One woman's ale journey

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

Monday 31 October 2016

Bavaria Aguila

Brewed in Colombia and imported by Miller, I found this Aguila in B&M Bargains for only 59p so it would have been rude not to try one.

There was absolutely no head so it would be perfect for drinking straight out of the bottle, and it is a lovely golden straw coloured lager.  It smells of fresh cornfields and has a slightly sweet fruity aroma.  It's not terribly fizzy for a lager, which I like, and it has a creamy, slightly hoppy, taste.  Very refreshing and well worth the few pennies I paid for it.

Brewed by Bavaria S.A., Bogota, Colombia
4.0% ABV

My rating:

Shepherd Neame Warlock's Broth

A Hoppy Halloween it is with a deliciously hoppy aroma bursting out of the bottle.  This is a beautiful treacle toffee colour with a bubbly beige head that disappears quickly, leaving a very thin layer.

Initial flavour is reasonably pleasant with a hint of malty sweetness and a burnt caramel aftertaste.  I've not been a big fan of Shepherd Neame ales in the past as they often taste a bit like dirty dish water, but this one isn't bad at all.  There is a bit of a harsh bitter taste in my mouth after a few gulps, like the taste you get from a really strong ale (yet this is only 3.5%), but you do get used to it after a while.

A nice gimmick for Halloween but not something I would want to drink regularly.

Brewed by Shepherd Neame, Kent
3.5% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Shepherd Neame

Allendale APA

Allendale Pale Ale is certainly something a little bit different for IPA drinkers.  It is a lovely deep golden ale, although slightly cloudy, with a very fine head that unfortunately doesn't last very long.  It smells very hoppy but also of tropical fruit.

It's reasonably fizzy so I was surprised the head disappeared so quickly.  As you know, I'm not a huge fan of pale ales but this isn't bad at all as it's more on the grapefruit side of bitterness than the usual lemon.  APA is an easy drinking, refreshing pale ale that would be a perfect drink on a sunny day.

Brewed by Allendale Brewery, Northumberland
5.5% ABV

My rating:

Sunday 30 October 2016

Wells Waggle Dance

I absolutely love the stripey label on Waggle Dance and think it's especially clever to include the W as part of the bee's wing.  I really must applaud Wells for their ability to take unusual ingredients and add them to beer.  Some beers claim to have honey in them but the taste is so subtle as to be almost non-existent but Wells leave no room for doubt - their beer tastes exactly as they claim on the label.

I was really surprised to get such a hoppy aroma on opening as I thought the honey would have been the dominant smell.  It's a beautiful deep golden, almost light amber, colour with a creamy off-white head and I couldn't wait to get stuck in.

Wow!  What a taste explosion!  There is no doubt that honey is in this ale.  As the liquid rolls across your tongue you get the unmistakable taste of fresh golden honey, without being too overpowering to confuse your taste buds into thinking you're not having a pint of beer.

It's absolutely sublime and brewed to perfection.   Ale definitely be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by Charles Wells, Bedford
5% ABV

My rating:

Find out more at Wells

Sunday 23 October 2016

Allendale Wolf

Time for one of my favourite coloured ales.  Wolf is a strong ruby ale from the Allendale Brewery and it has been on my wishlist for quite some time.  Will it live up to my expectations?

On opening it smells deliciously malty, fruity and sweet.  It is a lovely ruby colour and has an outstanding thick beige frothy head that shows no sign of dispersing.  It's one of those heads that will need a brillo pad to clean the glass afterwards.

It has a lovely malty chocolate taste and, as you would expect from the high alcohol content, it leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste on the tongue.  It's quite carbonated and the bubbles feel a bit harsh on the tongue but then the malty chocolate flavours kick in.  The flavour is so complex that I even felt as if there was a hint of pepper thrown into the mix after a few mouthfuls.  Not quite a 5 star rating, but not far off, and Ale probably be Seeing You Again.

Brewed by Allendale Brewery, Northumberland
5.5% ABV

My rating:

Brutal Pistonhead Full Amber

This is a lovely dark coffee coloured ale and it smells of warm fruity bread smothered in sweet treacle.  It has quite a good head but it is very fragile and disappears quickly.  The smell is really quite addictive but I had to tear my nose away to take a sip.

The taste is so very disappointing, there is something harsh taking over the flavour and you do find this with high alcohol content ales.  The smell doesn't marry up with the taste and I think it might be the citra hops that is leaving a harsh bitter aftertaste.  Such a shame as I was expecting great things from the look and the smell, but the taste let it down.

Not one Ale be Seeing Again but I'm glad I tried it.

Brewed by Brutal Brewery, Sweden
6.0% ABV

My rating:

Saturday 22 October 2016

Caledonian Three Hop

This is a lovely deep golden craft lager with a bit more of an amber colour than pictured.  It has a good head which doesn't disappear too quickly.  It's called Three Hop so it is no surprise that it has a hoppy aroma but it also has a hint of a floral smell.

It has a good amount of carbonation but it has a very smooth taste and a definite aftertaste of honey with a refreshing hint of mint.  I didn't get any lemon flavours coming through but the whole experience is one of complex but subtle flavours so it might be in there somewhere.

A very pleasant drink with some nice beery lacing on the glass.  It feels like you get a taste of something different with every mouthful.  Definitely one I'd recommend trying.

Brewed by Caledonian Brewery, Edinburgh
4.5% ABV

My rating:

Sunday 9 October 2016

Skinners Betty Stogs

I'm feeling in the mood for a bitter so I thought I'd try Betty Stogs, labelled as a brazen Cornish bitter.  There's an absolutely divine malty aroma as this amber nectar pours into the glass.  It doesn't have a bad little head but it disperses to leave a thin layer, as you would expect from a bitter.  It's a perfect copper colour with just a hint of fizz so my mouth was watering in anticipation.

Boy, was I not disappointed.  Betty Stogs is an outstanding bitter with absolutely no metallic aftertaste.  It has a creamy malty taste, with a slight hint of citrus and a clarity that can only have come from the pure Cornish water.  I was getting a lovely biscuit and grapefruit aftertaste which makes a pleasant and refreshing change from copper coins or lemon squeezy washing up liquid.

Betty Stogs slips down a little too easily and my only disappointment is that I only bought one bottle.

Brewed by Skinners, Truro
4.0% ABV

My rating: