One woman's ale journey

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

Monday 27 July 2020

Rudgate York Chocolate Stout

I was really excited to try this stout as I love stout and I love chocolate so it sounds like the perfect pairing.  It's slightly lighter than a traditional black stout; it's more of a dark brown with a mahogany hue.  It has the perfect sized head which is beige, tight and long lasting.

The aroma isn't very strong but it's definitely chocolatey!  There's a lovely malty smell too and it reminded me of the smell of freshly made chocolate Horlicks with a Flake crumbled on the top.  Mouthwatering!

The flavour, like the aroma, isn't terribly strong.  It has very subtle hints of milk chocolate followed by a bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.  It's not as chocolatey as I expected but the flavour does develop over time so don't judge this one on your first sip.  Softly carbonated with a medium body, it's a decent stout with a bitter kick and is very easy to drink as it doesn't feel too heavy.

I was hoping for something extra special but it didn't quite meet my expectations.  It's a nice enough stout but nothing to rave about.

Brewed by Rudgate Brewery, York
5% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 3.5/5

Find out more at Rudgate Brewery

Monday 20 July 2020

Schlenkerla Fastenbier

When I placed my first order with Honest Brew, I was intrigued by the Fastenbier from historic German brewpub Schlenkerla.  The bottle label is very striking and the beautiful deep amber/ruby coloured beer inside looks pretty good too.  The small, cream coloured head is quite loose and it disappears quickly leaving just a few bubbles around the sides.

The most striking thing about Fastenbier is the smell.  As soon as I popped the lid off I was hit with the smell of a German food market.  In fact, the first thing I said when I opened it was: 'it smells like bacon'.  I haven't eaten meat for almost 30 years so there may be some people who disagree with my description of this aroma, but the smell of this beer evoked memories of my Nanna frying bacon.  Aside from the smokiness, there's also a distinct malty aroma but I couldn't get past the bacon aroma so I was a little scared to lean in for a sip.

The taste is definitely better than the smell, and improves if you don't breathe in when you're drinking!  The initial flavour is sweet malts and burnt caramel followed by smoked meats.  A very odd combination but it sort of works and it did grow on me.  Despite the lack of head, it's surprisingly fizzy with soft carbonation and a medium body.

No wonder the sneaky monks invented this beer when they were fasting over Lent; it's like a bacon sandwich in a glass!  Although it's wasn't for me, I'm glad I tried it as it's a very good smoked beer and I much prefer a beer tasting and smelling of smoked meat rather than an overflowing ashtray.

Brewed by Schlenkerla Brewery, Bamburg, Germany
5.9% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3/5

Find out more at Schlenkerla Brewery

Monday 13 July 2020

BrewDog Clockwork Tangerine

There are a lot of fruit infused beers around at the moment and I find them lovely and refreshing, so let's see what I thought of Clockwork Tangerine, the citrus session IPA from BrewDog.

This pours a beautiful deep golden or light amber with a lovely orange hue.  If it didn't have the frothy cream coloured head, you could almost mistake it for a glass of Irn Bru.

I was expecting a huge whiff of tangerine when I popped the lid off the bottle but instead got more of a light hoppy aroma.  It does have a hint of tangerine when it develops but if I wasn't looking for it I wouldn't really have noticed it.

On to the taste and there is a definite flavour of tangerine, although it isn't overpowering, coupled with hops and caramel.  The tangerine hint adds an initial bit of sweetness followed by a bitter pithy aftertaste.  The bitterness lingers slightly too long for my liking and builds up over time, turning into more of a grapefruit than orange citrus.  It's fizzy but a bit thin-bodied and watery, but that's what you'd expect in an IPA.

Crisp and dry, there's a little too much pithy bitterness to be refreshing but I have to applaud BrewDog for getting the tangerine flavour absolutely spot on.

Brewed by BrewDog, Ellon, Aberdeenshire
4.5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Find out more at BrewDog Brewery

Monday 6 July 2020

Tiny Rebel Peaches and Cream

Award winning Welsh brewers, Tiny Rebel, are well known for inventive and original beers.  If you like your beer to taste of beer, then Tiny Rebel aren't for you but if you like something new and different then they're right up your street,

I set out on my Tiny Rebel journey with a can of Peaches and Cream that I bought from Block & Bottle in Gateshead (before they moved over the Tyne to Newcastle).  

As soon as you crack open the can there is no mistaking that this a peach flavoured beer; the smell of sweet peaches really couldn't be more peachy if it was an actual peach itself.  It does smell absolutely amazing; it's like a cross between a bowl of freshly cut peaches and an old fashioned peach melba (when they were orange instead of yellow).  Could it BE more peachy?

When it is poured it is a hazy yellowy orange colour with an amazing tight and frothy cream coloured head.  This is the best head I have ever seen on an IPA; it lasts right to the end and clings to the sides of the glass in foamy clumps.

I have to admit to being a little nervous as I moved in for my first sip.  It smells so intensely peachy that I worried it would be more of a peach juice than a beer but Tiny Rebel sure know what they're doing.  It's not as strongly peach flavoured as I expected, but the peach flavour is definitely there along with a creaminess that I can only describe as clotted cream ice cream.  

The sweet fruit flavour makes it a very refreshing drink and the added cream flavour makes it feel rich and decadent like a very special treat.  It's medium bodied and well carbonated but feels oddly smooth due to the creaminess.

Tiny Rebel have really hit it out of the park with this one; it's absolutely divine and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for it being brewed again.  It is exactly what it says on the tin so steer clear if you don't like peaches.  I'm counting this as 1 of my 5 a day so Ale definitely be Seeing Peaches and Cream again!

Brewed by Tiny Rebel Brewing, Newport, Wales
5.5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5

Find out more at Tiny Rebel Brewing