Monthly Archives: February 2015

Westmalle – Dubbel

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel 7.0%

This is a very dark red-brown ale with a sweet warming barley wine aroma. It has a rich woody taste reminiscent of old polished dark wood furniture. The sweet start is replaced with the rich bitterness of hops and toasted malts.

Westmalle -Dubbel Trappist Ale

This is one of the famous Belgian Trappist Beers and comes from the Westmalle Abbey and is normally served in a chalice glass.

L’abbaye Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœure de Westmalle is a Benedictine monastery dedicated to contemplation and silence. The monks have been brewing since 1856 and the present Dubbel comes from a recipe modification in 1926. The monastery also include a farm and cheese dairy as well as the brewery considered necessary for self sufficiency.

Shepherd Neame – Autumn Blaze

Shepherd Neame – Autumn Blaze 3.8%

This Autumn amber Ale comes with a strong malt hop aroma with hints of chocolate.

Shepherd Neame – Autumn Blaze

The taste starts with a sweet taste leading into a hop and toasted malt bitterness, similar to a well hopped IPA. Toasted and roasted.

This is another seasonal offering from the ever productive Sheperd Neame Brewers. A malty ale but with a strong hop finish.

English Heritage (Ballards) – Wassail

English Heritage (Ballards) – Wassail 6.0%

A dark amber ale with a creamy coloured head. Rich sharp hop and sweet malt aromas.

English Heritage (Ballards) Wassail

This ale has a good barley wine taste, smooth sweet and malty but with a hop sharpness. A good winter ale with bags of flavour.

I purchased this ale specially labelled as English Heritage Wassail According to the Brewery notes it is classed by CAMERA as a barley wine but by the brewery as a good Winter Warmer. It is Brewed by Ballards Brewery Nyewood in the very west of West Sussex originally as a seasonable ale but due to popularity is now brewed year round. Clearly Ballards are reviving good Sussex Ales, such as those historically brewed by the now defunct King and Barnes Brewery.

This ale is well worth hunting out in the West Suusex area and comes with a Ballards black and gold label 

Caledonian Brewery – Great Scot

Caledonian Brewery – Great Scot 4.4%

This is an Amber ale with a good description. A good traditional ale aroma with spicy aromatic, almost bubble gum notes. The aroma is reminiscent of pubs in the past.

Caledonian Brewery – Great Scot

This has a ‘winey’ taste with hop and sweet notes in a good malt base. This ale is a new brew for 2015 Burns Night. Brewed in Edingburgh by the 140 year old Caledonian Brewery commemorating the great Scotish poet.Robert Burns

As a.child I remember passing the High Street pubs on a warm summer day, when the pub doors were open and you could see the bar with those strange posts (beer engines) on the bar and that distinctive, even then, pleasing aroma. This ale has that reminiscent aroma that conjures up that memory.

Exmoor Ales – Wildcat

Exmoor Ales –  Wildcat 4.4%

This is the autumn-winter offering from Somerset’s Exmoor Ales. An amber ale with a good malt aroma and a hint of rich ripe soft fruit. Malty hopped English ale finishing on the hops with a hint of sharpness, perhaps alluding to the Exmoor wildcat.

Exmoor Ales – Wildcat

Brewers notes refer to hints of autumn fruits and chocolate. Fuggles, one of the great English hops is used for this single hop ale, which is another good ale from this Somerset brewer.

The Exmoor Wildcat may be another tale like the Beast of Exmoor. Sittings may be most likely after the odd pint of this excellent ale.

Bath Ales – Special Pale Ale

Bath Ales – Special Pale Ale 3.7%

This is a pale lemon coloured ale, with hop malt aroma. It has a good green hop bitterness with notes of biscuit malt.

Bath Ales – Special Pale Ale

This pale ale from Bath Ales uses lager hops, which clearly givesthe ‘fresh’ green hop taste and avoids the the citrus aromas a tastes found in the American style pale ales.