One woman's ale journey

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

Monday 30 November 2020

Bear Republic Grand-Am


With a fabulous chequered flag on the label, this looks like the perfect beer to drink while watching Formula 1, although it's quite strong at 6% so I wouldn't like to drink too many of them.  

It's a deep golden beer that's so bubbly and lively it produces a huge off-white head.  I didn't think I was going to get it all in the glass!  

It has a lovely aroma of sweet juicy mango and pithy grapefruit with a hint of caramel and hops.  The flavours all transfer into the taste and it's a rather nice blend of tropical fruit, citrus fruit, caramel and malt with a slight floral hint.  The citrus aftertaste is quite strong but isn't so pithy that it's unpleasant, it just lingers a little bit too long for my liking.

It doesn't feel like a strong beer when you're drinking it, but I got a bit of a flushed face so I knew it was a strong one.  It's quite fizzy and harshly carbonated that it gives the tongue a good tingling and maintains the head right through, leaving thick lacing on the glass.

Not bad at all, I really liked the tropical fruit flavour that took the edge off the citrus.  A very pleasant American Pale Ale and I'd definitely have another one if I saw it again.  Ale Be Seeing You!

Brewed by Bear Republic Brewing Company, California, USA
6% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.5/5

Monday 23 November 2020

Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet

This is one of the lightest Belgian tripels I have ever seen, but it does look beautiful in the glass.  It's a deep golden yellow ale with a thick, frothy white head and looks very lively and bubbly in the glass.  There is some sediment so it does require a careful pour to get a clear beer, but you can add the yeast if that's to your taste.

With wafts of honey, hops, peach, banana and a hint of herbal spiciness, the aroma is complex and so very appealing.  The taste is absolutely sublime; it's a lovely blend of malt and hops with a fruity undertone.  I could taste juicy peaches drizzled in honey with a hint of lemon drizzle cake to give a bitter/sweet finish.  There is also a hint of raw alcohol in the taste, which is unsurprising as it's a stonking 8.4% ABV.

It's certainly one to savour rather than glug and the intense fizziness and harsh carbonation ensures you don't drink it too quickly.  Even though I took my time drinking it, the amazing head lasted until the very last drop.  Don't be fooled by the light appearance, this is a tripel that packs a punch and one Ale Be Seeing again. 

Brewed by Bosteels Brewery, Belgium
8.4% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.25/5

Monday 16 November 2020

Hatherwood Winter Warmer


As the nights get darker, so does my beer and I love to see all of the spiced ales hitting supermarket shelves in time for the festive season.  Although I find Hatherwood beers a bit hit and miss, it doesn't stop me from trying them!  I guess you get what you pay for and sometimes you get a nice surprise, which is the case with Winter Warmer, brewed for Lidl by Surrey brewers Hogs Back.

This is a lovely dark ale with a red hue and resembles a glass of coke when the head disappears.  It initially has a large frothy beige coloured head which disappears to a thin foam.

The aroma is absolutely superb.  Sweet treacle and spicy cinnamon combine to produce a mouthwatering aroma that again reminds me of coke because of the cinnamon.  I started to wonder if Lidl had ripped me off and sold me a coke in a beer bottle.

Phew!  It's not fizzy enough to be coke; it's very softly carbonated and actually feels a bit flat but the flavour is lovely. It's not strongly flavoured but it has a lovely sweet/bitter balance with added spice.  The taste of sweet malt with the cinnamon spice is amazing and it's followed by a slightly bitter coffee and chocolate aftertaste.

It's very easy to drink and is spot on for a winter ale.  That's one Hatherwood beer to which I can say 'Ale Be Seeing You again'.

Brewed for Lidl by Hogs Back Brewery, Surrey
5.5% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5

Monday 9 November 2020

Black Sheep Glug M'Glug

If you follow my blog, you'll know that I am a huge fan of Black Sheep Brewery and I still think of the original Black Sheep Ale as one of my favourite beers.  Although I don't think they can improve on perfection, the Yorkshire brewery have expanded their range and today I'm taking a look at their dark IPA, Glug M'Glug.

Oh isn't it a thing of beauty?  A dark nut brown ale with a thick, tight and creamy trademark Black Sheep head.  The head is robust and leaves amazing lacing on the glass; now that's what I call a proper Yorkshire head.

With appetising aromas of treacle, malt and citrus I couldn't wait to dive in and see if it tastes as good as it looks and smells.  Oh indeed it does!  With a massive hit of dark, tangy maltiness with a dry, bitter citrus finish, Black Sheep have got the perfect sweet/bitter balance for me.  The citrus is stronger in the aroma than in the taste and that makes it definitely more my kind of thing, as I'm often put off IPA due to the overpowering citrus flavour.

It has a thin to medium body and it isn't overly carbonated but leaves a nice tingly feeling in the mouth, along with a frothy moustache on the lips!  

I was very impressed with Glug M'Glug; it's a superbly different, perfectly balanced dark ale and Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Black Sheep Brewery, Yorkshire
6.2% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5

Monday 2 November 2020

Chimay Red


Chimay is one of the most well know Trappist breweries and they certainly know how to brew outstanding Trappist beer.  Chimay Red was the first Trappist beer to be brewed by monks at the Scourmont Abbey in Chimay, Belgium in 1862.  It is an amber dubbel made with water drawn from the two wells inside the monastery.

Pouring a rich mahogany colour with a tight beige head that seems to magically continue to grow, this is a beautiful red-tinged brown ale.  There is some sediment in the bottle so I poured it carefully to get a clearer ale as I'm not a fan of bits but you can of course include the yeast if that is to your taste.  

It has a mouthwatering aroma of dark fruit, particularly raisins and plums, sweet malts and a hint of spice.  Although it doesn't smell of alcohol, the aroma is so rich that you can tell it is a strong beer.  The taste is absolutely sublime: such a lovely blend of malt, treacle and fruit with a perfectly balanced citrus/metallic bitter finish.  The sweet/bitter balance is perfect and I had to remind myself of the 7% ABV to stop me glugging it down.

It's a medium bodied ale that is well carbonated, with bubbles slightly on the harsh side and they certainly left my tongue tingling.  It really is a delicious dark ale and I can definitely say that Ale Be Seeing You again.

Brewed by Chimay Brewery, Belgium
7% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.5/5