One woman's ale journey

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

Saturday 31 October 2020

Greene King Gangly Ghoul


🎃 Hoppy Halloween, beer lovers! 🎃

It's the perfect time to release my review of Gangly Ghoul, Greene King's Halloween themed beer.  This comes in a clear bottle so you can see the beautiful mahogany colour of the beer inside and it definitely looks like my kind of beer.

It really is a beautiful ruby tinged mahogany ale with a loose being head that disappears quite quickly to leave a thin patchy foam.  The aroma is so malty that it instantly had my mouth watering but there's also a definite whiff of toffee apples and a hint of orange peel.  It couldn't smell more like Halloween and I was just thinking what a great job Greene King had done, until I tasted it...

The flavour is so weak and the body is so thin that it tastes like slightly malty sparkling water.  With the appearance and aroma scoring so highly, to say I was devastated is an understatement.  I got absolutely no hint of toffee, orange peel or spice that should have been there according to the label.  So very disappointing.

It's so weakly flavoured that it's a ghost of a beer, which is surprisingly relevant for Halloween.  It's only due to the appearance and aroma that it managed to creep into the 3 pint rating with a total score of 25/50.  It's perfectly drinkable and I wouldn't have considered throwing it down the drain, but it's nothing to write home about and unfortunately I wouldn't recommend it.

Brewed by Greene King Brewery, Suffolk
4.2% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 2.5/5

Monday 26 October 2020

Andwell Gold Muddler


This is a dinky 275ml bottle of Andwell's Gold Muddler and it's certainly gold by name and gold by nature.  It's a deep golden blonde ale with a crisp, white and frothy head; it's a pretty lively one as it almost exploded out of the bottle.

It has a lovely hoppy, sweet and slightly citrus aroma; what I would refer to as a traditional beery smell.  The notes in the aroma are replicated in the flavour resulting in a lovely hoppy ale with a subtle citrus bitter finish.  It's a very traditional tasting beer and it actually reminded me of watered down Stones Bitter.

Very softly carbonated and a bit watery in body, it's a crisp, dry and refreshing blonde ale.  The liveliness experienced on opening results in some excellent lacing as that robust head clings on to the side of the glass.  At only 3.9% ABV, it's not a strongly flavoured ale but it's a very good thirst quencher that will appeal to many palates, especially those just starting their real ale journey.

Brewed by Andwell Brewery, Hampshire
3.9% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.5/5

Monday 19 October 2020

Rudgate Ruby


As the nights are drawing in, it's definitely time to get back to the dark side.  Ruby is one of my favourite styles of ale so I was very excited to try Rudgate's Ruby mild ale.  What a beauty it is when it's poured into a glass.  It's a beautiful deep mahogany red ale with a thick, tight beige head that lasts really well and clings to the side of the glass.  It is well named as it shimmers like a ruby when it's held in front of the light of the window.

Oh the aroma is so malty it made my mouth water.  There is also some sweet caramel and dark fruits coming through like raisins, sultanas and possibly cherries.  It's a mouthwatering mix of smells and so very inviting that I dived right in.

My first sip left a huge smile on my face; this delicious ale is definitely my kind of thing.  With flavours of sweet malt, dark fruits, treacle toffee, smooth caramel and a hint of nuts this ticks all the boxes and scores top marks for flavour.  With an initial sweetness followed by a slight bitter finish, it's a delicious well balanced ruby with a medium body and decent carbonation that provides a nice bit of fizz without being too harsh.

This is a beer I'd be more than happy to buy a case of and at £28.75 delivered for a 12 pack direct from Rudgate's online shop, it's an absolute bargain.  If you want a bit more variety, you can also get Ruby in a mixed pack of 12 for the same price of £28.75 including delivery.

Ruby is an absolute gem.  Dark, malty and delicious, Rudgate show just how a ruby should be done and I'm not surprised to learn that Rudgate Ruby has been winning awards since 2002.  It gets a big gold star from me and Ale Be Seeing You again.  

Brewed by Rudgate Brewery, York

4.4% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5

Monday 12 October 2020

S43 - Green Stone


I would usually start my review with appearance but the smell of Green Stone, a NZ IPA from Durham brewers S43, is so amazing that I thought it deserved the first mention.  It is so fruity that it wafts out of the can the second it is opened and continues to fill the air with a fruity and pine aroma while it sits in the glass.  It's like having a scented candle in the room with notes of grapefruit, peach and pine.

I'm not a huge fan of beers with a hazy appearance as they look too much like fruit juice, as does Green Stone.  With the small cream coloured head doing a rapid disappearing act, I was left with what looks like a glass of orange squash.  Although there is some sediment in the can, I expected there to be a lot more so with a careful pour I got a decent glass full.

On to the all important taste and what a lovely surprise this is.  Initially fruity and hoppy with a pinch of pine, it has a lovely sweet/bitter balance followed by an amazing dry finish.  It's full bodied and perfectly carbonated, providing a decent amount of fizz without being harsh.  The taste is so very different to anything I have tried before; I didn't expect to love the pine as much as I did.  The pine complements the bitter grapefruit and the addition of peach adds some sweetness to give a very well balanced ale.

So tasty and very refreshing, you have to remember not to guzzle this one as it packs a punch at 6.8%.  Not being a citrus lover, I'm very surprised to say that Ale Be Seeing You again to Green Stone.  

Brewed by S43 Brewery, Durham

6.8% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5

Monday 5 October 2020

Anchor Steam Beer


Anchor Steam Beer can often be found on supermarket shelves but strangely enough it wasn't a beer I'd tried until someone bought me one as a gift.  On seeing the glorious amber coloured beer with its thick and tight creamy head, I couldn't believe it had taken me so long to try it.  With the amber colour creating a beautiful orange glow in the glass, it really is a beauty to behold but let's see if it tastes as good as it looks.

The aroma is very hoppy with a hint of fruit, sweet caramel and malt.  My mouth was watering as I leant in for my first sip and I was not disappointed.  It is deliciously malty with hints of biscuit, bread and caramel, resulting in a beautifully dry and crisp flavour with a slightly metallic bitter finish.  With a decent body it is quite fizzy but not harsh.

I haven't had many American ales, but Anchor have certainly nailed the Yorkshire head; a head so thick it clings to the glass and lasts to the final drop, which you almost always experience in ales from Yorkshire and North East England.  The mid-amber colour makes it a bit of an in-between beer, being neither light nor dark, so it will definitely appeal to many palates.

I absolutely love the crisp, dry and refreshing flavour and can see why Anchor Steam Beer is a permanent feature on supermarket shelves - it should be a staple beer in any beer stash and Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Anchor Brewing Co, San Francisco, USA
4.8% ABV

My rating:
My Untappd score: 4.25/5