One woman's ale journey

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

Monday, 6 July 2020

Tiny Rebel Peaches and Cream

Award winning Welsh brewers, Tiny Rebel, are well known for inventive and original beers.  If you like your beer to taste of beer, then Tiny Rebel aren't for you but if you like something new and different then they're right up your street,

I set out on my Tiny Rebel journey with a can of Peaches and Cream that I bought from Block & Bottle in Gateshead (before they moved over the Tyne to Newcastle).  

As soon as you crack open the can there is no mistaking that this a peach flavoured beer; the smell of sweet peaches really couldn't be more peachy if it was an actual peach itself.  It does smell absolutely amazing; it's like a cross between a bowl of freshly cut peaches and an old fashioned peach melba (when they were orange instead of yellow).  Could it BE more peachy?

When it is poured it is a hazy yellowy orange colour with an amazing tight and frothy cream coloured head.  This is the best head I have ever seen on an IPA; it lasts right to the end and clings to the sides of the glass in foamy clumps.

I have to admit to being a little nervous as I moved in for my first sip.  It smells so intensely peachy that I worried it would be more of a peach juice than a beer but Tiny Rebel sure know what they're doing.  It's not as strongly peach flavoured as I expected, but the peach flavour is definitely there along with a creaminess that I can only describe as clotted cream ice cream.  

The sweet fruit flavour makes it a very refreshing drink and the added cream flavour makes it feel rich and decadent like a very special treat.  It's medium bodied and well carbonated but feels oddly smooth due to the creaminess.

Tiny Rebel have really hit it out of the park with this one; it's absolutely divine and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for it being brewed again.  It is exactly what it says on the tin so steer clear if you don't like peaches.  I'm counting this as 1 of my 5 a day so Ale definitely be Seeing Peaches and Cream again!

Brewed by Tiny Rebel Brewing, Newport, Wales
5.5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5

Find out more at Tiny Rebel Brewing

Monday, 29 June 2020

Rudgate Valkyrie

What a beautiful looking pint this is!  Valkyrie, an American pale ale, is a deep golden ale that has a slight pink tinge as it pours, as I've found with all of my Rudgate ales so far.  It has a small, loose cream coloured head that disperses to leave a thin foam layer.

The aroma is delicious; it has quite a sweet smell of hops, mouthwatering gooey caramel and soft ripe tropical fruits.  All of these smells transfer to the taste which is predominantly sweet caramel drizzled over ripe, juicy tropical fruits.  I could definitely taste passion fruit but not so much of the citrus that is mentioned on the label; as I'm not a fan of too much citrus, I certainly wasn't disappointed about that.

Valkyrie has a very soft mouthfeel, which resulted in a couple of lost points on my scorecard; it is so softly carbonated that you can hardly feel any bubbles at all.  It has a medium body but is slightly on the watery side, which isn't unexpected in an APA.

I often find American pale ales too harsh but I really liked this one; it isn't bitter at all and the sweetness level is just right.  I was surprised how much I liked the passion fruit flavour; it's very unusual and gives the ale a distinct flavour.  Well done Rudgate, Ale Be Seeing Valkyrie again when I fancy a pale ale.

Brewed by Rudgate Brewery, York
5.0% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Find out more at Rudgate Brewery

Monday, 22 June 2020

Morland Old Golden Hen

You can't really go wrong with Morland's (now Greene King) Hen range so I thought I'd give award winning Old Golden Hen a try.  Just look at that beautiful golden pint - it's like sunshine in a glass!  It's a deep golden beer with a loose, frothy cream coloured head.  The head doesn't last long, although what is there does cling to the side of the glass.

The aroma is very hoppy with hints of tropical fruit, along with some malty biscuit and caramel once it settles in the glass.  It's so hoppy at first that the aroma wafts out of the bottle as soon as it is opened.

Unsurprisingly, with such a strong hoppy aroma, it tastes deliciously hoppy with a hint of fruit drizzled with caramel.  It's very crisp dry and refreshing with medium body and an abundance of hop filled bubbles that fizz around your mouth with each sip.

Although I felt like I should be enjoying it in a beer garden on a sunny day, it can also bring the sunshine indoors on a grey day.  Old Golden Hen is a lovely golden beer that Ale Be Seeing again.

Brewed by Morland Brewing, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
4.1% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 4/5

Find out more at Morland Brewing

Monday, 15 June 2020

Rudgate Jorvik

The next beer out of my Rudgate box is Jorvik, labeled as a light, refreshing and fruity blonde ale.  As with the Rudgate pale ale, this has a weird pink hue and looks very light as it initially pours out of the bottle, ending up a slightly hazy weird pinky golden colour.  It has a small off-white head that lasts surprisingly well, maintaining a thin layer as you drink.

