The Ale Thread Page 74

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  • Vortex808 16 Sep 2012 21:18:18 11,750 posts
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    Man, I could gladly do some *serious* damage to my liver if I could've made that!
  • JuanKerr 17 Sep 2012 14:52:13 37,708 posts
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    And yet people still drink Carling.
  • ILoveThrashMetal 17 Sep 2012 16:33:14 1,066 posts
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    JuanKerr wrote:
    And yet people still drink Carling.
    I went to my local brewery last week (Surrey hills)† and got 16 pints (bright beer) of the best beer ever Sheare Drop. Worked out at £2 a pint.
    Down my local it's £3.70.
    Mate of mine started his own brewery this year and has already won best beer category (Guildford)†
    Good luck to them I say, good decent pub's are becoming extinct now because of the cost of running them and the cunty companies that own them.
  • dradis 18 Sep 2012 10:21:07 21 posts
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    ILoveThrashMetal wrote:
    I've come to the conclusion Shepherd Neame wouldn't know how to brew a decent pint if it kicked it in the nuts.Horrible beers
    I don't know - I don't mind a bottle of Spitfire, and I've had a half decent pint of Late Red recently. They're certainly not my favourite brewery, but I find them inoffensive enough.

    What I don't like is that they have a near monopoly on pubs where I usually go for a pint: 5 pubs within 5 mins walk, all serving exactly the same beer selection. It gets rather samey...
  • Benno 20 Sep 2012 09:00:55 11,691 posts
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    I visited the York Beer festival last night. I was with two others and we decided to buy each other's beer every round.

    I opened with a heretic, which was quite tasty. Then I had barabarian bought for me, which had a lingering taste of burnt wood.

    I had a ginger cascade, which was very nice (tasted exactly like ginger snaps), and I also sampled the chocolate orange delight, which didn't quite live up to its name!

    I had quite a few more (feeling a bit tender at work this morning, also feel like I smoked a 20 pack last night, although I didn't!).

    Was good fun, and we are going back tonight. The lass we were with likes her cider and seemed to love everything we threw at her. I would highly recommend it.
  • MrSemprini 20 Sep 2012 11:20:48 9,667 posts
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    Tsk, call that a review :)

    Boozers, losers, strumpets and schmoozers! Welcome once again to something of an annual tradition in this very thread, on this very forum no less - a compte rendu, if it pleases, of the comings and goings at the York Beer & Cider Festival. The organisers have upped the ante this year with a whopping 300 British ales, 70 Continentals, 100 ciders and perrys, not to mention a smattering of meads and wines (including some Yorkshire wine for the very brave, geumatophobiacs need not apply). With opening night last night being a school night, one couldnít get too giddy, so just a few introductory samples taken. With so much choice on offer, your humble correspondent was determined to not indulge in returning old favourites, instead leaping into the unknown with untried and untested brews. Preamble over, letís get started.

    What was that nonsense about only going for new tastes? When the very first item you spot is the sublime Captain Oates from local boys Brown Cow, one really cannot just waltz by to have a ride on some fresh new filly. The good Captain is as outstanding as ever, a superior dark mild and at 4.5%, nothing too overpowering from the off.

    On recommendation from some drinking cohorts, we go all the way down to Downton in Wiltshire to get down with their Chocolate Orange Delight(5.8%). Pronounced chocolate flavour goes the blurb, with a pleasant orange addition no less. Well, maybe, but to my unsophisticated tastes, the choc was muted and the orange barely an afterthought. Pleasant enough but doesnít have the wallop one would expect.

    Staying down south we meander over to Hampshire to the good people of Sherfield Village and their quite splendid Pioneer Stout (5%). More of a choc punch than the previous tipple, a very rich and pleasing ale all round.

    Bertie: What blighter was it that invented the bicycle?
    Jeeves: The first truly rideable machine was made by a Mr. Kirkpatrick MacMillan of Dumfriesshire in Scotland in 1839, I believe, sir.
    Bertie: Too late to do anything about it now, I suppose.
    Jeeves: I fear so, sir.

