Sunday, 19 February 2012

Poperings Hommel Bier

After concentrating on darker more local beers I am again going abroad and once again am drinking Belgian beer. I don't know why Belgium produces so many fine beers but I'm very glad and thankful for their efforts. This is a beer I came across several years back and when I went looking for it again I found out it was not very well known. Thankfully I small but fantastically stocked shop in Settle called Buon Vino managed to order some in for me and have been stocking it regularly. The colour then, a rich golden straw with just a hint of cloudiness to it. The nose is something highly intriguing, strong biscuit and yeast dominate with a sweet almost golden syrup edge to it. It turns out Hommel not only means hop but also honey in Flemish so the sweetness is no surprise. The taste was at first overwhelmingly biscuit and hoppy whilst being very smooth, it was also really quite buttery which led to it being quite shortbread like. Shortbread is something I am very familiar with and so when the biscuit flavours and the butteryness came together to form a shortbread flavour I was thrilled. The finish was slightly dry and incredibly moreish, this beer comes in a rather small 25cl bottle due it being 7.5 % so being so moreish could be quite dangerous. This bottle size is not strange in Belgium due the locals drinking these for pleasure and not for downing one after another and I have to say they are on the right track. This is a beer to be savoured it is complex and has great depth, it is well worth rolling it round and round your mouth. These lovingly crafted beers need to be enjoyed lovingly to get the most out of them and seeing as how there is so much to get out of it it won't be a waste of anyone's time. As you can tell I would highly recommend this beer if your lucky enough to come across a bottle.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Wood's Shropshire Lad

An interesting little beer today, another that was purchased for me on my families travels so thank you very much! Wood's isn't a brewery I had heard of but upon researching them a little they are a big deal in Shropshire, they have a range of beers and I hope to be able to taste more soon. I imagine it'll be the case that I will see them everywhere from now on but that's often how it goes. This ale was brewed to commemorate a series of poems which the beer is named after and then the beer quickly became their most popular and therefore flagship ale.
Looking at the back of bottles isn't something I usually do, especially if I intend to blog about it but I did read the label on Shropshire Lad and was intrigued to see it claimed a smell and taste of pear drops! Being a fan of traditional sweets that had me quite excited so lets get on with the review. The colour in the photo looks fairly average but the photo often doesn't do the beer justice and that is certainly the case here. When held up to light this beer has a truly gorgeous reddish purple colour that I haven't come across before and had me quite excited. The nose didn't have pear drops in it I have to say but was strangely sweet in the way you might possibly describe pear drops as. Perhaps I'm being unfair but pear drops for me have an unmistakable aroma that wasn't present here. There was the scent of boiled sweets but generically so. Lastly a background hoppyness which comes as no surprise. The taste had a huge wave of burnt toffee which isn't highly unusual but the depth and clarity was, if a burnt toffee bitter is what your after then check this out because they nail it. There was also hints of cinder toffee which particularly pleased me and a general dry hoppyness which again is to be expected really. The fizz was really excellent, I mean truly so with a frothiness that went on and on. Really good bitter this, a beer that leaves you thirsty and at 5% its not really a session ale either so be careful. If you see this beer at least have one, I can't give it a general overall recommendation as I don't think it would be for everyone but as a beer enthusiast I wouldn't want to miss it.