Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Pleasant Surprises

Well, it's been a year of pleasant surprises from the beer world so far, and I'm aware I haven't blogged about all of them, so I thought I'd create a whole entry from little mini ones!

  1. Brewer's Reserve - Finally, after 507 days, Fuller's whisky-aged beer has been launched; lovely soft vanilla & spirit nose and then fabulous sticky fruit flavours (quince jelly & orange marmalade for my money) in the mouth, with a spicy bitter finish that reminds me of Green & Black's Maya Gold chocolate. Be warned, there are going to be different wood ages every year so make sure you lay your hands on some of the first one quickly!
  2. Zywiec - the lager's very quaffable but the porter (pretty much only available at Utobeer on Borough Market as far as I'm aware) is absolutely awesome; at 9.5%ABV it's rich, dark, coffee & liquorice-dry and delightful.
  3. Moravka & Cotswold lagers - both very, very nice and very, very drinkable; more pubs should be stocking these products, if you live in the vicinity of either brewery start pressuring your local licensees now!
  4. Morrisey Fox Blonde Ale - went to the launch of this; Neil Morrisey is a very nice bloke (already knew Richard Fox was a sound chap) who is genuinely, almost intensely, passionate about his ale and the cask beer was jolly drinkable indeed - in fact I was pleasantly surprised that it was as bitter as it is, was expected a much more dumbed down product, good work lads.
  5. Harviestoun Ola Dubh - get a bottle of this ramped up version of Old Engine Oil that's been aged in 30-year-old Highland Park casks, pour it into a brandy balloon, sit in front of an open fire if possible and... relax!
  6. The launch of the Sainsbury's & Asda Beer Competitions - the winners of the Sainsbury's beer competition are two big favourites of mine; Dr Okell's IPA & Bath Ales Barnstormer, good work the rest of the judges for a good shortlist and the beer-buying public who had the final say. Asda's got big shoes to fill here and I shall report back in November on what went on at the judging.
  7. Young's new bottle conditioned beers - back to Wandsworth standards, if not (dare I say it) better in my eyes. The Bitter in particular is extremely drinkable, haven't had the chance to try the cask recently but would be interested to hear what you guys think.

That's all for now folks! More to follow soon.

Thursday, 2 October 2008


I'm hugely amused by this sign, sent to me by the lovely Glenn Payne.

I can't figure out whether it's trying to challenge perceptions over women and beer or whether it should be said in the voice of a startled major-general-type figure spluttering the phrase out!
Women & Beer? Whatever next?