One woman's ale journey

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

Monday 25 May 2015

Shepherd Neame Late Red

This is a fabulous rich dark red coloured ale with a thick beige frothy head that clings to the side of the glass as you drink.  It has an interesting floral aroma which is a little unexpected but not unpleasant.  It's not what I usually expect from a ruby ale, being a lighter taste and more fruity flavoured, but it wasn't bad at all for a Sunday afternoon tipple.

Brewed by Shepherd Neame, Kent
4.5% ABV

Sunday 24 May 2015

Sharp's Doom Bar

I've been brain washed on this one - subliminal advertising was at work.  I've noticed it on the advertising hoardings when watching football on TV.  It's amber, it's ale so why don't I love Doom Bar?

First off, it doesn't bode well that there's a teeny tiny little head on pouring which disappears to nothing, not even a solitary bubble.  Yep, it's flat as a fart.

Secondly, with amber ale you expect a bit of bite - a strong taste either of burnt toffee or 2p coins but with Doom Bar I got nothing.  It has a slight hint of beery taste but basically I felt like I was drinking beer flavoured water.

Doom Bar - it has a lovely colour to it but no taste and no body; it's a ghost of a beer.

Brewed by Sharp's Brewery, Cornwall
4.3% ABV (really????)

Find out more at Sharp's Brewery

Saturday 23 May 2015

Shepherd Neame Artesian Dark Ale

Ok I admit, I'm a sucker for a bargain but I really wish I'd kept hold of my pound!

It looks nice with a dark amber hue but that's where my enthusiasm ends.  It has the weirdest smell, almost like stagnant water in the loo!  To be honest, it doesn't taste too bad - it has a bit of a metal aftertaste but tastes like a regular no-frills bitter, proving that sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Brewed by Shepherd Neame, Kent (in small writing on the back as they probably don't want to admit to it)
3.8% ABV 

Mordue Workie Ticket

I do like a local brew!  This is a lovely dark amber colour and you just know this is going to have your tongue doing the tango.

As you'd expect from the dark colour and the creamy head, this has a strong hoppy flavour.  Although it has a strong bitter flavour, this doesn't leave any hint of nasty aftertaste in the mouth.

The head lasts right to the last drop, good old Nothern ale!  Well named Workie Ticket, this makes me think of men coming out of the pit and rewarding themselves with a hard earned pint in a working men's club.

Workie Ticket - not just for working men!

Interesting fact: Workie Ticket is Geordie for someone pushing their luck, causing trouble and being a bit mischievous.

Brewed by Mordue Brewery, Tyne & Wear
4.5% ABV

Sunday 17 May 2015

Ringwood Old Thumper

This is a seriously good ale and I'm so pleased that I don't judge a beer by its label (the boar looks a bit mean).  I was pleasantly surprised that it had none of the bitterness of some strong ales.  It pours a lovely dark amber and I was immediately engulfed in a malty aroma and a bubble bath inspired creamy head.

Malty bubbles burst on your tongue and with a strength of 5.1% you expect an unpleasant aftertaste but I was rewarded with more malty goodness.  If Maltesers made beer it would taste like this.

I could equally imagine drinking this in a beer garden on a Summer's day or by the fireside on a Winter's evening.  It's a beer I plan to stock up on and without hesitation it goes on my favourites list.

The label says to enjoy it with friends and a cow pie.  I say drink it all yourself; you'll not want to give this one away!

Brewed by Ringwood Brewery, Hampshire
5.1% ABV

Saturday 16 May 2015

Jennings Cumberland

This is an ale that I used to drink regularly from the cask at my local pub.  I do find that it's a much better pint from the cask than the bottle.

On pouring this deep golden amber ale, the head quickly disappears and I can't help but compare it to the cask.  Out of the bottle, it feels more watery and has a more subtle taste.  I would describe it as a vanilla caramel taste rather than the burnt toffee notes I was expecting.  It still has a lovely malty aroma and is an easy drinking sunny afternoon beverage, but one I most definitely prefer in the pub.