    Which, in a roundabout way, brings us to Smokey Joe (5%) from Geeves own brewery in, er, Barnsley. Classic strong, rich stout, no Fancy Dan mucking about here, no tickling a googly away for a soft single, this is crash, bang wallop, 6 sixes, Twenty20 style, an in your face malt sock to the chops. Lovely!

    With time drawing on, Ďtwas just time for one more mutchkin before hitting the road. Chums, we finished on a high! Dr Mortonís Old Stock, 6.9% of ruby coloured goodness from the fine alechemists at Abbeydale. A winning concoction of fruit and toffee, rich to the point of bloated opulence, it will take a special ale indeed to displace it as beer of the festival. This introduction to the Dr Morton range has piqued my interest in their other offerings, especially as they go by such charming names as Binge Oil, Corpse Nailer, Cow Polish, Duck Baffler, Embalming Preparation, Sheep Remedy and Mild.

    Right then, thatís your lot for now. The next tasting session is lined up for Friday afternoon with the denouement set for Saturday evening. See you in part 2.....
  • JuanKerr 20 Sep 2012 11:28:55 37,708 posts
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    Excellent work. You should go for some pale ales/IPAs tomorrow I say.

    Just looked at Abbeydale's site and I see no mention of the beers you listed - are they all new or something?
  • MrSemprini 20 Sep 2012 11:48:25 9,667 posts
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    The plan was to do that very thing but the lure of the stouts got to me last night. Friday is the main event, will be there from around midday so there will definitely be some lighter ones on the go otherwise I'll be conked out before 6.
  • JuanKerr 20 Sep 2012 12:00:11 37,708 posts
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    Nice one. Damn, shame they don't bottle their stuff as it sounds really rather good.
  • Benno 20 Sep 2012 12:01:53 11,691 posts
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    I wish my written English was even 1/5 as good as MrSemprini's :(

    Edited by Benno at 12:06:17 20-09-2012
  • MrSemprini 20 Sep 2012 12:12:27 9,667 posts
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    It's all my own work, especially that P.G. Wodehouse bit in the middle.
  • MikeP 20 Sep 2012 12:25:21 2,821 posts
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    Do we have a thread for Home brewers anywhere?
  • JuanKerr 20 Sep 2012 12:26:35 37,708 posts
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    There is a group somewhere, but it's been dead for many years I believe.

    Use this thread :)
  • dradis 20 Sep 2012 20:46:27 21 posts
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    Well, if we're talking about brewing as well...

    Brewed my first beer to my own recipe yesterday!

    It's inspired by the Marzen beers you find at the Oktoberfest. It's an ale rather than lager, using UK rather than German malts, and should be a fair bit hoppier than the beers in Munich.

    But I've used traditional German hops: Tettnang and Hallertauer Hersbrucker, along with Celeia from Slovenia. It should have quite a soft bitterness for the strength (about 5.6% ABV), albeit quite a lot of hop flavour and aroma.

    Can't wait to see how it turns out!
  • monkehhh 20 Sep 2012 20:59:55 4,740 posts
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    The guy at sit next to at work is taking the afternoon off to go to the York festival tomorrow, no fair :(
  • MrSemprini 23 Sep 2012 21:25:54 9,667 posts
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    Regular viewers will be on tenterhooks waiting for instalment the second after the introductory ramble of part 1 (a few posts up for those too drunk or dull witted to seek it for themselves).

    So here we are then, Friday afternoon, the bell tolls for 1pm and an appropriate start came from the chaps at Bird Brain and their Puffin Pale Ale (3.9%). The Ronseal of pale ales, do not look to this for surprises or challenges in this offering. Perfectly fine, perfectly refreshing, perfectly standard for the genre. Next!

