Monday, 19 April 2010

Cornish Ales

It's not that Cornish ales get a bad press - it's that they barely get any press at all. Fear not, Good Drinks Etc is here to help. A group of us sat down to sample four interesting-looking bottles, carefully handpicked by ale-mad T.

HSD: St Austell Brewery Walter Hicks Strong Cornish Ale (5%). Description: "The real ale alternative to a well rounded premium red wine."
Tasting notes: Malty, toffee, bitter finish.

Chalky's Bite: Sharp's/Rick Stein (6.8%). Description: "Classic aged beer naturally flavoured with wild Cornish fennel."
Tasting notes: Gentle, treacle, caramel, longish finish.

Chalky's Bark: Sharp's/Rick Stein (4.5%). Description: "Classic aged beer naturally flavoured with fresh ginger."
Tasting Notes: Not gingery, sweet, citrussy.

Atlantic IPA: Sharp's (4.8%). Description: "Candy floss aroma... dangerously drinkable."
Tasting Notes: A bit smooth, maltier than lager. Session - or just bland?

None of these were bad beers. HSD undoubtedly had the fullest flavour - probably good with dinner. Atlantic IPA was surprisingly and enjoyably gulpable. As for Chalky's, I have to say the Bark (a rather gingerly gingery beer) was worse than the Bite, which at least made an impression.


  1. Oooh, for Cornish ales I'd have probably gone for St Austell's Tribute to start with, and Sharp's Doom Bar - they're probably a little more pedestrian than the ones you picked, but they're more positioned to be the flagships of the range.

    The Chalky's ales were specials knocked up at the behest of Rick Stein to go with some of his restaurant meals - I think the "Bite" was made in a Belgian style? - and whilst quite interesting in their own right don't really symbolise beer from that part of the world.

    My favourite is either Tribute, or Proper Job - both definitely worth looking for.

  2. I definitely agree with Jason on the Proper Job front - top beer, and head and shoulders above Tribute for me.

    For some cornish beer on tap I heartily recommend The Cove in Covent Garden.,_WC2E_8RA

  3. Good insights, folks. I'm a fan of The Cove - read more here! All this beer talk is making me thirsty...