barking_watcher: (Fancy a pint)
barking_watcher ([personal profile] barking_watcher) wrote2009-11-04 08:50 am

Better late than never.

I suddenly realized that I hadn't got round to writing up and posting my tasting notes from the Wetherspoon's Spring Beer festival, this was prompted by the fact that they've just started their autumn one

The line up for the current one looks OK, if only they hadn't tried to link every beer in some way to 1979, (the year that Wetherspoon's were established). As gimmicks go, it's relatively harmless unless you shudder at the thought of drinking a pint of "Boss Hogg."

10 Caledonian Raspberry Fool 4.0% abv
Caledonian Brewery, Edinburgh. Hops Used Bramling Cross, Willamette
This seasonal is an easy-drinking, copper-coloured beer with a subtle hint of natural raspberry fruit, complemented by a sweet chocolate and caramel malty finish.

Regular copper tinted bitter colour, Immediate berry flavour, not easily identifiable as raspberry, except in a raspberry ripple sense. Flavour mellows to a pleasant after-taste with a slightly fuzzy sharpness. Chocolate and caramel not noticable.

13 Bateman's Dragons' Den 4.1% abv
Bateman's Brewery, Lincolnshire. Hops Used: Cascade, Challenger
This deep golden-coloured beer has a hoppy, rather than bitter flavour, with a delightful citrus fruit overtone and aroma.

Couldn't taste the citrus overtone, but it is a light refreshing drink. Very pale in colour, not quite straw but lighter than most other bitters I've drunk.

15 Elgood's CXXX Bitter 4.2% abv
Elgood's Brewery, Cambridgeshire. Hops Used: Fuggles, Goldings
This well-balanced, light brown bitter has a pleasing hop character in both aroma and finish.

Sharp fruity / citrus flavour. Golden almost Lager colour. Curious after-taste – soap. (Dirty glass?)
Clinging head (possibly the worst of the batch)

18 Marston's Single Malt 4.2% abv
Marston's Brewery, Staffordshire. Hops Used Fuggles, Goldings, Target
This full-flavoured malt combines with English hops to create a smooth, mellow, amber beer which is as distinctive as a single-malt whisky.

Very light, almost straw colour. True to the guide notes it has a distinctive flavour. Citrusy

27 Barons Bush Berry Porter 4.5% abv
Barons Brewing Co. Australia Hops Used: Fuggles, Northdown
This dark ale has a smooth, roasted malt flavour and silky mouth-feel, courtesy of the oatmeal used. The sly nightshade berry is a native Australian bush tomato which imparts muscaty raisin like notes and a savoury finish to this unique beer.

A more subtle drink compared to any of the other porters I've ever drunk, there wasn't the burnt after-taste in this beer. The raisin like notes described in the guide were present but only faintly. The colour is a good dark brown, not black.

29 Greene King Gosnold's Glory 4.5% abv
Greene King Brewery, Suffolk Hops Used: Challenger, Goldings
This is dark, richly flavoured brew, with a superb mix of fruit and toffee flavours.

Rich ruby colour. No hint of the toffee or fruit, but the flavour is pleasant with a well rounded after-taste.

47 Wadworth Pusser's Spearfish 5.0% abv
Wadworth Brewery, Wiltshire. Hops Used: Fuggles, Goldings
With a gentle rum aroma and dark, unrefined cane sugar adding a rich smoothnes, it is a full bodied, copper-coloured ale with a base of crystal malt and delicate hop flavours.

The rum aroma is so gentle as to be undetectable. Golden colour, well balanced flavour, not bitter or sweet.

50 Sinbrychoff Porter 6.2% abv
Sinbrychoff Brewery, Finland
Virtually black in colour, this is brewed using four varities of malt (pilsner, Munich, brown and caramel) providing intense aromas of toastiness, chocolate, coffee and liquorice. It is strongly hopped to provide an impressive, bitter finish to this outstanding, complex imperial stout-style beer.

Subtle burnt flavour – not overpowering. Couldn't taste the liquorice flavour but it does have the classice Porter coffee aroma.

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