Samuel Smith’s – Nut Brown Ale

Samuel Smith's - Nut Brown Ale

Aroma – Strong caramel and dark malt, slightly sweet smelling also.

Appearance – Deep brown in colour with a small off-white head.

Flavour – Caramel, slight nuttiness, and a background sweetness.

Mouthfeel – A medium-light body and a sharp carbonic bite on the tounge.

Overall – A fairly pleasant brown ale.

Would I buy more? – It’s ok, not the best beer I’ve ever had, but I might buy the odd one if I see it again.

The Kernel – Pale Ale ABC

Kernel Pale Ale ABCI’ve been looking forward to this one for a little while… Not only is this from one of my favourite of the London microbreweries (The Kernel), it’s also a collaboration brew with some members of my homebrew club (London Amateur Brewers), made with all Eastern European hops – aurora, bobek and celeia.

Aroma – Pine, resin and a slight hint of sweet tropical fruit.

Appearance – Light golden in colour and with a creamy white head that persisted throughout.

Flavour – Interesting. Similar pine and resin notes to the aroma, but not overpowering – quite similar to some of the IPA’s you get from The Kernel, but slightly more subdued. Finishes clean and dry.

Mouthfeel – Medium/light bodied, slight carbonation, and leaves and nice fizz in the mouth.

Would I buy more? – I would love to, but I think they may all be gone already!

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!

Wye Valley – Dorothy Goodbody’s Golden Ale

Week three of BeerBods – this one’s much better than last weeks! ūüôā

Aroma – Light malt sweetness, and fruity hoppy smells zinging off of this one.

Appearance – Light golden in colour and brilliantly clear. There’s wasn’t much of a head on it when I poured it out, and that soon disappeared.

Flavour – Sweet, but subtle maltyness, moderately bitter and finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel – Quite light bodied, but smooth and enjoyable.

Overall – A nice light blonde ale. Would be a great one to introduce people to good beer with.

Would I buy more? – I do think I would, it’s really quite nice – this would be a great session beer.

Cotswold Brewing Company – Cotswold Lager

Beer #2 from the BeerBods is a lager! ¬†Not my favourite type of beer (by a long shot) but we’ll give this one a go…

Aroma – Only very slightly malty, a slight fruit note to it too. There’s not really a lot to it to be honest.

Appearance – Clear and very very pale straw in colour. The white head died off about 20 seconds after pouring…

Flavour – Crisp, dry, sweet and pleasantly bitter.

Mouthfeel – Light bodied with a most definite carbonic bite on the tongue.

Overall – A cold, light, refreshing lager.

Would I buy more? – Probably not. Not really my kind of beer to be honest, but quite a nice light lager…

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. ūüôā

St. Austell – Smugglers Vintage Ale

Aroma – Malty and sweet caramel, with a slight fruity hint.

Appearance – Dark brown, but brilliantly clear. A thick creamy head persists throughout.

Flavour РSweet, malty caramel and fruity notes that match the aroma. Good bitterness too.  As it warmed up it gained more of a sherry type of flavour and warmth.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with an alchohol warmth as it hits your throat.

Overall – A nice old ale, would be great on a winters evening.

Would I buy more? – Yup, but not too many. ¬†This one’s for sipping.

The Kernel – India Pale Ale Galaxy

Aroma – Intense. Strong grapefruit, citrus and floral notes.

Appearance – Dark apricot-like orange in colour and quite hazy with a very thin white head.

Flavour – Super hoppy, with a character that matches the aroma – fruity, citrus and floral. Quite bitter an dry, and the dryness lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, but not very well carbonated.

Overall – An awesome IPA!

Would I Buy More? – This is one of the best beers I’ve had in a while – most¬†definitely¬†yes!

Fuller’s – Golden Pride

I had this one at The Parcel Yard in King’s Cross Station – it’s a great pub to have just around the corner from work. ūüôā

Aroma – Malty, fruity and large amounts of caramel/toffee/molasses.

Appearance – Dark red/brown. Crystal clear. Nice off-white head that sticks around.

Flavour – As with the aroma – seriously malty and sweet, with nice bitterness. Slight fruity flavours in there too,

Mouthfeel – Hmmm, chewy… Full bodied with a hint of warmth coming from the alcohol.

Overall РA very very nice old ale!  Very strong though Рone to sip slowly.

Would I buy more? – Most definitely, but I could only drink the one per night.

London Fields – Love Not War

Aroma РDistinctly 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 РA 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…