Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Mighty Blond (Mighty Hop)

Pours with a lovely bottle conditioned fizz, more golden amber than the bleached blonde you would expect from the bottle. Citrus and a rather dry herbal aroma.

The malt is on the dry side of balanced, beautifully pronounced. The middle has a smoky charcoal edge to it, presumably a characteristic of the yeast, very similar to the Purbeck beers. The final bittering is a lovely stamp of hops, lingering with noticeably grassy notes and hint of citrus.

7/10 A lovely beer, not the Blonde expected, but a classy golden brunette instead.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Black Adder (Mauldons)

Mauldon's is a fine Suffolk brewery based in Sudbury. They offer five standard ales and Black Adder is their porter.

It's absolutely delicious too. Pouring extremely dark with a thin, dissipating beige head, the nose is a roasted cacophony of chocolate and nutty intrigue.

The sup is gentle and rich, a swirl of dark malts colliding to conjure up a deep, woody coffee-cocoa taste that commences sweet and segues into a sophisticated bittered tail.

At 5.3% abv, Black Adder has a decent chassis to carry a beautiful, ultimately bitter taste voyage. It really is a fine example of stout at it's best from the heart of East Anglia.

9/10 - Sumptuous and smooth, a Rolls Royce stout singing with quality.

- The Broadside

Monday, 18 April 2011

Kipling (Thornbridge)

A highly anticipated beer for the bunker, from the masterful Thornbridge Brewery, who have signed a deal to sell their beers in Waitrose.

Pours a beautiful clear gold, perfect carbonation, lovely foamy head. Wow the aroma! To say it's totally unique... to the world of beer at least, a huge bouquet like fine Sauvignon Blanc wine (this is how the Nelson Sauvigon hops got their name) mixed with hints of tropical fruit.

The initial taste is far from malty, it's barely beery, sweet tropical fruit flavours like pineapple and mango snap on the tongue. The more standard beery malt notes arrive shortly after providing a nice segway to the finish. A small stamp of bitterness is followed by some fantastically diverse hopping, a mix of more tropical fruit, satsumas, bitterness and a lingering dry hop finish.

9/10 A mindbogglingly unique beer, quite staggering what power hops can assert. Beer with all the fine aromas and finishing notes of fine New Zealand wine.

Available now at Waitrose across the country, or online from

Friday, 15 April 2011

IPA (Stringers)

Pours a beautiful caramel Amber, the nose is hoppy, not overpowering, but good hints of floral notes and earthy grassiness.

The opening is a remarkably balanced affair, gentle malt mixed with caramel sweetness and dry bitterness in equal balance. Glimpses of biscuit appear in the middle without being able to upset the balance. The finish is dominated by big Amarillo hops, arriving like a hammer with blow of citrus, pine and a rather earthy almost peppery bitterness.

8/10 A cracking IPA, perfectly balanced and well hopped. The unique Amarillo hops shine through.

A big thanks to Stringers for sending this to review.

You can buy their beers here at mybrewerytap or alesbymail

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Harvest Sun (Williams Brothers)

A driven white snow foamy head, perfect carbonation. Big grassy smells in the nose, a raw earthiness of hops, no big American floral hops here.

A light almost lager like malt to start, devoid of sweetness it builds into a more biscuity middle. The ending has a slight twang, hints of lemon sharpness but lacks any real freshness or zing. The hop finish is lacking any big presence, just subtle grassy notes.

6/10 A nice golden ale, but lacks any real stand out qualities. A drink you'd enjoy, but wouldn't probably move on after.

Thanks goes out to Williams Brothers for providing this to review.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Southampton IPA ( Southampton Publick House)

Another fine US beer bought over by my friend from New York, the brewery is near to him in NY State and comes highly rated.

Opens with gentle fizz, pours a deep deep copper. Gentle toffee in the noses, slight pine, no big American floral hops but a lovely grassy tingle of English ones.

It kicks off with a giant blast of Crystal malt, big sweet caramel flavours delight the tonge, before warping into burnt sugar, complete with it's bitterness. There is a glimpse of fruit before kicking on to the finish. No shortage of hopping here, like the earlier aroma it's not a big blast of America hoppy citrus, but the subtle bittering of the English style IPA.

8/10 A big caramel transatlantic IPA, floating somewhere between a big West Coast IPA and a Fullers ESB.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Dry Stout (Stringers)

This is a delicious Cumbrian treat, from a brewery that is "100% renewably powered".

Stringers do five regular ales and two seasonals. This stout, along with their Dark Country beer, is vegan-suitable.

It pours dense and dark - proper dark like those regions Joseph Conrad wrote about. The head is rusty and enduring, and the nose is a sumptuous casserole of roasted and wispy chocolate aromas.

The sup is creamy and full of smoke, an extremely alluring old-school collision of proper industrial stout tastes. It's wonderfully smooth, but lively in all the correct ways, heady chocolate malt carried aloft on a very appropriate 4.5%abv chassis.

The finish tails to dry, but perhaps not the dominant dehydration suggested in the title. It's evaporative in the right way, leaving dark flavours and fond memories on the tongue.

8/10 - Wonderful northern stout - buy without hesitation, enjoy without regret.

- The Broadside

A big thanks to Stringers for sending this to review.

You can buy their beers here at mybrewerytap or alesbymail

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Hopping Hare (Badger)

Beautiful clear gold, pours with great carbonation and a lovely foamy head. The aroma is grassy, almost earthy, with a slight hint of caramel.

Opens with a welcoming mellow malt, building to a delicious sweet caramel, and big biscuit crunch, like a caramel covered digestive!

No big sharp bitterness in the finish, just wonderfully diverse floral tones that meet up with the last linger of malty caramel. Hints of smooth cream soda fade right into the finish.

8/10 A cracking floral caramel wonder. A spring beer now available all year round, one to seek out.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Windsor Knot (Windsor & Eton) - Royal Wedding Beer

The excitement of the Royal Wedding of William and Kate Middleton may not be for everyone, but the prospect of specially brewed wedding beers to review is well received here at the bunker! Windsor & Eton beers are also very welcome at the bunker, their previous 3 bottled beers have all scored a superb 8/10.

Pours a bright amber, light carbonation. The aroma is delightfully tropical, the Nelson Sauvignon hops delivering their trademark tropical fruit punch, but dialed down at bit from many other breweries who use it in huge hopped IPAs.

It starts with sweet malt, that builds into a warming caramel that coats the tongue and lingers right to the finish and beyond. The hopping whilst big in aroma is delicate in its bittering, but undoubtedly unique in it's flavour. Juicy tropical flavours wrestle with the initial caramel giving a rather interesting twist to a rather English Premium Ale.

8/10 Well balanced, very unique, a great showcase for some special hops. Perfect for honeymoon sipping in the sunshine.

Thanks to Windsor & Eton for providing, check out their website here, or buy their beers from