St. Austell – Smugglers Grand Cru

St. Austell - Smugglers Grand CruMerry Christmas everybody! It’s Christmas day, which is Day 6 of the #12BeersOfXmas, and it’s time for something I’ve been saving for a while…

St. Austell – Smugglers Grand Cru (11.5%, 750ml bottle)

I’ve had this one stashed away in the back of the cupboard for two years so it’s time to break it out. From the moment the cork was popped the air was filled with the aromas of toffee, vanilla, oak, maltiness and booze; lots and lots of booze. It pours crystal clear, but dark brown in colour and is well carbonated with a persistent off white head; it looks and smells great.

The flavour in this one is complex to say the least, sweet malt, vanilla, toffee, caramel, along with dried fruit characters such as prunes or dates; this is then followed off with a nice boozy alcohol warmth as you would expect with a beer of this strength. It’s medium bodied and well carbonated so this one is a sipper but I have to say it’s delicious.

This isn’t normally the sort of beer I’d go for but for a one off treat, it’s really hitting the spot today – bloody lovely! 🙂

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 – Sweet, 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.

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. 🙂

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 – A very very nice old ale!  Very strong though – one to sip slowly.

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