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Notes on beers served in the format

cask

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40

Thanks go out to pghlee for saving a growler of this from the recent cask at The Brick Store. He saved this for some of the stragglers that couldn't make it on the previous day for the cask tapping. Jet black, still pour with no sign of life in terms of carbonation or head or lace. Perfectly still. The beer is actually nowhere near as viscous as the pour might suggest. I'd even go as far as to say it is relatively "light" compared to what it could have been. The nose reveals the spirits, but...

Golden Pig

From notes: Interesting brew this, mainly because it has the name and the appearance that would suggest that it is one of the infamous "Golden Ales" that have grown up in England over the last few years as dumbed down, traditional English Bitters. HOWEVER, despite the appearance (which is decidedly in the Golden Ale category), this beer drinks as a definite, standard English Bitter to me. A yellowish appearance with nice, bubbly head and a decent spread of lace, the challenger nose is...

Skinner’s Betty Stogs Bitter

Deliciously sessionable, simple example of an English bitter. Summer 2007 from notes - somewhere in Cornwall! Main characteristics include the biscuit malts, the smooth mouthfeel and the drinkability. This is the kind of beer that one thinks of as being typical of the refreshing, quaffable and moreish bitter of yesteryear. Mid brown pour with a better than expected head considering the cask serving. Long, drawn out nose and aftertaste that match perfectly. Malts compete with one another in a...

Golden Seahawk

Another classic English bitter if not quite a classic in its own right. Cask offering at The Well House, Cathedral Yard, Exeter, Devon, England. Summer 2007 from notes. This was offered at the end of the Real Ale Festival at the pub the week before. Very Pale, golden color almost yellow. Subtle flavors with honey sweet notes and a typical biscuit malt and Goldings combination (not sure if Goldings are used in this but it seems that way to me). Light, bitter aftertaste and finish. Slight...

Summer Solstice

Taken from notes, Summer 2007. Drank a couple of pints of this at The Bear in Esher, Surrey with my good friend Dave - thanks Dave! Striking light colored pour that the name would suggest. Thin head. Another of the ever popular English "Golden Ales", I think this should be added to the BA database as a style, despite the fact that I don't really care for them much! Light freshly mown grass in the nose, and a distinct yest note that carries over to the taste. Although not a "hoppy" beer by ANY...

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30

I got lucky here - long after Dave had taken this off at The Brick Store he handed me a couple of glasses and took me back into the cellar. There we picked up the "empty" cask and poured the last couple of pints from it by tipping it up and massaging the last drops of beer from the vessel into the glasses. I thought I had missed this opportunity, but not so. VERY grateful and appreciative. Thanks Dave. Black pour with a few reddish highlights - not much. Head is not really a factor here, but...

Bengali Tiger

13oz pour at Sunset Grill & Tap, Boston (Allston), MA, USA. Delighted to find a beer on cask. Orange-bronze, hazed pour with small amounts of carbonation, head and lace (obviously!) Subtle hop notes make up the nose and the taste. Nothing overpowering here, and this is a welcome change of pace from double-this and triple-that. Certainly some light floral notes, but I get some really strong English hop influence here. I have NO idea which hops are actually used in this beer, but it seems...

Winter Warmer

What a delightful find. A cask beer! Unusual enough in this part of the world, but being in the style of a Winter Warmer makes this a exciting brew to stumble across. Two, 8oz half-pint pours at $1.80 each during Happy Hour. Great garnet color with a super head and lace. Looks great. Beautiful clarity, very smooth in the mouth. Nutty malts. Highly drinkable, a relatively subtle beer wiithout any kind of Winter Warmer spice that I could pick up, but still very tasty. Impressed.

American Best Bitter

Apparantly (I've never been here before so I am guessing slightly) this is part of the "Peachtree and 14th" rotating cask series at TAP, Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA, USA. Surprisingly light, golden colored beer that reminded me of a (recently) popular English Golden Ale in terms of its appearance. Low carbonation (as expected) but more thin head and lace than I was expecting. Nice biscuit malts are present as I would I expect, and these do linger nicely into the aftertaste. Tasty brew with a...

Cotleigh 25

Sampled at The Well House, Exeter, Devon, England. Summer 2007, reviewed from notes. Advertised in the pub as the 25th Anniversary brew. Typical light amber pour with a hint of cloudy chill-haze in the appearance. Light and sparkling with a generous combination of bright malts, refreshing orange zestiness in the hops, and a decent caramel finish. Light drinking, good summer stuff. Exceptionally tasty, this beer reminds me of a summer shandy. Delicious.

