This is my original blog – all my blogs  since I started in 2009 - are here including those from The Ale Archive – all the beers I’ve sampled at home and on our travels since 2012.
 
Since 2012 most of our travel has involved a caravan. I now have a specific caravanning blog called (Get Your) Legs Down which not only documents all our trips but includes product reviews, site listings, storage locations, mobile service engineers and much more. It too is on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Brains - On The Fence

WP_20150510_003What they say: A beer to win your vote, well balanced and copper coloured, brewed with pale ale and crystal malts and British Archer and Minstrel hops. Floral aromas and flavours of spiced berry fruit, orange and lime are complimented by the sweet malty character and balanced bitterness of this satisfying beer.

Another pub in Rottingdean that keeps an ever changing selection of real ales is the Queen Victoria and this ale provided the liquid accompaniment for an excellent Sunday lunch. A nice all round pint and the floral aromas alluded to above didn’t penetrate my nasal passages too much! 4.1% A.B.V.

The Queen Victoria, Rottingdean, East Sussex. May 2015

The Mermaid House Ale

WP_20150509_001Maybe I need to brush up my search skills but I couldn’t find any mention of this anywhere. There wasn’t even a listing on Perfect Pint, however since it was sampled on a rare visit to the White Horse in Rottingdean, which is an ‘Olde English’ brand owned of course by Greene King it’s a little easier to guess it’s provenance.

Rebadged IPA it wasn’t - lighter in colour and flavour - a very easy drinking pint that’s unlikely to offend - or excite - many palates. 3.9% A.B.V.

The White Horse, Rottingdean, East Sussex. May 2015.

Caledonian - Flying Scotsman

WP_20150424_001What they say: 1st Class Refreshment. A sophisticated full-flavoured premium bitter combining the best barley from the north & robust southern hops. Profoundly malty in aroma but balanced with hints of raisins, spice and toasty dryness.

Guesting at our occasional Friday night after work haunt The Spanish Lady. Served a little too cold but otherwise everything I like about a beer. Would happily drink again. And again. 4% A.B.V.

The Spanish Lady, Saltdean, East Sussex. April 2015

Batemans - Eggs-B

WP_20150406_001What they say: A chocolate coloured beer brewed with dark ,succulent chocolate malts and real cocoa nibs which give a real fruity indulgent cocoa flavour, fused with chunky hop flavours.

Our return to our local The Rottingdean Club after our schools Easter holiday found this seasonal offering as the current guest ale. A bit of coincidence considering we’d recently been in Batemans country in Lincolnshire.

Yes, I enjoyed it but in preference to the regular and excellent Harveys Best? No, not quite. 4.2% A.B.V.

Rottingdean, East Sussex. April 2015

 

Nethergate - Umbel

WP_20150403_001What they say: We've been messing around with coriander in beer since 1988, just as they did back in the 1700's. The coriander in our multi-award winning Umbel Ale gives a floral aroma, fruity tang and a well-rounded finish.

Thirst quenching and absolutely cracking with spicy food. The beer writer Michael Jackson said of this amber beer: "This astonishingly fresh-tasting, bone-dry lemony brew is addictive and appetising: a distinctive arid beautiful beer".

Yes, pleasant and refreshing and ideal for summer but regulars will know that it’s not really to my taste. 3.8% A.B.V. The last beer on our Easter getaway sadly.

Nottingham. April 2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Hardy & Hanson - Olde Trip

WP_20150402_002What they say: …….this is a rich, toffee-flavoured beer bursting with fruity character that is perfectly balanced with a clean, bitter finish.

Taking it’s name from the famous ‘Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem’ in Nottingham and that’s where we found it. Ale heads will know that it’s actually brewed by Greene King, once a little Suffolk brewery but now seemingly intent on world domination. They also own the pub. Credit where it’s due though, this was a fine pint and at 4.3& A.B.V not too strong for a few - although circumstances prohibited testing that particular theory!

Nottingham. March 2015

The Nottingham Brewery - Legend Best

WP_20150402_001What they say: A traditional amber-coloured session ale with a flavoursome malt character and lively hoppy finish...a beer that will be talked about for generations.

