When I was over in the UK last, I picked up 3 beers from Bath Ales. I had never heard of them and had no idea what to expect.
Barnsey is a ruby red English bitter style ale. Apparently it was once called barnstormer. The light and somewhat thin body threw me off a little and it did not look like it would be that insipid. Some caramel and a hint of chocolate alongside a nutty toffee is all that it had going for it. It's not an unpleasant beer by any means, on the contrary because I enjoyed it. It's just a little boring for my tastes but I suspect is a great session beer on cask and I also think that for the style, it's a very good representation.
Golden Hare looked like it would be boring though. However not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised by what I consider to be a pseudo lager. It's a blonde ale with a crisp citrus bite, very similar to a good lager so it's incredibly refreshing. The beer is simplicity itself with just pale malt and goldings hops. I quite enjoyed the spicy finish. My only complaint would be a slight lack of body but then, this is a beer to knock back when you are too warm so body is not too important.
Gem is a best bitter and far more to my liking out of the three I had. A strong waft of dark fruits and caramel malts off the nose. The fruit shines through the taste with a strong sense of prune and a slightly winey feel. Caramel malt abounds and provides a thick bodied fruit-cake like beer that was a pleasure to drink.
I would be interested to come across more Bath ales to try them out because they were all well made beers and I suspect I would enjoy some of the darker beers immensely.