St. Austell Tribute Premium Cornish Ale

This beer was absolutely EVERYWHERE I went in Devon & Cornwall in the Summer of 2007. I drank it on several visits to loads of different pubs. It was mildly depressing that it was so available since it gave the impression that the St. Austell Brewery had become the BMC of the South West. I suppose, since the beer was so solidly good, that was not really such a bad thing! Standard amber pour with a nice looking bone-white head. Good lace. There's really not much to say about this beer other...

O’Hanlons Yellowhammer

Drunk at The Keeper's Cottage, just outside of Cullompton, Devon, England in the Summer of 2007 - from notes. The Keeper's Cottage is a pub that I know very well. Growing up as a young drinker we would sometimes make the short trip out there for a couple of pints. To be honest, the place has seen better days and looks a little run down to me. Weird looking beer! Yellow hammer is certainly appropraite as this almost looks a little like a Hefe without the huge head! Really, murky yellow pour...

Devon Glory

Cask offering at Beer, Devon, England. Notes from the Summer 2007 trip. I forget the name of the pub. Sheep adorn the pump clip. Mildy acidic, but refreshing. Amber, soapy pour with some sweetness. The beer is balanced with obvious low carbonation but some decent malt presence. There's something else too - perhaps a nuttiness, but may be a little sweeter than that. Not sure, but it seems like a small amount of honeyish hops. Some light fruit. Typical of the style, with bready malts and simple...

Beechwood Bitter

Served out of a polypin - notes taken from England trip, July 2007 - Cheers Chris! Pours like a typical English cask, even from the polypin. Bubbles rather than head. Dark brown pour, carbonation very light. Simple brew that has a little nut character which makes it drink a little more like a brown ale than I was expecting. Mouthfeel is simple. Good malts, sweet up front, with the mild hop character reserved for the finish. Well balanced. A little toffee and acaramel note - not huge. The name...

Country Life Country Bumpkin

Beer with a great deal of potential but a little rough around the edges. Had it on a couple of different visits to Devon, but this was in Great Torrington just down the road from the brewery. Darkish pour with a distinct lack of head. Carbonation was absent but there were some decent reddish hues. Strong certainly, without much subtlety, this beer speaks bitterness and alcohol. Despite this rough approach I really felt as though there were malts fighting to get out and perhaps in another batch...

Back Beach

Available in a number of Devon locations, but I drank this on tap at The Firehouse in Exeter, Devon, England. Pat and Don are no longer the owners at the Firehouse (from my days of working there) but the building and the pub were almost identical. Happy to find the old place still looking the same after 15-20 years! Back Beach was one of three or four cask beers available. I think this is the type of English Bitter that has gained in popularity so much in recent years and is often called a...

Old Moggie

Arguably THE best beer that I had on a recent trip back home that included over 100 different beers in a three week period. Exceptional malts are upfront which hold the whole brew together. Perfectly balanced hop profile cuts in, but the sweetness of the malt make this beer for me. Almost honey-like flavor and smoothness, real ambrosia. Pour is a mid amber color with a good head that is dense and well retained. Lace is superb. To say this beer is easy to drink is the understatement of the...

Discovery Blonde Beer

Mmm, quite why this is classified as a Pale Ale I'm not sure. Golden Ale on the label, and a golden beer in the bottle - fair enough! Yellow pour with a small, well formed head. VERY light in every department. You can tell it is a real ale - JUST - but in terms of taste, aroma and general character there is almost none. A cross between a watered down wheat beer and a lager, the beer quickly loses its way and falls into nomansland. Light, floral notes and not much else. I think that this is a...

St. Peter’s Fruit Beer (Grapefruit)

At The Jerusalem Tavern with one of my closest friends - could it be any better? St. Peter's does it for me all the time, and this is no exception. Simple looking brew with an darkish, amber body the looks a little thin. Decent head, some lace and retention. Aroma is ALL grapefruit and to me it is wonderful. A LOT of depth in the nose. Happily the aspect of the grapefruit that comes through most in the taste is the bitterness as opposed to much fruit. The combination works well againast a...

IPA

The beer I drank was "The Loop" IPA which I am going to assume is the same as the one listed here. They advertise this a cask conditioned(?) it comes with a great looking cloudy appearance and a strong, sharp, single hop aroma. A nice looking beer certainly. Tastes are sharp grapefruit with a short drying finish. Solid American version of the IPA. Easy drinker and satisfying, I was quite impressed.