    Cropton, home of the immense Blackout, also deliver up Two Chefs (4.2%). With a dollop of Yorkshire honey providing the sweetness, the two chefs in question can only be a tantalising mix of Nigella and Rachael Khoo, engaged in smearing butter, cream, and of course honey, over each otherís hot bodies before getting down to the hardcore business of licking it all off. Yummy!

    To change the mood a little
    I've been posing down the pub
    On seeing my reflection
    I'm looking slightly rough
    I fancy this, I fancy that
    I wanna be so flash
    I give a little muscle
    And I spend a little cash
    But all I get is bitter and a nasty little rash
    And by the time I'm sober
    I've forgotten what I've had
    And everybody tells me that it's cool to be a cat
    Cool for cats
    So Cool for Cats, then. A 4.5% collaboration thankfully producing a result more in line with Queen & David Bowie than Metallica & Lou Reed. The tasting notes describe it as "...a sumptuous coffee porter. A sumptuous coffee porter" which could either be a printing error or it was so good they described it twice. Stout of the festival? Up against distressingly limited competition, could be!

    Local boys Treboom bang the drum, specifically the Kettle Drum (4.3%) with a hoppy, bitter number that fails to deliver the purported fruit balance, resulting in an almost sour experience.

    Itís not the easiest of journeys, going to Maui via Shipton-by-Beningborough but the effort is worthwhile in order to sample their intriguing Coconut Porter (6.0%). Makes a change from the usual choc\coffee\vanilla variants at least. Classic porter flavour is prominent, with the coconut being a welcome undercurrent. Imported, therefore expensive, but worth a go if youíre in the mood for something different.

    Abbeydale, already on a high from Dr Morton, brew up a choccy stout that promises chocolate, raisins, cherries and a fantastic cocoa finish but can only summon up the imagination to name it Chocolate Stout (4.2%). Sadly, the lack of creativity in the name extends to the taste which reveals itself to be rather standard, a long way from striving for greatness.

    With the trend of the last few years to go mad with hops, citrus and grapefruit, it wasnít any surprise to see a plethora of entries in that dept. Ascotís version is Aureole, 3.3% of overpowering zest which is quickly abandoned in favour of their Single Hop Pilot (4.5%) which is superior in every way. Ascot have been brewing a range of single hop beers and if the rest are as good as this copper pale ale then discerning drinkers in and around Surrey are sure to be in for a treat.

    Axholme appear to have a creative black hole in the nomenclature dept, their selection available here being "Lager", "IPA", "Best Bitter" and the one glimmer of hope "Best Beeter", an ale with added beetroot (which had run out unfortunately). So, Best Bitter it was for me, a 3.8% session ale promising malty fruitcake with a peppery finish. For once, the description was accurate - a fine, quaffable bitter with a suitably impressive body and pleasing finish.

    The folks at Rat have a similar lack of imagination, their ales being White Rat, Black Rat, Queen Rat and Rattus Rattus, which, as any taxonomist will tell you, is the latin name for the black rat. Quite where that leaves Black Rat in all this is anyone's guess. I guess we should be thankful they haven't yet named anything after the former drummer of the Damned. Anywho, Rattus Rattus (4.3%) had a description that drew me in Ė a wheat beer with flavours of banana, cloves and coriander and as unpleasant as that sounds, it was actually on the right side of decent. Cloves were not too much in attendance which left the other ingredients to mingle nicely on the palate.

    Citra8, 7.4% of over hopped citrus shambles. A nonsense in a glass.

    England, 1643. A country in turmoil, civil war is raging and Oliverís army setting the standard for genocide. But it wasnít all bad - New Model Army, a latter day popular beat combo, was created as a direct result of all this chaos and so were the next entries in our little rundown from the charming folks at Two Cocks. 1643 Cavalier (3.8%), a pleasing, light golden ale and 1643 Roundhead (4.2%) a superior bitter with bags of flavour. Sadly, the 1643 Puritan stout was unavailable but based on these two fine fellows, could be well worth checking out.

