Tag Archives: flavoured

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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Sharp’s Winter Berry Ale

2013-02-13 17.38.27

Sharp’s Winter Berry Ale was on sale at a pub close to my office, and I thought that it would be rude not to try it.  This cask ale is a beautiful  deep red colour with a head that disappears almost immediately, with the beer thereafter resembling a glass of slightly flat cola.  The aroma is mainly cherries, which is the berry that gives the ale its name, and it hints at something that is sweet and not unlike some of the Belgian cherry beers.  The surprise therefore is that it’s nowhere near as sweet as its continental counterparts, which for me means that it’s a beer that I could enjoy all evening.  One criticism:  once you get past the taste of the cherries, there’s not a lot else:  the flavour is quite one-dimensional and I  would probably have enjoyed something with a bit more malt.  Enjoyable for a social drink on a cold winter’s day, nonetheless.  For the recod, the ABV is 4.8%.

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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Cask, Cherry, Flavoured, Ruby, Seasonal, Winter/Christmas


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A Bitter This

Seen at the St Albans Beer Festival ‘For one day only’: A Bitter This is a 4.5%ABV flavoured amber ale apparently brewed by Marstons. Obviously produced for an episode of BBC’s The Apprentice, and served by appropriately suited barmen with a film crew and Nick Hewer in attendance, this is an expensive ale (my son was charged £3.50 for a 330ml bottle – and that was the reduced price) in an expensive looking bottle. I can’t believe that the contestents had thought at all about the target market (mainly men). It’s described as a ‘chocolate orange infused premium ale’. The taste and smell of chocolate and oranges is frankly overwhelming, but when this subsides, all that’s left is a bitterness. Yes, it’s an orangey amber colour, and the label’s lovely, but I wouldn’t pay £3.50 for another bottle of this. I’d rather have a chocolate orange.

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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Bitter, Chocolate, Flavoured, Orange


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Badger Blandford Flyer

This is Blandford Flyer, one of a boxed set I received from Matt on my birthday, and I’ve been wanting to try it for ages!  It’s another of Badger’s wonderfully refreshing flavoured ales, and on this occasion, there’s a hint of ginger.  This sweet(ish), spicy ale weighs in at 5.2% ABV and worked incredibly well with the roast leg of lamb that we had for dinner this evening.  Thankfully, there’s another three bottles of this glorious ale left!

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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Flavoured, Ginger


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