Saturday, 10 March 2012

Beer In Pictures - Number 6 The Ultimate Guide To Thornbridge Ales

A guide to the wonderful delights from the Thornbridge case we need help deciding which one to try.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sambrooks Junction Ale

I never thought it could happen with me and the ale from Clapham....well Battersea in reality but Clapham isn't a million miles away from Sambrooks Brewery.

Junction Ale is Sambrooks anniversary ale and is one of only three ales brewed by Sambrooks - Wandle and Powerhouse Porter being the other two. Being close to the UK’s busiest railway station Duncan Sambrook (a former city accountant) decided people needed another reason to go ‘Up the Junction’ and Junction Ale was born. In style it is very different to Wandle and was brewed in tribute to a good friend of his who often complained about ‘too much flowery aromas in beers these days!’

Junction is brewed as a traditional English bitter, using only English hop varieties, lots of crystal malt and a touch of roasted barley to give it an inviting auburn colour. Great with a steak pie or a roast dinner, Junction is a fine compliment to Wandle Ale, but loses none of its drinkability. Just treat it with a bit of respect, at 4.5% it is a little bit stronger than Wandle.
The man himself - Duncan Sambrook

Tasting Notes: A darker amber than is usual in a bitter with a good deep cream head. Chalky raisins on the nose meets bread and butter pudding on the palate with a milky mouthfeel creating a lingering taste experience. A little savoury brine on the finish, sharp and tangy with crushed caramel and ginger cream cookie notes. A little spikey like darjeeling tea.
  • 4.5% ABV

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Hop, The Whole Hop and Nothing But The Hop - McMullen Original IPA

Founded in 1827 in Railway Street, Hertford McMullens  first moved to Mill Bridge in 1832 and then made a second move to Old Cross in 1891, later investing in a modern brewhouse in 1984. By the mid 2000s the company  narrowly escape closure as shareholders who wanted to receive a reasonable dividend and those who wanted to reinvest annual profits into the company split. David McMullen stepped down as Chairman following an unsuccessful management buyout. Independent Chairman, Charles Brims was appointed and he facilitated a compromise whereby several non-brewing property investments were sold to release cash to appease the majority shareholders and a plan was launched to build a brand new, smaller brewhouse. The company decided to shed contract-brewing and take advantage of tax breaks by becoming a smaller brewer and re-opened as the new 'Whole Hop Brewery' in 2006.
Whole Hops
Unlike many other brewers McMullen's latest brewery continues to use whole natural hops straight from the sack which is why It Is called 'The Whole Hop Brewery'. They do not believe that using processed pellets or hop extracts are good for the image of traditional and authentic brewers of fine cask ales. McMullen know their hop growers, most of whom grow classic varieties in the garden counties of England. However, not afraid to travel in the interests of good taste, they also work with farmers in Slovenia who grow just the right Styrian Goldings for their new beer, McMullen Cask Ale.

Tasting Notes: Brewed to the classic McMullen recipe using the finest whole flower hops and specially kilned amber malt to give it its deep rich flavours, McMullen Original IPA isn't the usual pale yellow IPA we are used to seeing. In fact it is indeed a rusty orange deep amber with a pale cream head. This dark IPA also boasts a very complex hop aroma of peach melba and aniseed. On first tasting sunflower seeds mingle with liquorice (imagine eating black jacks with fruit salad sweets for the aroma and flavour combined) and this turns to toasted caramel and brazil nut down the glass lacing beautifully in concentric rings with a slightly cloying bitter finish.
  • ABV 4.8%

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Beer In Pictures - Number 5 Beer Flavour Wheel

What flavour is that ale?

Beer flavour!

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