Hook Norton’s Old Hooky (4.6% ABV) is allegedly one of the 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die. It’s a really rich deep copper colour and the head, though not as creamy as some beers, does last very well. There’s something in this beer for everyone and this is reflected in the aroma: it’s a subtle mixture of malt, biscuit and fruit. The flavour is well-rounded and deep, with strong malt at first giving way in part to orange: not sweet, but certainly not bitter either. This is a very accomplished beer that deserves to be savoured, and probably not with food.
Tag Archives: Old
Theakston Old Peculier is a beer that takes me back to my undergraduate days in York, and I’m reviewing it this week because I’m using another bottle of it to make a stoverij (a Belgian recipe for beef in beer). The beer is a very dark red with an off-white, almost brown head that quickly reduces to just enough to cover the top of the glass. The smell is like treacle and mince pies while the taste is rich, warming and rewarding, slightly sweet, but not bitter. There are definite hints of lemon and Christmas Cake and even liquorice in the taste, though as a student, I’d have been more interested in the 5.6% ABV. It’s a beer that welcomes you home on a cold winter’s day with a great big warm hug, and it’s a beer that never fails to satisfy. Highly recommended (and if that’s not good enough, it also features in my copy of ‘1001 Beers you must try before you die‘, edited by Adrian Tierney-Jones and published by Octopus Books).
If you’ve never tried stoverij, it’s definitely worth it served with thin chips/fries, and there’s quite a good recipe here. Use a well-flavoured brown ale, or even Guinness for the best results.
This is one of the Father’s Day collection! It’s Old Thumper from the Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, and the bottle claims that it was Camra’s Beer of Britain in 1988. At 5.6% ABV it claims to be a ‘strong ale’, and whilst I’ve tried many stronger it still manages to deliver a very enjoyable warmth as it goes down! It has an almost floral bouquet which contrasts beautifully with the malty flavour. Definitely glad I’ve got another bottle tucked away.
Old Empire from Marstons is indeed a Pale Ale, though it’s been nowhere near India. The bottle describes it as having a bitter taste, but I beg to disagree. At 5.7% it’s got a well-rounded flavour with, to my mind, suggestions of a rich malt whisky about it (which isn’t surprising given the malted barley in the brew). Great for a Sunday evening.