Friday, 23 December 2011

Gtuttgarter Hofbrau Christmas Ale

Another beer that was given to me! This is brilliant, this beer though I would have purchased myself only excepting for I've never heard of it before! This was given to my Brother in law who got it off a rep who came to his work, he works for the Mercedes F1 team so lets hope he gets more German beers. Brewed in Stuttgart their hofbrau range is quite wide but being the festive season a Christmas Beer bottle found its way to me. Lager is something I've always had more trouble discerning flavours from than ales due to the fact I think the way it's made allows for less diversity in flavour to develop. The lower temperature means there is less happening to the ingredients and you therefore get less happening in the result. Please don't take it that I don't like larger, I love lager. There is a great range and variety but compared to the multitude of tastes you can get from ales it doesn't quite compare. This may rile some lager lovers and that's great I'd love to discuss the merits of lager versus ale. That would only end in us admitting that one without the other would be a terrible shame and lets just get on with drinking the stuff. So the beer in question, a lovely golden straw colour. The first taste was dry with a mild biscuit flavour which surprised me a little but was very welcome. It led to a slight sweetness developing and the lovely clean crispness you would expect from a well crafted German lager. The fizz was strong and frothy just how I like it from lager and quite biting when several mouthfuls were taken. All in all quite standard for German lager which I suppose suffers from the high expectations that go with the words German lager. I really enjoyed this beer, it was never really in doubt. If you see a something from the Gtuttgarter Hofbrau range give it a go you can't really go wrong.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Hoggleys Northamptonshire Bitter

Okay so we're back to Hoggleys. After the last review I emailed them with a link to my blog because their website says they always want feedback. They seemed really chuffed to read my kind words, times are tough for them at the moment apparently so hopefully they'll enjoy this review as well, as I certainly enjoyed the bitter! As someone who enjoys darker or unusual beers this bitter isn't something I would normally pick up of my own accord. Not because I don't enjoy classic English bitters but because I don't usually find them to have as greater deal of diversity as my favored tipples. This beer was bought for me so it was an interesting chance to review something I wouldn't have chosen to myself and I was very glad for the opportunity. Lets get stuck in. The colour was paler than I personally would expect from a classic bitter but the image doesn't do justice to the lovely deep amber tones this beer had when held up to the light. The nose was biscuity, this isn't strange for a bitter but it is a strong biscuit aroma and sets up the first taste really well. I'm not done with the nose yet though, this might sound unusual but there was an earthy smell. It was in no way unpleasant and suited the biscuit smells, surprisingly pleasing earthy tones to be honest. The first mouthful was at first hoppy, that's a good start. The biscuity smells translated to a butter biscuit taste with a touch of caramel, the finish was dry and a little sour. Only a touch sour but enough to give the dryness some depth, the butter biscuit flavours really shone through on the finish. The fizz on this beer was strong and biting and when a big enough swig was taken it frothed up fantastically. I can imagine that you get the idea I enjoyed this bitter, I thought I would enjoy it but the complexity was a real surprise and my appreciation for Hoggleys brewing skills has increased once again, I look forward to making a point of trying the entire range and bringing bottles round for my beer loving friends to experience. Well done Hoggleys.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hoggleys Solstice Stout Review

Hoggleys brewery is pretty much next door to where my sister lives down south. I say pretty much next door, in the same neck of the woods. You don't get this beer round Lancashire which is a shame because everything I've tried from there has been excellent. This is the first time I've had the Solstice Stout and I had to blog about it because even though I drink a lot of stouts and enjoy them hugely this particular stout needs to become more widespread so this is me doing my bit to spread the word.
First things first, the colour, pretty standard for a stout in that it's very dark. Almost black but the deep browns can be spotted round the edges so no surprises there. The smell had the distinctive metallic notes you often get from traditional stout, this one had rich coppery tones. The first sip was outstanding, chocolaty flavours are very common in stouts but not like this. It was as near to thick rich chocolate mousse as you can get without eating chocolate mousse, with the added bonus of being beer and bringing with it all the lovely beery tastes we all know and love! It really is quite amazing how much this tastes like a choc pudding. There is a slight bitterness which first made me think it could be described as having dark chocolate flavours but this bitterness turned into the slight coffee like aftertaste which is again typical of beers of its type. This is a very smooth and thick beer which like any traditional stout has a good fizz on it, being bottle conditioned it had plenty of bits in the bottle which of course made there way into my glass. These chewy bits are full of fantastic flavours and although yes quite fattening are full of nutrition. Hopefully Hoggleys will spread across Britain and become available in most beer shops but until then you'll have to take my word for it that this one is fantastic.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Delirium Tremens Review

Welcome to my second beer blog, now it's a series. This beer is one I had some years ago and never forgot, seeing it at Byrne's I had to get it agian for this blog. This beer is Delirium Tremens which is Latin for 'trembling madness', a violent sickness brought on from alcohol withdrawal! Great name for a beer. It is 8.5% and very pale with a slight cloudiness. It is very much bottle conditioned with three different yeasts going into it's production leaving some tasty chewy bits in your beer. Held up to a light it has a pale golden straw colour with the slight cloudiness giving it an air of mystery, well I thought so anyway. The nose has the familiar citric notes you can expect from many Flemish beers and an unexpected sweet honeyish background. The taste is unexpected and excellent, initally smooth and slightly sour the honey tones come through first with a set honey sweetness this is followed by a lemony tang which then gives way to a warm satisfying finish. The fizz of the beer is not a heavy one but what does make it through is pleasing gentle. The bottle is very distinctive, meant to emulate cologne ceramics, if you see one grab it. A really excellent unusual beer which fully deserved its award as the Worlds Best Beer in 1998 at the World Beer Championships.