Friday, 24 August 2012

Marks and Spencer Greenwich Raspberry Wheat Beer

Again this is a post that's been lingering in the draft list for a few weeks, and as we're off down to my folks for a week I'd thought I would throw a post out before I drink in the land of Badger and Ringwood beers.

Alongside Adnams, the Meantime Brewery produce a substantial number of the Marks and Spencer excellent line of beers, their Red Ale I recently drank is a real cracker.

This Raspberry Wheat is 330mls, 5% abv, and it's really good, really enjoyable.

Last Christmas Day after I got back from a night shift I helped my mother in law do the cooking, and when the others had a Bucks Fizz, myself not liking champagne, I had a Raspberry lambic beer which really woke me up. I certainly can imagine myself with this Raspberry wheat beer, it would also have been an excellent early morning celebratory drink.

What about an ordinary evening drink? Yup still good. Loads of sourness, acidic raspberry edge, with a sweet crisp freshness helped by the brisk carbonation. What about the wheat side? There is a yeasty side to it, but if there is a criticism its that its too understated with the 'wheat beer' side, i'm not getting the banana or bubblegum to it. But thats a small thing, this is a big fun beer, early afternoon liven up the day beer, a really good beer.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Newcastle Summer and Founders Ales

I drank these about a month ago after seeing them on the shelf in Tesco, and whilst I've never particularly liked their classic Brown Ale, when I heard they were bring out some new beers I was keen to try them.

When I looked back at the draft post I had on them, it was kinda lacking any detail, so when i saw these bottles now reduced to £1.50 each at the moment I thought I'd give them another go to see what I missed out the first time for the post.

Not much it seems.

The Summer Ale is a Golden Ale and 4.4%, 355mls.

It has a sweet honeyish aroma, a richness, the mouthfeel is medium and crisp, well carbonated, but the taste is not great and certainly not reminding me of many golden ales I've tasted recently.
Buttery, with a mild bitterness, a bit of grass, but otherwise I'm struggling to put a name to the flavours I'm getting, and they're not great ones either.

Newcastle Founders' Ale, is 4.8%, same size bottle, same price.

Deep amber colouring, minimal head, sweet caramel malt aroma.
Much more bitterness here, nutty, spicy, light in the mouth and not much else, the flavours vanish pretty quickly.

Not really two bottles that impressed me much, they both had little depth to them, and barely any flavours that made me want the next mouthful.

Monday, 13 August 2012

..not more bloody glasses!

is what my  wife is saying, as over the last month I've picked up a couple of new one from various charity shops. She's threatening to throw some of my older one's out unless I make some room my self!

The Duvel was the latest find, actually there was three of them but I thought that would be pushing my luck so got just the one.
The Rochefort and Maredsous are really nice but not sure how much I'll use them.
I saw the ten sided 'fluted' half pint mug in our local shop, something rang a bell about this and I found what I had previously read about these on the excellent Zythophile.

Lastly I also found this ceramic mug (handle is out of shot) of the Weihenstephan brewery, not quite sure what I'll do with this one!

(They also had glasses from this Moeder Overste beer but it was a frosted style glass and not that nice to be honest.)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Bear Republic Racer 5

Bear Republic Racer 5 is certainly what you would call a modern classic, an American IPA (7% abv).

Loaded with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial hops this is a beer you see mentioned in books and across the internet as a favourite of many, one I had to buy when I saw it on the shelf.

It was more orange than the photo shows, nice tight head. Aroma was mango, orange and quite floral.
It has a good body on it, again mango, tropical fruits, sticky, moderate amount of bitterness.

When drinking its hard to believe its as strong as 7%, if you bought a six bottle pack as they sell it in the US, you'd probably sink half of those very easily. A very good beer, perhaps not as stunning as I'd anticipated but great none the less.

Plus - Like the new glass? I picked it up recently, a ten sided 'fluted' half pint mug. For those interested, read a little history from Zythophile.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

He was so drunk......

When in Tenby the other day I took this photo of the side of the Coach and Horses.

I mentioned this whilst I did my review on Pubs in Tenby, (which when looking at my stats and tracker has been quite a popular post) and thought I'd put it up here.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Grafenwalder Weissbier

So this will be a quick review (because i've sunk a few).

Currently on offer in Lidl is a 5 litre mini keg from Grafenwalder, with a Weissbier of 5% abv, only £11.99.

Whilst driving home after buying it I thought 'where the hell am i going to chill this??!!'  Certainly wont fit in the fridge!

In the end I popped it in the freezer for a short while to bring down its temperature and then let it stand for a while. Easy to use instructions on the side, after pouring a half pint of froth, a cloudy pint emerged.

A good thick head on the beer, good colour, but its very very light on aroma and flavour. Its saved a little by having an okay body, its not to light or watery which was a worry when you taste it. Some banana and vanilla but only just a bit. A very small bit.
There is an underlying sweetness but you struggle to pick out the spice and flavours you would expect with a quality weissbier.

Is is a good Weissbeir? No.
Is it a bad Weissbeir? Umm, well its very drinkable, and if given this at a BBQ over a bottle of generic lager I'd take it, but compared to any other you can buy at Tesco currently (other supermarkets are available!) then no, its not a good one.
But I will have no problem sitting down and finishing this keg, and I'm not thinking that I wasted money to be honest.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Drink with Mother

My mum recently visited for a weekend last month. She's come to appreciate a nice beer, it does help when your married to a former employee of Hall & Woodhouse mind you!

I decided to get in a couple of Welsh beers, the Rhymney Brewery with its newly designed label Bitter, and from the Celt Experience their Cryf, an ESB style beer.

The Rhymney was 4.5% and poured a dark copper brown, with very little aroma. Its mouth feel was thin, it was more malt than anything else, a moderate bite from hops, but a very drinkable session beer. It hides the abv well, and probably a lot better on cask that should give the body it needs.

 I have generally found the Celt Experience bottled beers pretty good, this one is called Cryf and is 5.2%, and both these bottles are found in Tesco's in South Wales usually.
Like those other excellent Welsh brewers Otley they have a good distinct branding too.

Light golden brown, rich fruit aroma, its flavour punches with seville orange like a  heavily sugared marmalade.
A medium body, a tickle of spice, fruity, nice 5/10 on the bitterness.

I've bought a few more of these recently,  they went down very well while I watched others exert themselves in London 2012!!!