Merry Christmas and a hoppy New Year.
Holiday drinking list.
The festive period.... full of amazing food, friends, family and to top it all off, alcohol (Ale for me). Over the festive period I used the time off of work to do some ale tasting; and this is my write up on the five bottles I thought I HAD to mention! All five vary in price, taste, textures and smells so enjoy the blog and make sure you go and purchase some of these so that you can give them a try for yourself!
HOGS BACK GARDEN GOLD - 4.4% abv
Number one... possibly my favourite ale of 2017!!!
HOGS BACK brewery have really hit the nail on the head for a summertime ale for me. This is their Garden Gold, and golden it is! Golden in name, golden in colour, with a sweet aroma of the Bahamas on initial opening with a head to match. The initial taste is the perfect balance between sweet and bitter, you really can taste the exotic fruits of banana and pineapple; this leads to a slightly bitter, dry finish which makes you wanting another sip and then another sip and then another sip, I digress.
If you are new to ales and want to be gently cuddled into the bitterness of them, this ones for you. If you are an avid ale drinker, I would pair this with any spicy foods, perfect with a curry, jerk chicken or even as a dessert ale.
HATHERWOOD RUBY ALE - 3.8% abv
Number two, on first view, you think you know what you are in for, a reddish, brown hue coupled by the sweet, spice smell really makes for an exciting opening; with what I have to say is a lovely thick ruby head. The taste however, slightly disappoints, notes of chocolate, spice and nuts are there.... or there abouts, with a dryness and slight acidity throughout from start to finish. This ale is perfect for the winter, dark in colour and the taste. It's warm and dry with all the winter flavourings, slightly watery and could do with a good punch of the spices. None the less this has held up well for the price of around 85p and I would happily drink again in the winter next to a nice warm fire.
HATHERWOOD GOLDEN ALE - 3.8% abv
Number three, another Hatherwood, I wanted to give the lower end of the market a try this Christmas so that i can get an idea of where Lost Boys Brewery price range should lie.
The golden goose, a typical english ale, nothing to make it stand out to be perfectly honest, although saying that the head is fluffy and aromatic and sticks around for the whole experience. The colour as stated is golden, and the smells are slightly sweet with a hint of earthy elements in this ale. The taste started with a creamy mouthful leading on to the standard bitter taste, coupled with earthy notes.
Not much to say on this ale, a perfect, easy drinking ale that could probably couple any food you can get your hands on due to the plain palette to work with.
Radical Road PALE ALE - 6.4% abv
Number four - the hopping mad radical road.
Firstly, bravo on the label, it grabbed my attention on the shelf and luckily the return on the beer didn't disappoint.
On pour the smells are a bitter kiss on the nostrils of bitter fruits and piffs. The colour is some what murky, but still a strong golden haze, the head was a bit weak for my liking and faded quickly like a weak lager due to low carbonation I imagine.
The taste was a bit of a bonanza for me, the hops shine through mixing with a plethora of fruit; this leaves you with sweetness on the tongue and bitterness in your throat. Although not a traditional IPA in taste, it's bitter enough for me!
Perfect to drink in the summer in a BBQ environment, the light bitter, sweet will cut through meat and salads.
MARSTONS PEDIGREE AMBER ALE - 4.5% abv
Last but certainly not least, number five!
This was the beaut I decided to drink with my Christmas feast, this was due to its description of a biscuity malty taste with a spicy splash.
The pour was pretty unspectacular, although the colour of deep copper was nice and the head thick, the aroma wasn't there for me so I couldn't pick up the taste in my nose.
As for the taste, it was nice creamy ale with not many flavours coming through, which coupled perfectly with my roast as it didn't over power my pallet but in fact gently encouraged the food flavours to the forefront. The taste was very subtle but I managed to pick up a few biscuity tones with some herbally fruity hints. I'd say a pretty average ale, but company it with some flavoursome food and it will really lend a hand.
End of story,