Originally established in 1847, the name was revived in 2001 in the form of a micro brewery housed in a former pub. We came across this in the famous ‘ Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem’ reported to be the oldest pub in England. Yeah, another one.

With at least eight hand pumps there was a wide choice for the ale head but this one - chosen by the other half didn’t disappoint 4.0% A.B.V so a nice balance of strength and flavour.

Nottingham. March 2015

Wychwood - Imperial Red

WP_20150331_001What they say: Do not fear the Imperial Red who comes in peace to liberate your taste buds with his robust yet succulent beer.

A toasted malt flavour balanced by a bold pronounced hop delivered in a rich ruby 4.7% abv beer.

I’ve always liked Wychwoods more famous Hobgoblin - not least because a certain German supermarket sells it for a very reasonable price - and was glad of the chance to try another one of their beers particularly on draught.

As I’ve said before I got a taste for red ales from Ireland and this didn't disappoint though it’s no lightweight and despite being hand pulled was a little too gassy for my taste. Nonetheless, very enjoyable.

Mansfield, March 2015

Ruddles - Best

WP_20150403_003What they say? Couldn’t tell you right now as clicking on the link delivers one of those ‘404’ errors. However Prefect Pint comes to the rescue again with this: Aroma of soft fruit notes. Hoppy, citrus undertones balanced with bitterness and a light sweetness.

You’ll find this on draught in practically every Wetherspoons and I’ve drunk it in that form many times in the past. Originally brewed in Rutland, but now in Suffolk by Greene King, it’s pleasant without being outstanding and at 3.7% A.B.V a great session beer and if you get a load in for a party it’s flavour is unlikely to offend anyone.

Wold Top - Headland Red

WP_20150403_004What they say: A red beer to halt you in your tracks, giving you a warm red glow!  A mellow malty flavour, from Wold grown barley, dark crystal malt and roasted barley.

Hopped with Progress hops.

The best beer to use for ‘beef in beer’.

Having enjoyed their excellent Bitter whilst in North Yorkshire I was looking forward to sampling another one of their brews. I got quite a taste for red ales whilst in Ireland and this too hit the spot. 4.3% A.B.V so flavoursome  but not too strong. Definitely one that you don’t want to over chill or you’ll lose those wonderful rich warming flavours.

North Yorkshire. March 2015

Cropton - Yorkshire Moors

WP_20150330_011What they say: Subtle blend of malts dark in colour with hoppy and fruity aftertaste with a bittersweet finish

Another one from this micro brewery formed in 2012. A beautiful ruby colour but the fruity aftertaste was just a little too pronounced for me. 4.6% A.B.V

Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire. March 2015.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Cottage Brewery - Big Ben

WP_20150330_008Found in the Bacchus Hotel alongside their own Bacchus Bitter   from this Somerset based brewer.

Nothing on their website at all but the good folk at Perfect Pint say this: A mid red strong ale. Traditional, Tasty, well balanced & wonderfully hopped.

Nice enough but at 4.9% A.B.V it soon crept up on you. Would avoid for something weaker.

The Bacchus Hotel, Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire. March 2015

Batemans - XB

WP_20150329_010What they say: Classic amber, English pale ale crafted by the fusion of luscious English Golding and Challenger hops with crisp Lincolnshire pale and chocolate malts, slowly matured to create a grainy quaffable beer.

I’m mildly suspicious of anything described as classic as the result is often anything but but this didn’t disappoint. A great tasting beer from this Lincolnshire based brewer that was certainly quaffable - had circumstances allowed! 3.7% A.B.V so not a headache merchant.

The Red Lion Mumby, Lincolnshire. March 2015

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Bacchus Hotel - Bacchus Bitter

WP_20150329_004

Brewed on site at the  Bacchus Hotel in Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire which was the third stop on our Easter break after North Yorkshire - although we were at the caravan park at the other end of the village.

They’ve only been brewing on site since 2010, listening to regulars advice on taste.

Not the clearest pint I’ve ever had bit it was mighty tasty - the strong bitterness reining in the malty overtones. Would happily choose again.  4.3% A.B.V.

March 2015