My wife was over in London a few weeks back and was nice enough to bring me back some beer. She bought them at a market and they purveyor said she was having a Brit fest.
First up is Caskade by the Oldershaw brewery in Lincolnshire. The aroma is a lager like biscuit and cereal with a grapefruit citrus bite. On tasting I got a bitter hit up front with a crisp citrus finish.A very dry and bitter beer this and I quite liked it. It's not an interesting beer, it is simply a good sessionable thirst quencher (and generator).
Hmmm A brightly coloured label and a beer called Scotch Madness. The camp label aside, the Madcap brewery have put together something that is quite simply; mad. The beer pours a dark brown and starts off with a fluffy white head but this disappears in moments. It's a little winey with prunes being prominent; some ash and liquorice; brown sugar and olives? Where there hell did the olives come from?
The beer is very fizzy and also quite thin on body. It's a bit of a malt bomb and the most interesting thing is that there is a saison style sourness to it. The overall effect is a fizzy; sour prune juice concoction. I did like it but it's 8.5% and you can drink it like it's juice. That may just be what makes it Scottish come to think of it as it seems more Belgian to me.
Ebulum elderberry black ale is from the reliable Williams Brothers. Well known for their traditional style herbal infused beers, the Williams boys have produced a nice fruity elderberry porter. It's not especially interesting but that's not the point of the beer. It's simply a very well put together beer that is very pleasant to drink. Lovely stuff.
The Loddon brewery is another one with a camp label. Hullabloo is a British best bitter. There is nothing camp about the beer however. It's a cracking beer actually. The aroma is nutty, a little wine like with dark raisins and other dried fruit. There is a strong caramel malt backbone to this beer with a beautiful earthy hop profile from the fuggles. It tends to lean more towards the sweeter end of the scale. A lovely beer I thought.
The Lancaster brewery use a simple naming system. This is their Black and while dark ruby red is closer to the mark, you can see where they are going with it. The aroma is all molasses; chocolate, fruity, caramel and liquorice. The taste is bitter at first, somewhat thin but packed full of flavour. Molasses, bitter dark cocoa, herbal hops to finish. A lovely beer by any standards.
And finally is Double swan from Elgoods. This is a rather simple pale ale and there is little wrong with that. A crisp nose with earthy hops and caramel. It starts off with a bitter hit down the back of the throat and then moves on to a slightly metallic and dry finish. A good quaffer on a warm day.