Saltaire Brewery presents: Celebration Ale at 6.5%. Fruity taste with a malty aroma, not much hop scent going on in the smell, however the beer is well received with an excellent bittering profile. Bold spicy flavours set the beer alive. This ale has a pretty good head retention, moderate carbonation and presence of the crystal malt sweetness appears briefly after each taste, followed by a lingering bitterness with influences of caramel and toffee. Very pleasant and full bodied.
Rotherham Homebrew: Hopzilla at 6.5% . A tongue in cheek ‘Flummoxed Yorkshire Red Pale Ale’ nearing the two month old stage, this confused beer style is a sweet dark IPA. In an attempt to try something different (and to use up the remnants of homebrew ingredients before the new year) I used 7 different malts & 7 hop varieties, with the end result producing malty coffee, chocolate and toffee flavours. A strong bitterness dominates this christmas type beer. This homebrew turned out much darker than expected, but I’m pleased overall with the result. I look forward to seeing how it matures for next christmas.
From the Thornbridge Brewery comes Charlie Brown Peanut butter brown ale at 6.2%. This was a difficult ale to find, very popular in the Sheffield region. Made with peanut butter in the boil and then later dry ‘pea-nutted‘ during maturation with large amounts of green peanuts, de-capping gives an odd whiff of peanuts. For a 6.2% beer, it tastes quite watery and lacks any body or decent mouth feel at all. Somehow the ale also lacks bitterness and hops. The beer is a little bit fizzy and daft for a brown ale. I’m all for experimentation, but this is a really disappointing beer from a brewery I thought could do a lot better.
From Genesee beer comes the Tap Room Brewing Company IPA at 6.3%. From the ‘Taste the difference range’ of Sainsbury’s, a really malty traditional style IPA with a distinct sherbet undertone. I couldn’t detect any hop aroma other than malt. The bittering wasn’t great, the beer was a bit watery too. Overall an O.K beer for a supermarket range, but not fantastic.
From the Kiuchi Brewery in Japan comes Hitachino Nest White Ale at 5.5%. Elements of coriander and wheat blend into a pretty good wheat beer. Grapefruit and citrus aromas attack the senses with a slightly sweet & fruity aftertaste. Carbonation is high, but perfectly balanced for the ale. Approaching the borders of a Saison style, this beer has an excellent smooth creamy aftertaste with a limited hop presence. Together with the inspired branding, what a great beer!