From the Brew By Numbers Brewery in London comes: 01/01- Citra Saison at 5.7%. De-capping gives an almost cider like grassy aroma, with straw and barnyard aromas emerging, however this is probably just my imagination! An inspired hybrid style beer that keeps you thinking. Initially, the Citra hops barely make an appearance, with the yeast appearing to support all the flavours. The beer is well carbonated with good head retention, a mild bitterness builds nicely to a good intensity finished by an almost sweet aftertaste. Peppery coriander comes through with a bitterness of oranges and citra hops emerging towards the end. Light, lively, aromatic, and wonderful.
Desnoes & Geddes Limited (Red Stripe) presents Dragon Stout at 7.5% An imported Jamaican stout. De-capping gives a sweet malty aroma followed by the same in flavour. Not boozy tasting at all, mildly carbonated and slightly coffee like aftertaste. Quite warming and not bad at all!
The Hatherwood Craft Beer Co presents: ‘The Winter Warmer’ at 5.5%
A dark spiced beer brewed by the Hogs Back Brewery Co. The aroma is of sweet malt and smoked cloves. The beer is spiced, with a dark malty taste with cinnamon flavours poking through. Cloves are apparent, however they do not dominate the taste. Smoky sweet and full bodied, the hop bitterness comes through as a strong afterthought. Head retention is good and carbonation is moderate. A decent spiced ale, however, I think more exploration is necessary in this field. The taste closest resembles a Belgian winter ale, which is probably why I think this would be so much better at 8.0 – 9.0% ABV. Decent effort though!
From Brecon Brewing in Wales comes Welsh Beacons at 3.7%. From an average beer gift set comes a traditional Welsh Pale Ale. A hop profile that smells like old clothes that haven’t dried properly…. fusty perhaps? The flavour is non descriptive, a basic malt with low bittering. It’s a bottle conditioned ale which is a positive. A real endless session beer. It wasn’t unpleasant, but wasn’t great.
Marble Beers & Against The Grain Collaboration – American Porter – 5.8%.
What can I say?, anything to do with the Marble Brewery is pretty epic, so a collaboration with Against The Grain is going to be pretty decent. WOW! De-capping gave a wonderful hoppy smell of dank and resinous hops, odd for a porter style but it works! Chocolate and toffee aroma dominate in the malt, but surprisingly clean. The flavours are clear and pronounced and this is where the porter style is more influential over the stout. The taste is bitter malty and chocolaty with hints of tobacco and a lingering bitterness. Carbonic acid presence is just perfect for the style. A lovely style of beer. Really good ale!