Monday, 17 September 2012


In my last blog I highlighted the delights of a strong, dark ale, from across the Irish Sea and thought it may be appropriate to continue on the dark beer theme.
Dark night's are drawing in I'm afraid. And we will soon be cranking up the central heating!
This seasonal change will almost certainly, in my opinion, change our drinking habits. We have all supped many light, golden, tasty beers over the summer months. However, will these beers become less preferable, and the darker,warmer tasting ales begin to be more appealing, as Jack Frost moves ever closer.
Let's face it, a blonde beer does not have the same appeal on a dark,crisp evening, down at the local boozer. Does it?
OK, you have to like the darker, porter style ales to fully appreciate my drift.And I want to highlight a fab four dark ales, that I feel will rise significantly in the popularity stakes, as the autumnal/winter nights, kick in. 
Let's commence with a classic dark ale. Robinson's 'Old Tom' is the ultimate winter warmer. Named after the breweries cat, it's a dark, rich and warming strong ale, at a hefty 8.5%. Packed with flavour. It's roasty, peppery and smoky rich, with a nice liquorice taste...Wow! Not forgetting the long dry aftertaste, that makes you soon wanting another gulp!  
The second of my winter quartet is Theakston's Old Peculier. Personally, I could quaff this in any season.However, once again, it is surely a beer more to be savoured on those darker evenings. Full bodied at 5.6%, it's smooth,sweet and rich. A treacly, malty delight. Aftertaste though is a little complex. It seems to start a little sweet and finish quite dry. Think am going bonkers!
We stay in the white rose county for my third choice. Timmy Taylor's 'Ram Tam', is a classy, easy drinking, dark, mild ale, at 4.3%.Smooth, mellow and fruity. With a slightly bitter and dry aftertaste. Some say it has a coffee flavour. But I cant detect it! 

The traditional bar at 'The White Swan'
 It's a regular fixture at Timmy's only Lancashire owned boozer. The White Swan(Mucky Duck) in the village of Fence, near Burnley. Its is a cracking 'watering hole'. Traditional pub, roaring fire, good food and friendly patrons. The ale goes down a treat, as darkness decends over Pendle Witch country.

Finally, in this fine quartet of 'darker night ales', I have gone for a favourite of mine. Barnsley's Acorn Brewery serve up the delicious 'Old Moor Porter'. Bloody Hell, it's the business! Another full bodied quaff. It has delightful, liquorice, smoky flavours. With a smooth,mellow finish. Again, folk say coffee and chocolate flavours. Nah, nowt like that in my opinion. No coffee, no chocolate taste for me boss! Descriptions go totally overboard sometimes, in my view. One example is, burnt caramel! What's all that about. I would just say sweet and roasty. :-)
Aye, summer has fizzled out folks. However, those darker beers are now going to taste more sweeter, in the winter months. Or should I be saying, more of a caramel flavour. Nah, bollocks to all that type of jargon!