One woman's ale journey

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

Monday 22 February 2021

Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black


Pot Kettle Black is a South Pacific Porter from New Zealand brewery, Yeastie Boys.  It's a lovely dark beer, almost black but for a slight brown hue with a thick and frothy beige head that lasts well.

The light aroma is predominantly treacle and malt but there's a slight hint of citrus that makes it quite interesting.  The taste is quite smoky and oaky with an added sweetness like burnt toffee.  It has a citrus bitter aftertaste to balance out the sweetness and a medium body with carbonation that's so soft it's like fairies dancing across your tongue.

It's a very nice beer but doesn't feel like a porter; I liked it though.  I thought the smokiness would have put me off but it gave it a lovely roasted taste.  It actually reminded me a bit of Fernet Branca; it's so weird but you can't help having another sip.  Oddly pleasant, I felt like I had to brush my teeth after it but I'd certainly have another one.  Ale Be Seeing You!

Brewed by Yeastie Boys Brewery, New Zealand
6% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4/5

Monday 15 February 2021

Darwin Wearside Monk

Sunderland isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think of Trappist ales but Darwin have brewed an absolute belter in Wearside Monk.  This Trappist ale isn't Belgian, it's Mackem and it certainly gives some of those well known Belgian ales a run for their money.

St. Peter's Church, Sunderland founded in AD 674 was one of the two churches that formed part of the Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery, with St Paul's, Jarrow following in AD 681.  Darwin Brewery had the Monkwearmouth monastery in mind when using Trappist yeast to brew Wearside Monk.  The monks were sure to have been avid home brewers so it's a wonderful tribute to our fascinating local history.

It's a beautiful chestnut brown ale with a loose beige head that disappears rapidly leaving a patchy layer.  There is a tiny bit of sediment in the bottle so I didn't pour it all into my glass in order to keep it lovely and clear.

Well it definitely smells like a Trappist beer with an aroma of sour tangy hops, malt, caramel and dark fruit.  It smells very rich and warming, almost as if it's been brewed in bourbon or whisky casks.

The taste is awesome and so complex that it's hard to describe.  I picked up hints of caramel, malt, dark fruit, tangy hops and even banana.  It has a dry/bitter finish as well as a lingering warming alcohol effect.  It has a medium body and it's perfectly carbonated to give a little fizz on the tongue without being at all harsh.

It's absolutely lovely and I'll be stocking up on more of these as soon as they're back in stock.  What a unique Mackem Trappist ale!  Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by Darwin Brewery, Sunderland
7% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.25/5

Monday 8 February 2021

Corsendonk Summum Roodbruin

Corsendonk Summum Roodbruin is a dark mahogany brown coloured Belgian Dubbel with an amazingly tight beige head that doesn't budge, lasting and lacing until the final drop.  The head is amazingly robust, leaving thick lacing on the glass.  

There's a light aroma of malt, fruit, treacle and tangy hops along with a slightly metallic hint.  There's nothing light about the flavour with a big hit of roasted malt, dark fruit, sour hops and treacle.  As it's a Belgian dubbel with an ABV of 8.1% ABV it's no surprise that there's a slight hint of alcohol in the taste but there's nothing harsh or raw about it; it's more of a warming taste of alcohol as if the beer has been brewed in bourbon casks.  As it develops, I could taste more caramel and even a hint of liquorice giving it a bitter/sweet finish.

Medium bodied with good carbonation, it has an abundance of prickly malty bubbles with a sour fruit centre that burst in your mouth.  It's a real lip smacking beer with sweet caramel lingering on the lips and slightly sour dark fruit and malt on the tongue.

You can tell it's a strong ale as you're drinking it but without any raw alcohol taste it goes down far too easily.  A very easy to drink Belgian ale, it's perhaps not the best dubbel I've ever had but at £6.99 for a pack of 4 from Lidl it's definitely good value.  My four have now all magically disappeared but I'll be keeping an eye out for these hitting the shelves again and Ale Be Seeing You.

Brewed by Corsendonk Brewery, Belgium
8.1% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 4.25/5

Monday 1 February 2021

McColl's Lady Marmalade


McColl's is an innovative new brewery based in the North East of England and whilst their core range includes traditional ales like IPA, Porter, Belgian Blonde and Best Bitter, they have taken these old favourites and 'made it their own', as Louis Walsh would say.

I'm definitely a bitter fan so first up is Lady Marmalade.  It's a bit lively on opening so it took two pours to get it in my glass but it's well worth the wait; it's a stunning hazy golden hued ale with a huge frothy cream head.  It does need a careful pour as there's quite a lot of sediment in the can to give it that lovely hazy appearance.

The aroma is deliciously fruity with citrus notes of orange and grapefruit combined with a hint of spice and slightly floral hops.  This is replicated in the taste with rye adding a hint of spice and the floral citrus notes resulting in a long lasting bitter finish.  The lingering bitterness seems a bit pithy at first but I found this surprisingly palatable and I soon got used to it.  It sure is bitter though; it really gave my taste buds a good old tingling!

A decent medium bodied ale, it's quite fizzy with prickly bubbles that burst like fireworks, scattering flavours of citrus and rye across the tongue.    The carbonation works hard to maintain the amazingly frothy head which lasts and laces well.

“It’s bitter, Jim, but not as we know it.”  Lady Marmalade is a fresh and funky bitter for a new generation of beer lovers. Although I personally prefer my bitter to taste like I’ve sucked a handful of copper coins, there’s no doubt that Lady Marmalade will appeal to more palates with the bitter balance tipped towards citrus zest reminiscent of an IPA.  It's a core beer to have in any beer stash and Ale Be Seeing You again!

Brewed by McColl's Brewery, Bishop Auckland
4.4% ABV

My rating:

My Untappd score: 3.75/5