Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Leaving me red faced
Two British red ales here. One from a brewery that's new to me and the second from a good ole Scottish favourite of mine.
Lancaster Brewery is not one I have encountered before. Their simply named Red (they are all simply named) however was a great introduction. Red ales are often boring but perfectly drinkable and sessionable and often lacking in depth of character. Not so in this case as we begin with a fruity aroma consisting of plums, dried fruit, pepper and a strong malt driven backbone. This is a malt bomb from the get go when you can finally drag your nose out of the beer and actually drink the stuff. An infusion of cranberry joins the plums and other forest fruits but all this sweetness is counterbalanced by a wonderful earthy hop character. An absolutely lovely beer.
My friends in Aloa at the Williams Brothers brewery have produced a Scottish Red ale called Cock O' The Walk. I'm not sure just how Scottish this beer is though, considering the use of cascade hops. A fruity and malty aroma on the nose with little if anything to indicate they even used hops. That changes though when you take a swig because a lovely citrus character comes through. I did not get much grapefruit from the cascade but the beer is also finished with bobek hops, a sort of styrian goldings type so an earthy lime citrus is more what you get in this beer. Other than that, the strong malty sweet with fruit and a little dark chocolate and toast is what you get.
This would not be my favourite Williams Bros beer but a well made beer nonetheless.