One woman's ale journey

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

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

There was quite a lot of sediment in the bottle so it was a slow and careful pour in order to retain the clarity of the beer.  It's a traditional looking golden yellow ale with a tight and frothy off-white head.  There is a strong citrus aroma but rather than it being too acidic, the edge is taken off with an underlying buttery hoppiness.

Soft and feather-like on the tongue, there is an initial sweetness followed by a lovely bitterness that isn't overpowered by citrus.  I was really surprised by the taste as I expected a full citrus blast but it's the complex mix of hops that results in an initial crisp and refreshing taste that lingers into the aftertaste to counteract the citrus bitterness.

So easy to drink with a head that lasts to the end leaving impressive lacing, I would definitely have it again despite IPA not being my preferred ale.

Ale happily Be Seeing You Again, Rebel IPA.

Brewed by Samuel Adams, Boston and imported by Shepherd Neame, Kent
6.5% ABV

My rating:

Monday, 2 April 2018

Wickwar Bob

A beer called, Bob!  I saw this in B&M Bargains and had to have it as my mouth was watering once I'd seen the beautiful molten toffee amber colour.  It is crystal clear with a small loose beige head and has an aroma of traditional old-fashioned beer: hops, metallic bitter and slightly sweet.  It actually reminded me of the smell of Stones.

What a surprising taste!  It is not metallic at all but is more dry and refreshing with flavours of malt biscuit and sweet toffee.  Despite the rapid loss of the head, it is surprisingly well carbonated.

I really liked Bob, it is a very moreish beer with a pleasant sweet aftertaste that counteracts the initial bitterness.  Ale Be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by Wickwar Wessex Brewing Company, Gloucestershire
4.0% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Wickwar Brewing

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Allendale Double IPA

If tropical fruit is your thing then this beer is for you!  I think you can tell it is a citrus fruity beer from the cloudy golden yellow appearance and it has quite an impressive tight off-white head that lasts and laces.

It smells strongly of tropical fruit and is actually quite refreshing as the aromas of pineapples and lemons make me think of distant shores.  The taste, however, isn't totally tropical but is more grapefruit overload for me.  It is very very VERY bitter and the grapefruit flavour takes over to the point where that's all I could taste.

Very fizzy and very bitter, it wasn't my kind of beer and Ale not be Seeing You Again.

Brewed by Allendale Brewery, Northumberland
7.4% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Allendale Brewery

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Otter Brewery Otter Head

This would look like a perfect pint for me if it had a bit more of a head, perhaps it should be called Otter Headless (sorry).  It's a beautiful mahogany red/brown ale with an AMAZING aroma of fruit cake, malt and sweet baked apples.

Oh my word, I can describe the taste in one word and that word is DELICIOUS!  The maltiness is perfection itself with hints of sweet treacle and a slightly bitter aftertaste.  It is so full of flavour that it actually tastes as if it has been home-brewed.  Full-bodied, smooth and quite strong at 5.8% it's a good contender to give me beer goggles to watch the match.

I bought this from Help for Heroes with the glass and, despite its headlessness, Ale definitely Be Seeing Otter Head Again if I come across it when beer shopping.

Brewed by Otter Brewery, Devon
5.8% ABV

My rating:

Friday, 30 March 2018

Durham Brewery Black Bishop

Despite being midday, it's cold, wet and dark outside so it made sense to have something cold, wet and dark inside: Black Bishop stout brewed by Durham Brewery, one of my local breweries.

It's bottle conditioned and the label warns of sediment, so I poured carefully but left a good 2cm in the bottom of the bottle as I could see the dusty sediment approaching the bottle neck.  Black Bishop is jet black with only a hint of russet brown when held to the light at a certain angle.  The head is reasonably tight and dark beige coloured and shows no sign of dispersing, leaving thick lacing as you would expect from a good stout.

Delicious aromas of dark chocolate and roasted coffee make this a stout that I couldn't wait to experience.  Hurrah - I was certainly not disappointed.  The bitter mix of chocolate and coffee has an added smokiness that made this stout stand out from the rest.  I think smoky flavours are difficult to judge: too much and it tastes like an ash tray and too little might as well not be there at all.  Durham Brewery have got it just right like Goldilocks.

The perfect amount of carbonation results in a full bodied stout that, although lighter and fizzier than its most famous cousin, makes me happily declare that Ale Be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by The Durham Brewery, County Durham
4.1% ABV

My rating:

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Greene King IPA

I loved the colour of this one but unfortunately that's all I loved.  It's a beautiful copper toffee colour but it has a very loose head that disappeared in a matter of seconds.  It also has a very strange aroma: at first it is hoppy and metallic but then it reminded me of smelly stagnant water, like I often experience with Shepherd Neame ales.

It tastes a little bit malty, quite fresh and with a bitter aftertaste.  I was surprised that there was no hint of citrus as you would normally expect with an IPA, making me think that this should be labelled as a bitter rather than an IPA.  Despite its flat appearance the carbonation is quite harsh and it was an overall disappointing experience.

Brewed by Greene King, Bury St Edmunds
3.6% ABV

My rating:

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Adnams Broadside

Adnams Broadside is the first beer listed in World Bottled Beers by Adrian Tierney-Jones, and you can find out more about this bottle-shaped book here in my beer books section.

This ale is my kind of colour: a deep ruby red with a reasonably tight beige head.  It smells mouthwateringly malty along with the kind of aroma you get when you first open a dark fruit cake.  I didn't smell it for long as I couldn't wait to take a sip!

The taste is predominantly fruity and bitter chocolate but more flavours are apparent as you drink it.  It's quite fizzy and I could taste some spiciness and liquorice, which is very reminiscent of dandelion and burdock, followed by a metallic copper coin bitter aftertaste.  It's a strong one at 6.3% so just aswell the metallic taste is there so you don't mistake it for dandelion and burdock pop.

It definitely tingled my tastebuds and I can see why it is such a popular beer.  I think it would have been a 5 pint rating for me if the metallic taste had been toned down a notch or two; I'm not averse to metallic bitterness but I don't want to feel like I am licking all the copper coins in my purse.

I wouldn't mind another pint of Broadside, perhaps on a chilly winter's evening beside the fire to accompany a slice of fruit cake.

Brewed by Adnams, Southwold, Suffolk
6.3% ABV

My rating: