Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ale Album

What beers have I been liking recently, you ask?

Blandford Fly, Badger/Hall & Woodhouse (5.2%) Bottled.
For fans of ginger beer and beer comes this superb cross between the two. Imbibers are advised to server chilled, which I failed to do here, at a picnic on Whitstable beach. But what it lacked in coldness it made up for in all-round tastiness. Very refreshing, and surprisingly strong in booze terms.

Black Pearl
, Gadds (6.2%). Cask.
Staying with Whitstable, which I visited for the Oyster Festival (check out my whisky oysters here), I stumbled across a makeshift bar shifting Gadds' Black Pearl oyster stout (pictured below) for £3 a pint. It didn't taste of oyster, fortunately, more like chocolate and tobacco. It was sweet, and thick, with a coffee kick in there too. Lovely.

Weasel, The Florence (4.5%). Cask.
Having raved about Dam Tasty Beaver Beer, produced by the microbrewery at The Florence pub, in Herne Hill, I went back to find another of their beers on the pumps. Weasel was a light orange/gold colour, with a fruity, citrus aroma (was that banana, too?!) and an unexpectedly sharp-dry hoppy flavour, with a bittersweet finish. Worth a drop - but my loyalties remain with the Beaver.

Camden Hells LagerCamden Town Brewery (4.8%). Cask.
Found on tap at trendy new Islington gastro Wenlock & Essex, and described elsewhere as a "cold fermented and properly matured traditional German unpasteurised lager". I recall a yellowish beer with floral aromas, not much fizz and a lovely nutty finish. The brewery used to be attached to the Horseshoe pub in Hampstead but recently moved to more ambitious premises (in Camden).

Chocolate Nutter, The Why Not Brewery (5.5%). Bottle.
A bottle conditioned ale made from bitter and dark chocolate malts. Purchased mainly because of its beguiling name, but enjoyed nevertheless, alongside a wholesome bowl of chili.

Proper Job, St Austell Brewery (5.5%). Bottle.
A "powerfully hopped" India Pale Ale, bitter in a grapefruit way, but refreshing too.

Stout Hearted, Yeovil Ales (4.3%) Cask.
Tasted at the 11th annual Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival (don't miss the 12th next September!), which happily featured an ale tent too, this stout was great - heavyish but smooth. Top cheese tips: Try Cornish Blue, Exmoor Blue and Sturminster Coastal Cheddar.

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