firstly I should point out that I have been a little short of funds yet again, although I am off to South West Scotland before and on payday so am hoping things may improve next month. I should also admit that I have been out a few times, if not more, this month, and have really enjoyed those trips. In the meantime I also bought a number of canned and bottled beers on Thursday the 5th to have with my anticipated beer tasting, although, I had already cancelled it due to a lack of attendees, feeling unwell, and a leak in my Kitchen ceiling. The latter two have now been sorted so it seemed unwise to miss out on sampling almost all of the products purchased.......
The first one I tried was from Nottingham or Derby based brewery Black Iris. I had purchased their Nottingham Pride Pale ale which came in at a sensible strength of 4.5% and was an ideal starter. Pale, as described, and cloudy, as preferred, this was a gloriously easy drinking soup which very much tickled my taste buds.
Next up were two bottle conditioned bottles from Torrside Brewing. Their first was the Craft Hoodlums, a gloriously murky broth at 4.5% again, and wonderfully well balanced. I have to admit that my years in the beer selling trade has rather tainted my appreciation and indeed expectations of bottle conditioned beers but the two from Torrside restored my failing. Their second, the excellent Citra at possibly 5.0% was also once again glutinous (in a very good way) and proved an excellent start to that night's session.
There was a can from the wonderful Turning Point Brewery and their wonderful Circle Game, a Simcoe IPA whose strength alas I failed to record - I did however remember to photograph the blonde hazy mass of this wonderful concoction. On a similar note was the Cloudwater Citra Cy18, one of the many Yakima Chief hop series that was released recently. One of the complaints I made a year or two ago was the lack of any specifics of their ingredients - although - this is scarcely the point in this instance. What I can advise is that I have found almost all of their recent output incredibly refreshing, often bitter and reassuringly tasty. This trend was not abandoned in either this or their beautiful Horse DIPA at 8.5% which I supped last night - an excellent blend of hops and fruity flavours was very easy to enjoy.
Next was a fantastic can of the Neonraptor Hippo Launcher DIPA at 8.0%. As I noted on Faceache, whilst I recognise its an easily used word, I had to confirm that this was an excellently fruity DIPA. Brilliant design on the label as well.
I only purchased one small can - that being a 330ml ATOM and Salt Brewing DIPA called Hailte, or similar. I mentioned that it didn't list the hops used but I would point out that ATOM regularly use no or almost none of such ingredients. Possibly due to the involvement of Salt they were listed as HOPS in the ingredients and as with both of the similarly listed Cloudwater cans this was in no way an effect on the enjoyability of the flavour. In fact, the numerous listed herbal flavours perhaps made it a more enjoyable and quaffable ale.
There was also a can of Verdant, a 6.5% Pale Ale called Have we met before?, which in addition to the four excellent hops used I suspected the addition of London Fog 111 yeast helped me to find this especially enjoyable.
The 6.4% Citra Fog IPA from Burnt Mill made equally good use of the Citra involved, as well as being yeastily and frothingly cloudy to stimulate the taste buds further. The best of the new material however was a 5.5% saison from Wild Horse Brewing Co from Llandudno in Wales. Using an interesting mix of hops in Lemondrop and another I cannot at present recall (but which had a German sound if memory serves), this proved to be an excellently drinkable and reassuringly bitter, sweet and slightly but only marginally sour ale which met the description of its name perfectly.
Finally comes two interesting ales from Wander Beyond in Manchester. Soma was an 8.6% DIPA with a hint of lactose making a fantasticly easy to drink yellowy cloudy broth of fabulousness. The artwork on the can was likewise superb. Their final can was the La Catrina spiced Imperial stout, a fabulous mix of ingredients creating a murky depthed slab of ground like black horror which I have been very slowly and carefully supping for over an hour. A mixture of different sweet, spicy and tobacco themed ingredients balances out so well in this absolute cracker.
Once again, despite an understandable influence of DIPAs, I have managed to buy and try a marvelous selection of strong and hoppy and, increasingly, fruity and also sweet beers from a number of breweries, showing the British public that all of them, regardless of size or reputation, can produce an excellent and diverse range of ales..
Now to arrange to try the bottles of 86, 87, 88, and 1994 Thomas Hardy Ales that I have in bottles in the fridge.....
Your very good health!