Brewed by Jennings, Lake District
4% ABV

Black Sheep Brewery Black Sheep Ale

My old favourite - Black Sheep Ale

Brewed with Goldings hops it has a lovely bittersweet taste with fruity aromas and is the most amazing amber toffee colour.  It pours with a nice frothy head that remains until the last drop leaves the glass.

It's not too fizzy and there's no unpleasant aftertaste, just a warm pleasant glow as this smooth beery goodness slips down your throat.  It may just be the colour, but I do feel it has an underlying toffee taste to it.

This is another ale I can't resist when I see it on tap.  Always guaranteed a good pint - take my word for it!

Brewed by Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, Yorkshire
4.4% ABV

Sunday 10 May 2015

Brakspear Oxford Gold

There's an amazing rush of bubbles as the cap is popped from this one.  It is surprising then that the head lasts only for a few seconds.  It has a deep golden amber colour and with the disappearance of the head is reminiscent of cider...until you taste it.

This has a lovely creamy taste and maybe the bee on the cap makes me think of honey but it is so palatable I can't help but think of bees preserved in amber and soft honey with every mouthful.

Brewed in Oxfordshire
4.6% ABV

Marstons EPA

A refreshing, crisp and fresh English Pale Ale.  As a light blonde ale, it's a lovely golden colour and tastes like it has been brewed in an apple orchard.

It is light at only 3.6% but so refreshing you know you'll have to have another one!

Brewed in Burton upon Trent
3.6% ABV

Saturday 9 May 2015

Wychwood Hobgoblin

There's a wonderful chocolate aroma released as you pour this magical ruby ale brewed with Fuggles and Goldings hops.

It has a complex flavour of chocolate and citrus which makes it very easy drinking on a chilly wet Northern day in May.

Each mouthful has little fizzy bubbles bursting on your tongue with a soothing comforting almost treacle flavour.

Hobgoblin is well named as there really does feel like there is a little bit of magic in every glass.

Brewed in Oxfordshire
5.2% ABV

Monday 4 May 2015

Birra spalmabile - spreadable beer

Yes folks, there really is such a thing as spreadable beer.  At £9.99 a jar this little beauty doesn't come cheap but oh my what a delight.  It's just as delicious on toast as it is on crackers and it really does smell and taste of golden ale.  It has the consistency of a very smooth curd and a slight honey taste which makes it very moreish!

I would say it could be a bit of an acquired taste, but if you like golden ale you'll love this!

Jennings Cocker Hoop

A golden pale ale with a creamy white head and malty flavours.  You can almost taste the Lake District in this - it's so fresh and crisp with a slight citrus aftertaste.  It's not too fizzy and leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth but a frown on the face when it is finished!

Brewed in the Lake District
4.2% ABV

Sunday 3 May 2015

Ringwood Brewery Boon Doggle

A deliciously fruity craft blonde ale, according to the label.  This is a lovely golden colour - it pours with a nice white head but this unfortunately disappears quite quickly.

This is a VERY easy drinking ale.  It has no nasty aftertaste, it's not too fizzy and its crispy freshness slips down far too easily.  I wouldn't describe it as fruity, although it may have a hint of melon or apple to make it so palatable.

Brewed in Hampshire
4.2% ABV

Saturday 2 May 2015

Marston's Pedigree New World

Brewed with Australian hops, this is a pale golden ale bursting with fruity notes.  It's like drinking sunshine itself and the pure white head could easily be mistaken for a crest of a wave on Bondi beach.

This is another one with a nice bubbling tongue experience and a crisp fruity, honey flavour.

Brewed by Marston's, Staffordshire
4.1% ABV

Friday 1 May 2015

Tyne Bank Brewery Monument

Monument is described as a copper beer with a fruity taste and hints of caramel.  That's pretty much spot on.  This is an absolutely delightful beer.  The fruity notes are evident as your taste buds do a little jig and the subtle hint of caramel ensures that there is no nasty aftertaste.  This one goes in to my favourites list and would give Wylam's Angel a run for its money.

Brewed on Tyneside
4.1% ABV