    Despite having the disadvantage of coming from Manchester, Wilson Potter conjure up not one, not two, but three whole gemís in their Triple Gem (3.9%), a wonderful ale that tiptoes to the edge of greatness. Fruity on the nose with a deep oaky flavour, one of the finest beers of the fest.

    Bridestones Chocolate Stout (5%) is another unremarkable ale in both name and taste. Decent enough but nothing to warrant a double dip. Is there a ration on chocolate malts this year? The number of disappointing ones taken on is bordering on silly.

    Old Mill Yorkshire Porter (4.4%), a pleasing, roasty porter. Uncomplicated but thoroughly decent, well worth seeking out.

    For the first time ever I saw the Scotch in their natural habitat, and it weren't pretty. I'd seen them huddling in stations before, being loud butÖ this time I was surrounded. Everywhere I went it felt like they were watching me; fish-white flesh puckered by the Highland breeze; tight eyes peering out for fresh meat; screechy, booze-soaked voices hollering out for a taxi to take 'em halfway up the road to the next all-night watering hole. A shatter of glass; a round of applause; a sixteen-year-old mother of three vomiting in an open sewer, bairns looking on, chewing on potato cakes.
    For anyone that has been to Scotland, this is an all too familiar scene. Fortunately, itís not all deep fried Mars Bars and sectarian violence. No, thereís Isla Fisher and Karen Gillan for two and also Cart Noir (4.8%) from the chaps at Kelburn. A spicy porter but delightfully smooth. Perfect fireside drinking for the coming months. Probably not going to be found in the Tall Cranes.

    Back to Sherfield now for their Riwaka (4.3%). Another single hopped entry, it ambles towards the hoppy\citrus crowd but thankfully keeps itself a few steps back to carve out a nice little niche for itself.

    That just about wraps it up for this year. Beer of the festival was undoubtedly Dr Mortonís Old Stock. A good selection on offer, the largest ever for York in fact, but the lack of a new, truly outstanding stout\porter was a little disappointing but perhaps an imminent winter fest will reveal some hitherto undiscovered gem.

    Right-o, game over, Iím off for a good sleep now. Toodle pip!
  • Psychotext 25 Sep 2012 19:00:38 62,170 posts
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    Woohoo... I'm in Morrisons and Pumpking is available again this year. \o/
  • MikeP 15 Oct 2012 17:04:14 2,821 posts
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    About to kick off my next two batches of home brew.

    First is a relatively easy-drinking 4.5 - 5.0% amber ale with Challenger and Cascade hops for home. Mix of mostly Maris Otter with about 10% Crystal malt in the grain bill. Might throw a bit of Cara Red in there, I have some leftovers to use up.

    Then a keg of a Christmassy beer for the office. Maris Otter Pale, Crystal and Chocolate malt in that, with a mix of Challenger and Perle hops. Aiming for 5.5 - 6% and a much darker colour with a toastier flavour.

    Edited by MikeP at 17:04:52 15-10-2012
  • MrSemprini 18 Oct 2012 13:24:17 9,667 posts
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    A few Wednesday night tipples to wash away the stench of another wretched England performance.

    Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, weighing in at 6% and £7 a pint, your impoverished correspondent settled on a half. Hailing from Rogue Brewery in Oregon, this was astonishingly good. Beautiful, rich and complex, everything you want from a stout. If anyone knows where to buy Rogue ales in the UK, don't be shy on details as their other ales sound equally delicious.

    Maltings M.A.D. Raspberry Stout, brewed locally and only available in The Maltings, kept me nicely entertained for its duration. The fruit doesn't overwhelm, allowing the roastiness to shine through. Probably wouldn't have another straight after but pleasant enough.

    Black Sheep, not my favourite by a long way. Not a fan of any of their offerings really. However, last year they brewed up a batch of Imperial Russian Stout and now it's back. Superior to everything else they do combined, they should bin the rest and make this a staple drink.

