One woman's ale journey

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

Tuesday 31 December 2019

Birra del Borgo Cortigiana

As it's New Years Eve, I thought there was no better time to pay some attention to my severely neglected beer blog.  I am still alive and drinking beer so I'm making a New Year's resolution here and now to blog more in 2020.

I bought a variety pack of Italian brewery Birra del Borgo ales and first up is Cortigiana.  This ale is a cloudy golden yellow colour with a very frothy tight white head.  There is quite a bit of sediment so it needs a careful pour, if you can, but mine burst from the bottle with such force that I didn't quite get it all out of the bottle and ended up with a huge frothy head.

At first I thought that it smelled strangely of vinegar but this soon disappears to be replaced by a strong citrus and hops aroma.  Now normally I'm not a fan of citrus but this has such a delicious aroma of orange, grapefruit and lemon that I found it very appealing.  

The taste surprised me as I was expecting a huge blast of bitter lemon citrus but instead tasted a greater proportion of sweet sun-ripened oranges and zesty grapefruits than bitter lemons.  Blended with the sourness of the hops and a hint of herbal notes, the lingering bitterness is very pleasant indeed.

It's a full bodied ale which is very fizzy with relatively harsh bubbles, which tickle rather than tingle the tongue.  I was surprised how much I liked it and found it a very crisp and refreshing continental pale ale.  It hasn't converted me to pales but Ale definitely Be Seeing You again, Cortigiana.

Brewed by Birra del Borgo, Italy
5% ABV

My rating:

Thursday 21 February 2019

Adnams Lighthouse

Oh this gets top marks for beauty: a light amber, toffee coloured ale with a perfect creamy head, but will it taste as good as it looks?

It has a very hoppy aroma and smelling predominantly sour and metallic, it doesn't really smell very appetising but on to the taste...

The blend of malt and hops makes this a crisp, dry and refreshing ale; I was surprised that I didn't pick up any metallic taste with it featuring so much in the aroma.  It's quite fizzy and a little oily in the mouth with a subtle citrus bitterness in the aftertaste.

With just enough malts scraping through to make it quite an enjoyable bitter but, at a paltry 3.4% ABV, it wouldn't be one I would necessarily recommend to bitter lovers, however, I think it would be a perfect crisp, refreshing and thirst quenching drink on a summer's day more suited to pale ale fans.

Brewed by Adnams, Suffolk
3.4% ABV

My rating:

Sunday 20 January 2019

St Austell Proper Job

A traditional looking IPA; deep golden yellow with a slightly off-white frothy head.  There is a bit of sediment in the bottle so you have to pour it slowly and carefully to get a lovely clear ale.  The head is amazingly robust and lasts right down to the last drop.

There isn't a strong aroma but what comes through are yellow fruits; predominantly lemon, grapefruit and pineapple.  As you know, I'm not a fan of the very citrussy beers so this is nice and subtle and not off-putting at all.

I was really surprised with the taste as it is a lot sweeter than I expected.  It's an IPA so it is citrussy but the sweetness takes the edge off it perfectly.  The aftertaste is also quite pleasant; it's bitter as expected but is more juicy grapefruit than lemon squeezy washing up liquid, so that gets a thumbs up from me.  It's quite fizzy in the mouth; tickling the tongue like sherbet.

It's not often I really enjoy an IPA but I really liked this one.  As St Austell have used American hops instead of the traditional Citra hops, the sweetness counteracts the bitterness and blends perfectly to create a very palatable drink for this dark ale lover.

Brewed by St. Austell Brewery, Cornwall
5.5% ABV

My rating: