One woman's ale journey

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

Monday, 20 September 2021

Saltaire Raspberry Blonde

Saltaire's Raspberry Blonde is a golden yellow ale with a small, very loose, rapidly vanishing cream coloured head.  There isn't even a hint of a  bubble after a few minutes which is a bit disappointing, but we shouldn't judge a beer by appearance alone so on to the smell and the all-important flavour.

It has a delicious aroma of raspberries, it's so strong and fruity that you'd expect the beer to have a red tint.  Raspberry is not as strong in the flavour as in the aroma but it's definitely there and leaves a nice tartiness in the mouth after the initial taste of malt biscuit, spicy hops and hint of bitterness.  Mouthfeel isn't great though, the body is quite thin and watery and it feels quite flat in the mouth as there is so little carbonation.

So where it loses in appearance and mouthfeel it gains in aroma and flavour and it's a very refreshing ale that would be a perfect summer beer, especially with a bowl of raspberries on the side.  It's not currently in production but I'd definitely give another one a go and Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Saltaire Brewery, Shipley, West Yorkshire
4% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Monday, 13 September 2021

Maltsmiths IPA

This is a lovely dark American IPA from The Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh and it looks like molten toffee in the glass.  It's an orange hued amber coloured ale with a small but very tight cream head.  There is a bit of sediment in the bottle so I left a bit behind to ensure a clear pour.

It smells very citrussy, but more oranges than grapefruit, and it has a slight hint of caramel and malt.  The flavour is quite weak, although this means that it's not too citrussy or bitter for me, and
thanks to the dry-hopping it has a lovely dry finish.  Body is thin but it's very fizzy which maintains the head nicely.  

It just seems a little too weak on flavour so Ale not Be Seeing You again.

Brewed by The Caledonian Brewery, Edinburgh
4.6% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.25/5

Find out more at Maltsmiths Brewing

Monday, 6 September 2021

Põhjala Hooaeg

Hooaeg is a dry-hopped saison brewed with coriander seeds from Estonian brewery Põhjala.  It's very lively on opening and has quite a lot of sediment in it so, as I prefer a clear beer, I didn't quite manage to get a full glass out of this one.  It's a lovely bright golden yellow beer with a huge frothy off-white head that lasts well despite its loose appearance.

The aroma of hops and citrus is quite strong but very appetising.  I was a little disappointed in the flavour as the citrus completely overpowers the hops, although I did get a slight tang of coriander.  It's just far too pithy for me and it has a lingering bitter grapefruit aftertaste that isn't something I enjoy.

Definitely one for citrus fans but unfortunately not for me, Ale not Be Seeing You again.

Brewed by Põhjala Brewery, Estonia
5.5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.25/5

Monday, 30 August 2021

Badger England's Own

Like sunshine in a bottle, this golden blonde ale has the most amazing hoppy, floral and elderflower aroma.  It's a shame that it has such a small, rapidly disappearing off-white head as it looks a bit off-putting in its headless state.

The elderflower aroma is replicated in the flavour along with white grape and its actually very refreshing.  It has a slight hint of bitterness in the finish which rounds it off nicely.  It has a thin body and surprisingly prickly carbonation which belies its flat appearance.

I really didn't expect it to be so nice; it's a perfect summer beer and I'd buy it again if it gets rebrewed.  Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Badger Brewery, Dorset
4.6% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Monday, 23 August 2021

Oakham Inferno

Inferno is a light yellow golden blonde ale with a loose off-white head that disperses to leave a thin layer of foam.  It smells very floral, perhaps elderflower, and there is a distinct whiff of hops (as there are 5 American hops in the brew: Sterling, Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade and Chinook).

The taste is very pleasant: hoppy and floral with a bitter citrus finish.  The subtle yet complex flavouring reminds me of a Scottish heather ale.  It has a medium body and it's quite softly carbonated so it feels very smooth on the palate.

So fresh and hoppy, Inferno is a lovely beer to have on a warm, sunny day and Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Oakham Ales, Peterborough 
4.4% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Monday, 16 August 2021

Harper's North Bridge Brown Ale

North Bridge Brown Ale is a budget beer from Aldi and although it's not a patch on Newcastle Brown Ale, it's not bad at all.

It's a lovely chestnut brown colour but it's let down by the very small, rapidly disappearing beige head so you very quickly end up with a flat looking headless ale.

It has a lovely malty smell with a dash of sweet caramel which is replicated in the taste, along with some chocolate and burnt toffee.  The chocolate is more sweet than bitter so it has a lovely balance for the sweet-toothed among us.  Most surprising is the harsh carbonation, which considering its flat appearance came as quite a shock to the palate. 

Not bad at all for a budget beer and Ale Be Seeing You again.

Brewed for Aldi by Harper's Brewing Co
4.7% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.5/5

Monday, 9 August 2021

Three Kings Tyneside Tommy

This is an absolutely wonderful idea from Three Kings Brewery who have produced a traditional English ale with Tyneside's First World War soldiers commemorated on the bottle.  The beer has been brewed to raise awareness of the Northumbria World War One Commemoration Project which aims to create a memorial garden and place blue plaques on 600 homes of Tyneside soldiers who fell in the conflict.  

Each bottle has a little tag around its neck with a photo and story of a real Tyneside Tommy.  I got Private Joseph Forster who was born in Cramlington and lived in North Shields with his wife and six children.  We often hear of enlistees claiming to be older than they were but in an unusual twist, as he was considered too old for military service, Joseph Forster amended his birth certificate to make him appear younger than he actually was.  Private Forster was killed in action on the Somme in October 1916, aged 44 and I raise my glass to him.  

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Tyneside Tommy pours a lovely deep gold/light amber colour with a very impressive tight, thick, cream coloured head that lasts and laces right up to the last drop.  It has a hoppy and lightly fruited aroma that you would expect from a traditional ale.

When you can actually get through the huge head, it has a metallic bitter taste with a dash of citrus and tangy hops.  It's a lovely old fashioned bitter and you can just imagine many a Tyneside Tommy drinking a pint of this when they returned home on leave.  It's full bodied and moderately carbonated giving a lovely smooth mouthfeel.

A tangy and refreshing old fashioned bitter this is a beer for real heroes.  I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up a bottle if you see it as it's a lovely bitter and supports an amazing project.  Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Three Kings Brewery, North Shields
4.1% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4/5