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Tag Archives: Black

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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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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Ridgeway Brewing Bad King John

2012-12-01 20.52.27

Bad King John claims to be a ‘very English black ale’. The bottle has an unusual eye-catching label that claims that the ale is black, bitter, and intense. I’d been led to expect great things, but frankly, I was a little disappointed. It’s true that the ale is on the black side of dark brown, with a light brown head to match. The toasty notes from the malt are certainly there in the smell, but I find the flavour a little one-dimensional, and lacking in the kind of punch or finish that I would expect in a 6% ABV beer. The label also suggests that this is not a beer for those that seek subtlety – I’d tend to agree with that.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Elgood’s Black Dog


I think that Mild is undeservedly overlooked as a beer. In fact it’s only recently that I’ve been personaly aware of a resurgence in the brewing of mild. This bottle of Elgood’s Black Dog (part of my son’s birthday present to me) is a particularly fine example. A lowish ABV of 3.6% doesn’t detract from the rich malty flavour. If anything, this bottle is going down a little too easily, and I only have the one…

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Low alcohol, Mild

 

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