    Rudgate, creators of the splendid Ruby Mild, generally only sell their York Chocolate Stout in bottles so the chance to try it on tap was not to be missed. Nothing surprising here, all the flavour was up front, an instant big choc hit and not much else. Doesn't linger, once it's down, it's gone. Perfectly fine without being spectacular.

    One for the road and we come to Wentworth brewery and their saucy little number, Liquorice Stout. In contract to the choc, this had a long finish, the subtle liquorice flavour taking its time to reveal itself. Delightfully smooth, a real treat of a drink.
  • Jono62 18 Oct 2012 13:43:10 18,470 posts
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    Mm, the liquorice stout sounds nice.

    I had a bottle of Sierra Nevada Kellerweis which, according to the bottle, use traditional Bavarian style of open fermentation. Wow! This blond is smooth and had a hint of citrus to it. Not too happy and could of drank it in one go. Recommended.
  • JuanKerr 18 Oct 2012 14:10:48 37,708 posts
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    Tried a Flying Dog Pearl Necklace recently, which I'd heard a lot of good things about.

    Slightly amusing name aside, it left me disappointed - had it on keg, so perhaps the taste was killed by the cold, but just tasted like a bog standard, fairly bland stout to me. At £2.25 for a half, I was expecting a lot more.
  • mal 18 Oct 2012 14:36:15 28,666 posts
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    @Jono62 Not too *hoppy*, can I assume?

    Edit: I can't spell either.

    Edited by mal at 14:36:47 18-10-2012
  • Jono62 18 Oct 2012 15:05:06 18,470 posts
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    @mal Correct.
  • Kokapetl 24 Oct 2012 23:10:33 864 posts
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    This seems like a semi appropriate place to ask. I'm organising a stag to for my friend who's getting married in March. As he's a big fan or real ales we were considering renting a house/manor/area to sleep in the Lake District. Could anyone recommend a certain area of the Lakes that has a decent amount of micro breweries or pubs with in a decent walking distance?

    I'd ask in another thread but I feel that the knowledge you guys posses of the ales will likely leave me in better standing.

    On another note I bought in a mini keg of St Peters Organic Ale the other week. It makes a splendid drink out of a bottle but it's even better out of the keg. So much so that it only lasted two nights :-(
  • mal 25 Oct 2012 02:08:32 28,666 posts
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    Would probably be quicker if we noted any areas of the lakes that don't have a sufficient number of pubs within walking distance.

    Also, they don't call them micro-breweries up there. Just breweries.
  • Vortex808 22 Dec 2012 17:48:58 11,750 posts
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    Time for a xmas bump.

    Tonight I am having one of my xmas treats to myself.

    A Flying Dog brewery 'Wildeman' farmhouse IPA.

    A bit hoppy, but it's not overpowering. A rather pleasant american brew.
  • Vortex808 27 Dec 2012 23:15:04 11,750 posts
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    Enjoying a nice bottle of kwac. Those belgians sure know how to brew.

  • Jono62 27 Dec 2012 23:31:29 18,470 posts
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    I'm going on a stereotype as you are Scottish ;), so what's your opinion on this?
  • Vortex808 28 Dec 2012 14:33:42 11,750 posts
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    Innis & Gunn are not bad. Had a few decent beers from them. Was that a xmas present?

    Williams bros and Harviestoun breweries do some of my preferred Scottish brews at the moment. Nice, light scoofing beers.

    Oh, and Swanny brewery's Scapa Special IPA is one of my favourite IPA's just now if you spot it.

    Everyone's taste differs though!

    I have 13 bottles on order from alesela (i think) due to a voucher from the missus which I can't wait for. Various belgian, US and british beers in there. Hope it arrives in time for hogmanay/new years eve!
  • Jono62 28 Dec 2012 15:21:47 18,470 posts
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    Yeah, a present from my brother. I'm looking forward to the porter the most and the glass looks very nice too.

    Will keep an eye out for the ones you've mentioned. Always looking to try new ales out.
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