Merry 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! 🙂
I found this one in the shop at the Eden Project whilst on holiday a few weeks back and as I’m a bit of a St. Austell fan I’ve been looking forward to this since I got home! I’m glad to report that it doesn’t disappoint!
Aroma – Sweet sweet strawberries dominate the smell of this one – that’s all I noticed. To be honest it does smell a little artificial (due to the strength of the strawberry aroma), but it is a very nice smell.
Appearance – Light golden in colour and slightly hazy. There was a small head on first pour, but that soon disappeared.
Flavour – A light maltyness and strawberries, lots and lots of strawberries. The sweetness is quite odd (i’m not normally a fruit beer drinker) but I like it.
Mouthfeel – Fairly light bodied and with a low carbonation.
Overall – I like it! It’s a sweet, fruity, thirst quenching lager. I’ll keep my eyes open for this one next summer!
Would I buy more? – Oh yes.
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.
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.
Catherine (the long-suffering other half) and I went on the brewery tour at St. Austell earlier in the summer, it was a good day – very informative, interesting and most importantly, ended with a sampling of the current range of beers. It was during this trip I got my first taste of this beer, and it led to me buying a case for the Christmas break.
Taste – Malty, with a strong caramel character. That said though, this is most definitely a lager and has a clean and crisp taste.
Aroma – Malty, fresh, sweet.
Appearance – Dark amber with a good frothy head, almost looks like a bitter, not a lager.
Would I buy more? – I bought a case, what do you think?!?
Taste – Malt, citrus, a slight hint of vanilla and a great mouthfeel with a dry finish. Deliciously moreish!
Aroma – Toffee, citrus and slightly sweet.
Appearance – Pale amber with good carbonation.
Would I buy more? – This is one of my all-time favourite beers, so 100% yes!