One woman's ale journey

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

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Shepherd Neame Spitfire Gold


A deep gold fizzy beer with a thin white head giving it the look of a traditional beer.  It smells very strongly of hops, as I've found with all Shepherd Neame ales.  Once my nose got through the strong smell of hops, it is replaced with a fresh pine and tropical fruit aroma.

There is an initial lovey taste of sweet malts but it is quite fizzy which enhances the fruity bitterness that follows.  The aftertaste is creamy rather than bitter which makes it one of the better Shepherd Neame ales.  The head is non-existent after a few minutes which is a shame, but it's very easy to drink and not bad at all for a mass-produced beer.

Definitely one Ale be happy to See Again.

Brewed by Shepherd Neame, Kent
4.3% ABV

My rating:





Find out more at Shepherd Neame

Monday, 31 July 2017

Adnams Dry Hopped Lager


A light straw yellow lager with an almost non-existent head.  It has a lovely fruity pineapple aroma and lots of hops.  It tastes so light and refreshing and it's definitely on the dry side - I almost felt as if it needed a squirt of lime to give it a bit of sweetness and some flavour.

It is different from standard lagers, although it feels quite thin and watery in consistency. It has a slightly sour and bitter taste but is so crisp that it's definitely well labelled as 'DRY'.   Despite the lava lamp appearance, it is surprisingly lightly carbonated and would be a perfect thirst quencher on a sunny day, should we ever get one in the North East of England.

Brewed by Adnams, Southwold, Suffolk
4.2% ABV

My rating:





Find out more at Adnams

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Hogs Back T.E.A.


I can't start my day without a nice cup of tea, so a beer named TEA feels like it was made just for me.  In this case TEA stands for Traditional English Ale, aka bitter.  It's even the beautiful russet/deep amber colour of a good cuppa, but I'm not a fan of cold tea so I'm hoping that's the only similarity.  There's a thin tight beige head that laces beautifully and a delicious aroma of sweet malts tinged with copper coins.

As refreshing as my morning cup of tea, Hogs Back T.E.A. is a smooth, malty, fruity bitter with hints of caramel and a dry finish.  There is no metallic aftertaste that you often get with bitters, making it very palatable indeed.  I'll definitely be looking out for more fantastic brews from Hogs Back.

As an all round bitter person 😉, Hogs Back T.E.A. is most definitely my cup of tea and Ale Be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by Hogs Back Brewery, Surrey
4.2% ABV

My rating:






Sunday, 2 July 2017

Robinsons Trooper


Inspired by Iron Maiden, Trooper is a deep golden ale that looks like molten toffee with a fabulous thick, tight creamy head.  It smells deliciously hoppy and malty and I couldn't wait to have a sip.

It has quite an unusual mix of flavours leaving an extremely pleasant taste explosion on the tongue: tangy, sweet, metallic and slightly citrus, but they all work so very well together.  It has a nice sweet toffee and biscuit flavour with only a slight hint of citrus which makes it very refreshing.  It's relatively softly carbonated so feels quite smooth, helped along by the thick milky head; an impressive head that doesn't lace, it sticks to the glass.

I really liked it, it's what I would call a 'proper beer' and one Ale definitely Be Seeing Again!

Brewed by Robinsons, Stockport
4.7% ABV

My rating:





Find out more at Robinsons Brewery

Friday, 30 June 2017

United Dutch Breweries Oranjeboom Premium Strong


A 7.5% lager beer with a traditional golden yellow body and a bright white head.  It pours crystal clear and has an aroma of hops and sweetness.

Now for a 7.5% ABV beer, I was expecting strong tastes to come through but it's all very subtle.  The initial taste is sour and sweet but this is replaced by a metallic aftertaste and an almost wooden whisky cask or cheap vodka flavour.  Due to the high ABV, you can actually taste the raw alcohol but I would have preferred a bit more beery taste.

I bought it half price from the local shop, so it's not bad for £1.25 but I wouldn't buy another one.

Brewed by United Dutch Breweries, Holland
7.5% ABV

My rating:





Find out more at Oranjeboom

Friday, 23 June 2017

Isle of Arran Guid Ale


Although not a particularly eye-catching or attractive label, I was pleasantly surprised to see a gorgeous deep golden ale pour out of this bottle.  It has a thick frothy off-white head that does disperse after a while and there is a slight cloudiness due to a bit of sediment escaping the bottle as I struggled to squeeze out every last drop.

There is a subtle aroma of hops and bitter fruit, slightly floral and sweet but it's not overpowering at all.  So with my eyes and my nose giving the thumbs up, it's time for my tongue to do the tasting.  Again, I was really surprised at the taste explosion I experienced: it's very fruity with a slight bitter aftertaste with a mixture of floral, nutty and lightly malted flavours also coming through.  It's so lightly carbonated that it does feel a little oily in the mouth but it's not unpleasant by any means.  The frothy head lasts quite some time as it leaves lacing down the side of the glass.

At only 3.8%, it doesn't taste like a low alcohol beer: it's soft, creamy, pleasant and refreshing; a pretty 'guid ale'.  Ale be happy to See You Again!

Brewed by Isle of Arran Brewery, Strathclyde
3.8% ABV

My rating:





Find out more at Isle of Arran Brewery

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

St Peter's Organic Ale


I love the shape of this bottle - you can't really tell from the picture but its circumference is an ellipse shape and it reminds me of old medicine bottles, the only thing missing is an instruction on the label to "Drink full bottle slowly with feet up."

It is a lovely deep golden ale with a copper hue and a substantial tighter than tight cream head.  The elliptical shape of the bottle did an amazing job of trapping the sediment in its broad shoulders, resulting in a crystal clear ale.  The aroma is one of hops and apples, giving it an enticing cider-like smell.

I was really impressed with the flavour, the hops and malt are superbly blended with a huge kick of bitter marmalade aftertaste.  The bitter aftertaste was a bit too harsh at first but I quickly got used to it.  The carbonation is pretty perfect, neither too harsh nor too soft and it managed to sustain the head to the very last drop.

I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, so Ale be more than happy to See You Again!

Brewed by St Peter's Brewery, Suffolk
4.5% ABV

My rating: