Monday, 7 April 2008

Review: Drie Fonteinen Doesjel

Drie Fonteinen Doesjel from Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
Rating: C+

Purchased at Bacchanalia in Cambridge.

Appearance: honey in color, fairly clear. Nearly no head.

Smell: aroma is reminiscent of sweet & sour sauce (slight vinegar note), tempered with aspirin. A hint of wet wood.

Taste: first sip is off-putting. i've had a gueze before and enjoyed it, but I can't say the same for this one... Sour and bitter. Eventually, sensory adaptation allows me to tease out more specific flavours. Balance of bitterness and sourness is reminiscent of grapefruit. Letting it sit on the tongue until the bitterness fades reveals a bit of green apple. This is oak aged, according to the guy at the beer store, but having a hard time picking out any distinct oak notes. A hint of Orval-like brett dryness.

Mouthfeel: slightly carbonated, fairly light mouthfeel (fermented until it's quite dry, few residual sugars thanks to Mr. Brett)

Drinkability: fairly low, I'm afraid. I find it hard to believe anyone could want a second bottle of this, I had a hard enough time finishing the one.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-07-2008 19:08:43

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Review: Barnstormer

Barnstormer from Bath Ales Ltd
Rating: B-

Purchased in Bath. Pours a much darker color than I had been expecting from this "english bitter," a deep ruddy copper. Big head fades slowly, but leaves no lace. Smell is sweet, brown sugar, dark fruit, wood - wet hardwood. Taste, on the other hand, is dry - roasty, somewhat bitter. Made with Bramley Cross hops, according to the label. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, lingering crisp aftertaste. Drinkability is moderate.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-03-2008 19:07:36

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Review: Cambridge Bitter

Cambridge Bitter from Elgood and Sons Ltd
Rating: B-

Purchased at Cambridge Wine Merchants, on Bridge St.

Appearance: darker in color than I had been expecting, rich amber with a big fluffy head that has great retention and leaves lace all over the place. Looks effervescent. Very clear.

Smell: a disappointment after appearance, the nose is fairly weak. Some soapiness I would typically associate with a lager, not an ale like this. A bit of floral hops.

Taste: light fruitiness, on top of a pleasant English maltiness. Finishes on a bitter hop note. What hop flavor there is remains fairly earthy and unassertive.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: quite fizzy, overly so. Would be solved in the cask version, I'd imagine... Body is light/medium. Aftertaste lingers. Drinkability is moderate.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-02-2008 21:17:56

Review: Abbey Ales Bellringer

Abbey Ales Bellringer from Abbey Ales Limited
Rating: B-

Sampled at several locations in Bath. Appearance is golden amber in color, smallish head - to be expected with the style and serving method, I think. Aroma is light, typical bitter aroma. The lack of variety in English beers is becoming more and more frustrating, the longer I live here. Bitterness is enough to stand up to malts, but doesn't take the fore. Little hop flavor or aroma to speak of - a hint of citrus, perhaps. Light-medium in body, smooth. Drinkability is good.

Serving type: cask

Reviewed on: 04-02-2008 15:43:39

Review: Black Friar

Black Friar from Abbey Ales Limited
Rating: B-

Had this one at the smallest pub in Bath - coeur de lion. Deep and dark in color. Aroma is light but pleasant. Roasted barley, chocolate malt. Flavors along the same lines. Not overly caramely. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth. Decent porter offering from this brewery. Drinkability is moderate, would not have ordered another - a little filling. According to the website, made with Northdown and Bramley Cross hops.

Serving type: cask

Reviewed on: 04-02-2008 15:40:10