The aroma is hoppy and fruity; predominantly grapefruit along with some kind of stone fruit like peach or apricot.  The blend of hops and fruit results in a slightly floral smell but is light enough that it isn't off-putting.  I was very pleasantly surprised on my first sip as flavours of hops, caramel, stone fruit, citrus and melon combine to give my tastebuds a workout, followed by a lovely dry and bitter finish.  

Well carbonated and medium bodied, Jorvik is a very refreshing and fruity blonde ale.  It is the weirdest coloured blonde ale I've ever seen but what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in taste as it perfectly balances its sweet and bitter flavours.

Brewed by Rudgate Brewery, York
4.6% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 3.5/5

Find out more at Rudgate Brewery

Monday, 8 June 2020

John Smith's Original

I do like a bitter and John Smith's is my go-to cheap as chips beer if I find myself in a pub with a poor choice of real ales.  Pubs serve the John Smith's extra smooth variety, which is in the green can, but when Amazon pantry had a 4 pack of original for £1.75 I couldn't check out fast enough.  So at just under 44p per can, let's see what I thought.

I love the colour of this, it's a clear chestnut brown ale with a frothy and loose cream coloured head.  The head disappears quite quickly, leaving a patchy foam layer.  The aroma is pretty uninspiring; it's more metallic than anything else with an underlying dirty water smell.  Sounds great, doesn't it?  I kept the faith as John Smith's had never failed me!

It definitely pulled its socks up in the taste.  It's so easy to drink with delicate notes of sweet malts and bitter hops along with a delicious nutty flavour.  It's light, fizzy and so very easy to drink.  I do think I prefer the John Smith's Smooth but I'm glad I tried this one; indeed who wouldn't try it for the amazing bargainous price I paid?

John Smith's is my not so guilty pleasure and I'm not ashamed to say Ale Be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by John Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire
3.6% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Find out more at John Smith's Brewery

Monday, 1 June 2020

Otter Brewery Otter Bright

It says on the label that Otter Bright is a lager beer but I think it's doing itself a bit of a disservice as it's definitely more of a pale ale than a lager, in my opinion.

Looking like a very traditional pint of beer, it's a lovely golden colour with a small, loose off-white head.  The head disappears faster than I'd like resulting in just a thin foam after a few minutes before disappearing altogether.

The aroma is very hoppy with notes of honey, caramel, biscuit and just a hint of fruity citrus.  All of these smells transfer to the taste with the sweet notes of honey and caramel being followed by a mild citrus bitterness.  The citrus level is perfect for me with no hint of lemon squeezy washing up liquid to be found.  As you would expect with a pale ale, it's relatively thin-bodied but well carbonated which gives it a pleasant silky mouthfeel.  

Very crisp, dry, refreshing and so easy to drink, this is definitely a beer I'd have in my fridge for a sunny day.  Otter Bright, Ale Be Seeing You Again.

Brewed by Otter Brewery, Devon
4.3% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Find out more at Otter Brewery

Monday, 25 May 2020

Rudgate Pale

A mixed pack from Rudgate in York was one of the first (of many) packs of beer I bought when the UK went into lockdown.  I hadn't tried any of their beers before so I thought I'd start light with their pale ale.

When I first started to pour it, I thought it was almost colourless then it appeared to have a strange pink hue.  I started to get nervous and wondered if Rudgate had bottled pink champagne instead of pale ale.  It turned out a surprisingly nice light golden colour with a small, relatively loose off white head that holds on for a while to leave a thin foam layer.  There is some sediment in the bottle so it needs a careful pour to get a clear pint.

The aroma is deliciously hoppy with hints of honey and caramel along with zesty citrus and tropical fruits.  The flavour, however, is disappointingly weak with very little taste.  The initial taste is predominantly hops, honey and straw but it does develop slightly over time to become more fruity.  There is a slight citrus bitterness to the aftertaste and, as I'm not much of a fan of pithy citrus, the citrus flavour is subtle enough to be palatable for me.

Although it has decent carbonation, it has a very thin and watery mouthfeel but then again it's quite a light beer at 3.8%.  It's not terribly tasty but it's very light, clean and refreshing; it's what I would call a nice summery day beer - it'll quench your thirst without having you dancing on the tables.

Brewed by Rudgate Brewery, York
3.8% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3/5

Find out more at Rudgate Brewery