One woman's ale journey

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

Monday 29 June 2020

Rudgate Valkyrie

What a beautiful looking pint this is!  Valkyrie, an American pale ale, is a deep golden ale that has a slight pink tinge as it pours, as I've found with all of my Rudgate ales so far.  It has a small, loose cream coloured head that disperses to leave a thin foam layer.

The aroma is delicious; it has quite a sweet smell of hops, mouthwatering gooey caramel and soft ripe tropical fruits.  All of these smells transfer to the taste which is predominantly sweet caramel drizzled over ripe, juicy tropical fruits.  I could definitely taste passion fruit but not so much of the citrus that is mentioned on the label; as I'm not a fan of too much citrus, I certainly wasn't disappointed about that.

Valkyrie has a very soft mouthfeel, which resulted in a couple of lost points on my scorecard; it is so softly carbonated that you can hardly feel any bubbles at all.  It has a medium body but is slightly on the watery side, which isn't unexpected in an APA.

I often find American pale ales too harsh but I really liked this one; it isn't bitter at all and the sweetness level is just right.  I was surprised how much I liked the passion fruit flavour; it's very unusual and gives the ale a distinct flavour.  Well done Rudgate, Ale Be Seeing Valkyrie again when I fancy a pale ale.

Brewed by Rudgate Brewery, York
5.0% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Find out more at Rudgate Brewery

Monday 22 June 2020

Morland Old Golden Hen

You can't really go wrong with Morland's (now Greene King) Hen range so I thought I'd give award winning Old Golden Hen a try.  Just look at that beautiful golden pint - it's like sunshine in a glass!  It's a deep golden beer with a loose, frothy cream coloured head.  The head doesn't last long, although what is there does cling to the side of the glass.

The aroma is very hoppy with hints of tropical fruit, along with some malty biscuit and caramel once it settles in the glass.  It's so hoppy at first that the aroma wafts out of the bottle as soon as it is opened.

Unsurprisingly, with such a strong hoppy aroma, it tastes deliciously hoppy with a hint of fruit drizzled with caramel.  It's very crisp dry and refreshing with medium body and an abundance of hop filled bubbles that fizz around your mouth with each sip.

Although I felt like I should be enjoying it in a beer garden on a sunny day, it can also bring the sunshine indoors on a grey day.  Old Golden Hen is a lovely golden beer that Ale Be Seeing again.

Brewed by Morland Brewing, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
4.1% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 4/5

Find out more at Morland Brewing

Monday 15 June 2020

Rudgate Jorvik

The next beer out of my Rudgate box is Jorvik, labeled as a light, refreshing and fruity blonde ale.  As with the Rudgate pale ale, this has a weird pink hue and looks very light as it initially pours out of the bottle, ending up a slightly hazy weird pinky golden colour.  It has a small off-white head that lasts surprisingly well, maintaining a thin layer as you drink.

The aroma is hoppy and fruity; predominantly grapefruit along with some kind of stone fruit like peach or apricot.  The blend of hops and fruit results in a slightly floral smell but is light enough that it isn't off-putting.  I was very pleasantly surprised on my first sip as flavours of hops, caramel, stone fruit, citrus and melon combine to give my tastebuds a workout, followed by a lovely dry and bitter finish.  

Well carbonated and medium bodied, Jorvik is a very refreshing and fruity blonde ale.  It is the weirdest coloured blonde ale I've ever seen but what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in taste as it perfectly balances its sweet and bitter flavours.

Brewed by Rudgate Brewery, York
4.6% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 3.5/5

Find out more at Rudgate Brewery

Monday 8 June 2020

John Smith's Original

I do like a bitter and John Smith's is my go-to cheap as chips beer if I find myself in a pub with a poor choice of real ales.  Pubs serve the John Smith's extra smooth variety, which is in the green can, but when Amazon pantry had a 4 pack of original for £1.75 I couldn't check out fast enough.  So at just under 44p per can, let's see what I thought.

I love the colour of this, it's a clear chestnut brown ale with a frothy and loose cream coloured head.  The head disappears quite quickly, leaving a patchy foam layer.  The aroma is pretty uninspiring; it's more metallic than anything else with an underlying dirty water smell.  Sounds great, doesn't it?  I kept the faith as John Smith's had never failed me!

It definitely pulled its socks up in the taste.  It's so easy to drink with delicate notes of sweet malts and bitter hops along with a delicious nutty flavour.  It's light, fizzy and so very easy to drink.  I do think I prefer the John Smith's Smooth but I'm glad I tried this one; indeed who wouldn't try it for the amazing bargainous price I paid?

John Smith's is my not so guilty pleasure and I'm not ashamed to say Ale Be Seeing You Again!

Brewed by John Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire
3.6% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Find out more at John Smith's Brewery

Monday 1 June 2020

Otter Brewery Otter Bright

It says on the label that Otter Bright is a lager beer but I think it's doing itself a bit of a disservice as it's definitely more of a pale ale than a lager, in my opinion.

Looking like a very traditional pint of beer, it's a lovely golden colour with a small, loose off-white head.  The head disappears faster than I'd like resulting in just a thin foam after a few minutes before disappearing altogether.

The aroma is very hoppy with notes of honey, caramel, biscuit and just a hint of fruity citrus.  All of these smells transfer to the taste with the sweet notes of honey and caramel being followed by a mild citrus bitterness.  The citrus level is perfect for me with no hint of lemon squeezy washing up liquid to be found.  As you would expect with a pale ale, it's relatively thin-bodied but well carbonated which gives it a pleasant silky mouthfeel.  

Very crisp, dry, refreshing and so easy to drink, this is definitely a beer I'd have in my fridge for a sunny day.  Otter Bright, Ale Be Seeing You Again.

Brewed by Otter Brewery, Devon
4.3% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Find out more at Otter Brewery