Stone – Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone - Oaked Arrogant Bastard AleIt’s Day 5 of the #12BeersOfXmas, and it’s time for another beer from Stone.

Stone – Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (7.2%, 12oz bottle)

The beer pours a dark brown/red colour and is crystal clear with a nice gentle carbonation and a thin white head.

To be honest there’s not really any noticeable aroma coming from this beer, maybe mild hints of vanilla but I’m really struggling with this one.

Thankfully there is a bit more going on in the flavour, hints of toffee, vanilla and caramel but all of these are subdued somewhat by the overpowering and crushing bitterness that follows them – it just seems to mask all of the delicate and subtle flavours that were there before. It’s medium bodied and finishes quite sweet so it’s more of a sipping beer than one to swig.

Overall I’m not overly impressed with this one, it’s ok (and drinkable, I’m not about to pour it out at all) but the harsh bitterness seems to mask everything else that would have been going on in it. Fingers crossed tomorrow should bring something nicer…

Bath Ales – Barnsley

This is the first beer from the second beerbods box (that arrived the other day). I’ve had one or two beers from Bath Ales in the past – I can’t remember which ones, but I do remember the we’re rather good, so I was quite looking forward to this one!

Aroma – Malty, rich and malty, with hints of biscuit and toast.

Appearance – Deep nutty brown in colour and very clear. Upon initial opening it was quite lively and started fizzing out of the bottle, but that soon died away didn’t really leave much of a head after the pour.

Flavour – Much like the aroma, it’s rich and malty with hints of chocolate, biscuit and vanilla finished with a slightly hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied but smooth drinking with a really light carbonation.

Overall – A really enjoyable dark bitter. Great for the cold evenings settling in.

Would I buy more? – Yup, this ones’s lovely!

Exmoor Ale Clone

Whenever Catherine and I head down to the west country I love the bitters and ales we find down there.  Exmoor Ale, by the Exmoor Brewery has been a perennial favourite over the years so I thought I’d have a bash at a clone.

Here’s the recipe details:

Recipe: Exmoor Ale
Style: Special/Best/Premium Bitter
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------

Boil Size: 25.70 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.64 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 18.93 l   
Bottling Volume: 17.41 l
Estimated OG: 1.039 SG
Estimated Color: 30.0 EBC
Estimated IBU: 40.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 74.8 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
18.93 l               London, England                          Water         1        -             
5.00 g                Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 mins)      Water Agent   2        -             
5.00 g                Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent   3        -             
1.00 tbsp             PH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 60.0 mins)       Water Agent   4        -             
3.20 kg               Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC)         Grain         5        87.9 %        
0.40 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (236.4 EBC)   Grain         6        10.9 %        
0.04 kg               Chocolate Malt (886.5 EBC)               Grain         7        1.2 %         
50.68 g               Challenger [6.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min      Hop           8        40.0 IBUs     
1.00 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        9        -             
7.00 g                Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 0.0  Hop           10       0.0 IBUs      
0.5 pkg               American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast         11       -             
1.00 tsp              Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days)        Other         12       -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
-------------------------------------------------------

Total Grain Weight: 3.64 kg

Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 9.51 l of water at 74.3 C           66.0 C        90 min        

Sparge: Fly sparge with 20.79 l water at 75.6 C

Brewed on 24th June 2012

Notes on the results to come soon. 🙂

London Fields – Love Not War

Aroma – Distinctly malty with a hint of caramel and fruity hops.

Appearance – Copper in colour, and very clear. Absolutely no carbonation or head to speak of.

Flavour – Really quite bitter with some floral notes – fairly pleasant but not amazing.

Mouthfeel – A bit of a let down; thin and with zero carbonation.

Overall – It’s an ok bitter, but I’ve tasted many better.

Would I buy more? – It’s ok, but I don’t think i’ll be going out of my way to buy more of these…

St. Austell – Trelawny

Aroma – Slight maltiness, and an apricot character.

Appearance – Amber in colour and very clear. Started off with an off-white head that quickly disappeared.

Flavour – Dry with some biscuity malt, toffee, and citrus fruit in there.

Mouthfeel – Quite a thin body, with low carbonation.

Overall – All in all this is an easy-drinking session bitter.

Would I buy more? – If I was grabbing some of the other beers from St. Austell, I’d probably pick some of these up at the same time.

Luton Pride – Results

This is the beer from a few weeks back.  This has turned out very drinkable…

Taste – High bitterness with a good malty character. Fruity esters come through as well with good dry finish.  It’s not really come out anything like London Pride (the original target recipe) but it’s turned out great.

Aroma – A light fruity hop aroma, and mild malt notes.

Appearance – A light toffee brown colour and brilliantly clear.  It’s lightly carbonated and forms a nice head upon pouring.

Would I brew it again? – Yep!

Wadworth Beer Kitchen

The folks over at the Wadworth Brewery have recently released a range of craft beers under the Wadworth Beer Kitchen brand that a few friends and I had the pleasure of sampling the other weekend.

In the range they have five different beers to choose from: Wheat Beer, India Pale Ale, Orange Peel Beer, Whisky Barrel Aged Bitter and Espresso Stout. Unfortunately we couldn’t sample the whole range as the bar had run out of the India Pale Ale but we got to sample the other four beers.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the beers fared…

Orange Peel Beer – Malty, slightly sweet and with a definite orange zesty flavour this was one good beer! This was the first one we sampled and I would most definitely like to drink this one again (and again, and again, and again).

Wheat Beer – Light and clean, with a subtle clove and citrus flavour and a very good mouth feel. I’m a fan of wheat beers and this was my favourite of the four we sampled – I could easily drink this one all night!

Espresso Stout – Coffee and stout has always been a good combination and this is a great example of how it’s done. Dark, smooth and velvety, with a deep roasted malt flavour and powerful cocoa-bitterness made this one of the favourites among the others in the crowd. It wasn’t too heavy feeling either (like you get with a lot of stouts) which made this even more pleasurable to drink. This would be a perfect beer to end a meal in place of a coffee.

Whisky Barrel Aged Bitter – Premium bitter aged in whiskey barrels for two to three months, need we say more. Smokey, rich, malty and deep whisky flavours power through this intense yet sophisticated beer. If you like whisky aged beers, it’s recommended.

Wheat, Orange, Whiskey and Espresso

We sampled these fine beers at The Dandy Lion in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. If you’re in the area and in need of a drink, I’d highly recommend it – the pub looked great, the staff were friendly, very knowledgeable about the beers and there were four other cask ales (not just Wadworth’s) at the bar in addition to the bottled selection.

All in all the group and I came away very impressed with these beers. If you get the opportunity to sample one of these i’d most definitely recommend them.