Saturday, 28 May 2011

M&S Sussex Golden Ale (Hepworth & Co)

A crunchy whiff of citrus in the nose, this 3.8% ale pours with minimal head. The colour is an engaging deep straw.

The watchword here is refreshment. It has a pleasing malt bumper at the front of the sup, but the citrus finish is a delight. It spirals to a clean bitterness in a very moreish fashion.

M&S have a bottle-conditioned cracker of a session pint here, suitable for daytime drinking without drying the brain.

8/10 - Very tasty summer beer. Delicately flavoured, and as light as sunshine on a meadow.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Jaipur (Thornbridge)

Snaps open and pours with a lively but perfectly controlled fizz, a glorious foamy head. The aroma is all conquering, a big tropical fruit blast, pineapple and sweet fruit.

The malt whilst light golden straw provides a beautiful light sweetness as delicate as it looks. No dryness, ripe fruit or sharp tanginess in the middle just a segway to the big finish. No huge uncomfortable bitterness, just a sharpening of the senses to it's tropical fruit punch. Pineapple, Grapefruit, bitter, sharp, tangy, sweet all fight to be noticed, all held in perfect equilibrium.

9/10 A landmark beer, powerful beery fruit punch. Something else.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Bunker Summit No. 4

Last week saw the fourth Bunker Summit, myself and Ed meeting at Bunker Station Two with summit veteran Glenn.

It ran in the usual format, a blind taste test with each person supplying a category of beer:

Glenn: Brown ales, and a couple of his "Slender Prince" homebrews.
Ed: IPA class. With his own "Bunker Brew" homebrew slipped in.
Paul: Porters & stouts, with two "Station-2" homebrews.

The scores were averaged and the results are below - a fine sunny evening was had, punctuated by homemade beefburger bonanza and some Station Two cheesecake too.

Big Bill's Final Rack (Slender Prince Homebrew)
Good beer, big dominant middle-wood, a dry barky brown but not the fine smooth whiskey oaked epic expected - 5/10

Black Cat (Fallen Angel)
Overly fruity nose heralding a completely off beer bought on general sale in Arundel! - Utterly rank - 0/10

Porter (Harvey's)
Plummy and fruity, a real lock-in pint, almost liqueur like in it's smoothness- 7/10

Bosun's Call (Stumpy's Brewery)
Fruity smell and tang, too big. This beer was in the postcode of off, although not there yet - 3/10

India Pale Ale (Goose Island)
Columo-nimbus head, fizzy and fresh. Massive transatlantic pine hop bomb with a streaky bullet of caramel - 7/10

Endless Summer IPA (Bunker Brew Homebrew)
Lovely homebrew. Lush pine nose, very hoppy but increased malt sweetness, excellent balance. Dry bitter length, delicious - 8/10

Bottle Wreck Porter (Hammerpot)
Sublime chocolate-coffee porter, as smooth as John le Mesurier. Dark magic, a textbook artisan black beer and the evening's winner - 9/10

Doctor Strangehop (Bunker Brew Homebrew)
A nuclear winter IPA, this is as bitter as an old spouse waving photographs. Unrelenting back-end bitterness. Utterly unapologetic, one for atomic hop fans - 6/10

M&S Cheshire Brown Ale (Robinsons)
Well balanced, caramel nose, edge of citrus. A solid brown beer - 6/10

Dark Matter (Station-2 Homebrew)
Unusual pine nose for a porter, coffee and chocolate in spades, lovely rich tiramisu length with hoppy edges, very good dark beer - 7/10

Big Bill's Tricky Brown (Slender Prince Homebrew)
As brown as a 70's kitchen. Tastes of velour, pre-decimal coins and atari consoles. Proper back of the off-license product. Lovely brown booze - 6/10

Tesco's American Double IPA (Brewdog Hardcore IPA)
A hop too far! This splits the hop and takes it beyond it's natural event horizon. Bitter armageddon - 5/10

Almond and Dangerous (Station-2 Homebrew)
No head, minimal nose, quite syrupy. Dominant chocolate tastes laced with fruit, drying early. Almond ingredient not detectable! - 6/10

The wheels then came off and the evening descended into a FIFA 11 tournament, the outcome of which Ed is still angry about.

Look out for new bottle reviews this week!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Old Timer (Wadworth)

This is the winter strong offering from Wadworth.

Sideboard-brown with a filmy head, a whoosh of malt greets the nose on it's way into the glass.

It's a little gassy, which is the only noticeable difference from the pump offering. Taste-wise it's as nutty as a nut, with walloping yeasty notes - a hallmark of Wadworth beer.

The sup converts inexorably to dryness, with a rising hop bitterness in the tail that provides a bit of a marmite love-or-hate moment. The hop mix is very English, Fuggles early on and Goldings twisting things at the end. The tail is just a bit sharp for me.

It's serious beer for serious beer drinks. The 5.8%abv is pretty mighty compared to many supermarket offerings, but the ale actually tastes like it's just sub 5%, nothing too grouchy or etherized.

6/10 - Good but unsubtle beer, an old-school weaponized malt offering from Wadworth

- The Broadside

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Mild (St Peter)

You don't see many milds these days. Once a ubiquitous ale class in working clubs and pubs, it was the traditional epitome of a fresh young malty low-strength session ale.

St Peter, that fine Bungay brewery known for the odd traditional flourish, sells this in their standard dark green medicine bottle.

It pours with a fluffy head and sits a dark woody brown in the glass. A vague aura of ruby. The smell is a hint of chocolate malt laced with dark fruit.

It tastes like a kind of porter-echo, much front-end chocolate maltiness laced with shadows of vanilla and a smidgen of nuts. The taste never really rolls forward and rears up, but then this is mild so that would as expected as spotting David Cameron breakdancing.

A gripe might be the relatively thin consistency and the lack of much oomph, but then that's like complaining that air isn't coloured enough. This is a good, wholesome session pint, a substantive fillip for malt-heads looking to stay on their feet. It's 3.7% ABV, and jolly nice.

7/10 - A fine traditional brown pint. Gentle, malty, solid beer.

- The Broadside

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Cock o'the Walk (Williams Brothers)

Snaps open, not BC, but perfect fizz, it pours an amazing Crimson red. No big hops in the nose just its gentle grassy freshness.

The malt bursts onto the tongue, initially dry, but building in sweetness as it goes on. The middle is fruity, not overly sweet like a pudding, but rich and slightly sour, almost like rhubarb. It continues to build to a tangy finish, lingering on the tongue with slight sour hints, very limited bittering or hop profile, as you would expect for the style.

6/10 No shortage of depth, a vortex of malt flavours.

You can buy this beer here
Thanks goes out to Williams Brothers for providing this to review.