When I was the the Beer Bloggers conference in May, one of the beers that was served during dinner was DW by Sharp's. The name is in honour of Dave Wickett, the brewer for Kelham Island Brewery. He was diagnosed with cancer and it was decided to honor his name and that all proceeds from the beer will go to Cornish hospice care.
The beer itself is a Belgian styled Tripel. Deserving of respect for it's 9% abv alone, it is actually a very tasty beer. It certainly smells Belgian. It has a boozy and spicy aroma with plenty of yeastiness. When I tasted it I thought it was rather delicate. Of course like many Belgian beers it is rather sweet, with all kind of Belgian candi and other teeth rotting sugary stuff that you could not get enough of as a kid. Pear drops anyone? The bitterness was quite unexpected and rather appreciated to counter the sweetness. While it still leans towards the sweeter end of the scale, it was not overly sweet and so could be enjoyed quite easily. There is a lovely peppery finish that leaves your tongue feeling tantalised and ready for more.
I do encourage people to buy a bottle of this beer. It costs about the same as a bottle of wine, is nearly the same abv and is far more interesting and versatile than any wine. You can drink this with the warm fuzzy feeling that your money is going to a good cause, well two good causes actually, your own glutony and also more importantly to the help sick children.
Another beer I had at BBC11 was Monsieur Rock, although I had a lot more of this one. Pallet fatigue had set in by the time I drank it (end of the night) so it just seemed a little dull, but I thought the same of White Shield at the time. When Kristy (Molson Coors) sent me the Worthington's beers I got two bottles of Monsieur Rock with it. I am glad I took a few notes because the beer was so bloody drinkable that I downed them very quickly.
The interesting thing about the beer is that it is not just a typical lager brewed with saaz hops. It has Jean-Marie Rock of Orval fame helping out with the brew. It combines British and Belgian brewing styles.
The aroma was fascinating. At first it could have been any lager but then some lemon, sweet toffee, grain and spice came through. The taste is subtle, again at first you have the qualities of a good lager such as a crisp and refreshing cereal married with herbal hops but then the subtle lemon pepper thing comes out and also a fizziness, sort of like sherbet. It feels great on the tongue and is so easy to drink. It may not be the most interesting beer in terms of flavour but for what it is, it's flawless.
So my initial reaction of "meh" has been altered. Rule of thumb to be followed. Never review a beer at the end of a long day of drinking various beers. In this case, I waited 2 months before doing a proper write up.
One could say that whatever blurry image I had of some of the Sharp's range has come in to focus.... Jaysus that was bad, sorry.....
*Any reference in this article that may or may not share the same name as a random shop, oh let's say some sort of gadget store is entirely coincidental*