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York Brewery Guzzler

2013-06-08 17.38.46

To get me started on my series of reviews of beers from Yorkshire based breweries, I’m starting at the York Brewery itself, with the excellent 4% ABV Guzzler.  This is a light gold ale that pours with a light but enduring head.  The ale smells of citrus and elderflower, and the taste is light on malt, with subtle notes of citrus lemon.  Unusually, the tasting notes match my own assessment of the beer.  It would be great with a salad, or a very enjoyable session ale.  Highly recommended.

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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Golden Ale

 

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Shepherd Neame Master Brew

2013-05-27 19.41.51

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting very much from a beer with the uber-generic name “Master Brew’ and costing only £1 per bottle, but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by this offering from Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame.  I was in for a very pleasant surprise, therefore!  This 4% ABV light amber coloured ale pours with a lively light head that settles quickly but lasts well.  There’s a strong hoppy aroma, with a well-rounded but complex flavour that has a slightly dry bitterness layered over a light, malty base with hints of ginger nuts and lemons.  £1 well spent, I’d say.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Bitter

 

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Dark Star Espresso

2013-05-25 19.12.59

I’ve been waiting for the right time to try this bottle of Dark Star’s Espresso for quite some time and this is it!  The beer was the SIBA National Champion speciality beer in 2009, so my expectations were pretty high, and so far, have been exceeded.  The colour of the beer is deep, dark, and almost black.  It has a thin tan coloured head that rapidly dissipates, and the aroma is of coffee grounds, and almost nothing else.  The coffee beans that are added to the brew are also responsible for the flavour, in which roasted malt is married perfectly with the espresso from the coffee.  It’s a dry, grown up taste, to be savoured.  I wouldn’t drink with food, and while I’d be tempted to replace a real espresso with this beer, it’s too big a flavour to follow most meals.  Nor is it a session beer (not unless you’ve got a coffee addiction).  I’d recommend drinking this beer on a cold, probably winter’s, evening, ideally in front of a blazing fire.  And while it’s not really relevant, the ABV is 4.2%.

This beer features in World’s Best Beers: 1000 Unmissable Brews from Portland to Prague by Ben McFarland and Adam Tierney-Jones’ 1001 Beers: You Must Try Before You Die.
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Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Black, Coffee

 

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Teme Valley This

2013-05-18 18.13.13

Teme Valley’s This is a 3.7% ABV light ale.  It’s a typical light brown colour and smells, to be honest, of very little.  The flavour, as this kind of beer goes, is `ok’ – maybe a little bland.  If I was drinking this in a pub by the pint, I’d probably be quite happy.  But I wouldn’t go out of my way to try this again – there are so many other great beers around.

 

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Pale Ale

 

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Potten Village Bike

2013-05-05 18.56.46

Potton’s Village Bike claims to be a multi award-winning bitter from Bedfordshire so I was expecting great things and to be honest, I was a little disappointed.  This 4.3% ABV ‘Premium Ale’ is a light amber colour when poured with a thin head that dissipates very quickly.  The aroma is floral and slightly fresh – to my mind a little like elderflower.  The taste is quite disappointing.  As bitters go, this is very mild, biscuity, and lacking in a great deal of character.  It’s also quite flat – the epitome of those beers that used to be sold as ‘real ale’ in pubs owned by large national breweries.  Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. Sorry!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Bitter

 

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Thwaites Frothy Moth

2013-05-04 19.16.03

Thwaites Frothy Moth is a light amber ale with a thin white head that is surprisingly long lasting.  It’s something of a mystery as it doesn’t seem to be listed on the Thwaites website, so I’ve no idea what Thwaites thinks of it!  The aroma is floral, hoppy and a little spicy, and the taste is mild, slightly fruity and with only the merest after taste of bitter.  At 4% ABV, it would be a fine session ale, though I drank it as an accompanimemt to home-cooked trout with toasted almonds and lemon.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Golden Ale

 

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Thwaites Nutty Black

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Thwaites Nutty Black says that it’s a curiously dark beer, and yes, it’s dark, though I’m unsure how curious it is!  It’s a deep, deep red colour with a light tan head that lasts well.  The aroma is slighty nutty, though this is not too pornounced.  The flavour isn’t too heavy for such a dark beer:  malty and slightly liquorice, and this flavour lasts well.  To be honest, this beer might be one of just four that have been named as Champion Beer of Britain twice, but I find it really hard to describe how it is distinctive (and this is the second time that I have tried to review Nutty Black, having given up once before).  This 3.9% ABV bottle-conditioned ale would go well with something like a treacle sponge pudding or any other similar sweet and robust hot dessert.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Mild, Ruby

 

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