirty water smell put me off a bit and knocked one pint off what would have been a five pint rating.

Brewed by Marstons, Wolverhampton
4.1% ABV

My rating: