One woman's ale journey

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

Saturday 28 November 2015

Atlantic Red

This quite literally burst out of the bottle as if I had been shaking it. There is a lot of sediment in this one and I couldn't have poured it any more carefully as it was in such a fizzy hurry to get out of the bottle.  I can forgive the spillage, however, as it is such an amazing gorgeous red colour with a thick creamy head. There is an absolutely divine smell of red berries and it has a slightly sweet fruity taste. 

I didn't pick up the blood orange or marmalade taste but it definitely tasted fruity, although I couldn't have isolated a fruit to describe it.

Oh Atlantic Red, Ale Be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by Atlantic Brewery, Cornwall
5% ABV

Beavertown Gamma Ray American Pale Ale

This is such a funky can that I wasn't surprised when the ale burst out full of fizz and tropical fruit smells.  It has an abundant bright white head and the ale is a slightly cloudy golden colour.  It tastes intensely fruity with hints of grapefruit, pineapple and mango due to the Citra and Calypso hops - it sounds like I am describing a can of Lilt but it couldn't be more different.  

It's well named Gamma Ray as zingy citrus bubbles burst on my tongue and I felt like I had been (pleasantly) zapped with a beery taser gun.

Brewed by Beavertown, London
5.4% ABV

Sambrook's Wandle

Despite its slightly cloudy appearance and lack of head this is an enticing golden amber ale.  It smells like a good old fashioned bitter but with a slight hint of citrus.  My first sip left me with the aftertaste of copper coins but that quickly disappears and further gulps resulted in a lovely creamy finish.

What little head there is does tend to cling to the glass but it doesn't lace.  The lack of head doesn't spoil my enjoyment at all as this is such a nice bitter and I was not surprised to find out that Wandle won the World's Best Pale Ale under 5% in the 2012 World Beer Awards.

Definitely one I would recommend for bitter drinkers and I hope Ale Be Seeing You Again, Wandle.

Brewed by Sambrook's Brewery, London
4.2% ABV

Sunday 15 November 2015

Batemans Black Pepper Ale

Gold Medal Winner at the 2014 World Beer Awards

No, your eyes do not deceive you - this is a black pepper ale!  It even comes complete with a little sachet of pepper and serving instructions.  I had my nose in this bottle before I had even completely removed the lid and yes there was indeed a definite, yet subtle, aroma of black pepper on opening.  As per the instructions, I added some of the little pepper sachet to glass, poured the beer and swirled - be careful that it doesn't erupt like Mount Vesuvius if you are as vigorous a swirler as me!   Followed with a dash of the remaining pepper to the head, it was ready to be experienced.

I was excited by the colour of this ale - it is a lovely deep amber/ruby ale and there is a very subtle hint of pepper when you first taste it.  It is as smooth as a John Smiths with a thick creamy head and robust lacing right down to the last drop.  It's an absolute delight to drink and I would be inclined to add a bit more pepper to my next one - so you've guessed it, Bateman's Black Pepper Ale - Ale be seeing you again!

Brewed by Batemans, Lincolnshire
5.1% ABV

Sadler's Peaky Blinder

It's time for a drop of the unusual: a black IPA.  Black and pale - isn't that an oxymoron? This is a dark, almost black ale with a small beige head.  If I closed my eyes and sniffed it, I would expect to be about to taste a dark golden ale due to the hoppy aroma but with a massive burst of liquorice flavours on tasting there's no mistaking it as a black beer.

It does have quite a complex taste due to no less than 5 different hops used as part of the brewing process, namely Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Chinook and Nelson Sauvin.  It leaves a lovely creamy liquorice taste on the tongue after the black bubbles burst in your mouth.  I don't think I have tasted anything quite like it - it's dark and strong, yet refreshing and easy drinking.

Brewed by Sadler's, Stourbridge, West Midlands
4.6% ABV

Friday 6 November 2015

Roosters Baby Faced Assassin

This burst out of the can giving me a citrus fragranced beery shower.  It has strong aromas of citrus fruit, is a delicious deep golden/light amber colour and has a very robust head.  To me it tastes predominately of grapefruit with a hint of orange.  The head lasts right to the very end, leaving amazing lacing down the side of the glass. It's not overly fizzy and is very refreshing so it would be perfect for a sunny day in the garden.  At 6.1% it is not for the faint-hearted and if I closed my eyes I would not guess it was an IPA - this gives it versatility as a refreshing winter ale or a revitalising summer ale.

Brewed by Roosters, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
6.1% ABV