Friday, 25 March 2011

Otley's Bunch of Grapes and 'Obscura'

 Today sees the launch of the new Otley beer Obscura, a dark saison style 5.5% abv, brewed with beer and travel writer Adrain Tierney-Jones. To promote it they are engaging in a twitter (#saisonobscura) pub crawl around London's finest pubs, but it was first being launched in the Otley pub Bunch of Grapes  based in Pontypridd, Wales.
I dusted of the wallet and headed out there, my first time, surprised actually how easy it was to get there from our place, the massive new road improvements between us and Pontypridd made the journey very quick.
(I would never had found the pub if my wife hadn't been there before though, better signposting would help, unless i missed it).

Lovely interior, spacious bar, nice old pub beams atmosphere mixed with quality and stylish modern wood furniture. Friendly bar manager, and waiting staff were very good at lunch today.
Anyway she said 'and what would you like to drink'
i said 'you have your new beer Obscura on today? can i try that?'
'I'm afraid its not on until til 2pm'

Ah well never mind, another day hopefully. I started with a half of their 'CroesO' one I'd not had before. A yellow colour bordering into very light orange territory. Clean, fresh, dry, grapefruit and tropical hints on the aroma, The grapefruit following through more into the palate. Thin in the mouth but suitable so, it keeps the lightness of the beer matching with its clean dry taste. Citrus and pithy, it went down beautifully in the warm spring sun.
Food was great, i had a venison burger, nice salsa, and chips the size of breeze blocks!

On tap they also had their own O1, O4 Colombo, O-Garden; Three tuns brewery XXX, Dorothy Goodbodys wholesome stout and more besides on their 9 handpumps. They update their bar list here. They also have a reasonable bottle selection, i took home a Chimay White, never seen it around before so no question about that, and a Brooklyn Double Black Chocolate Stout. (yes i know, tick !).

Unfortunately we had to be away before they brought out the Obscura, despite me trying to persuade the wife to have a pudding.
I just hope that the Obscura beer is brewed again soon, and taken also to the Great Welsh Beer Festival this year in Cardiff. Pleaseeeeeeee!


  1. a little disappointing but a really nice lunch anyway, go there if you can.

  2. cant wait to get my hands on some otley's bottles, have you tried any of their darker beers?

  3. The O6 Porter is very good, Dark-o, the mild, is nice too although i thought it a bit thin. Not tried their stout yet.

  4. What, they couldn't give you a little sample??? Even if the mentioned you wanted to blog about and give praise to said beer??? Uncool.

  5. No, i never mentioned i was going to blog about it. I've never felt comfortable coming out with that to a retailer, not sure how it would be taken.

  6. I think you mean Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.
    Double Chocolate Stout is made by Young's!

  7. Yep your right, i'll adjust.
    Hope the Brooklyn is better than the Young's i had recently also.