Thursday, 15 November 2012


Now you are probably thinking what I am going to start banging on about, after reading this headline!

Well, it does go back to my previous blog on beer tasting. And some of the odd, strange, even bizarre words used to describe beer, in my humble opinion. I got a great response, and thankfully you all seemed to approve of my thoughts and comments.

That said, it's perhaps my turn to describe a few beers that you may want to keep a eye out for, as winter draws in. The dark nights always extract the dark beers. The winter warmers, as some people call them. However, I will have to choose my words carefully, after some of the comments I made in the last post!

I have identified three that most of you may not have tried. A trio that are quite simply exceptional in my view.

To be honest, it was the brewer at Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery that prompted me to highlight the first darker tipple. He had tweeted that the mashing had commenced for their Jubilee Stout. It's one of my favourites and I could smell the milled grain being added to the process. The malted barley and all the other grains being stuffed in! 

The stout is quite powerful and full bodied, as the ABV of 5.5% suggests. A smooth, malty taste. Roasty, as you would expect and a nice liquorice finish in the aftertaste. It's a belter and one that will be out very soon hopefully.

We travel south from Carnforth, in North Lancashire, to the Phoenix Brewery in Heywood, near Rochdale. Another popular microbrewery that produces consistently good beer. Their 'Black Bee Porter' is a cracker. It's another rich, roasty brew, with plenty of body at 4.5%. Honey is added to the brewing process and this gives it a slight sweetness. For me, it's also a refreshing beer, quite seldom found in a porter. Very clever these brewers.

  Some say they cannot taste the sweetness. However, it's there for sure. It's my theory that people who do not have sugar in their tea or coffee, can identity it better! If you think I am bonkers, then so be it.   

Finally, I think it is appropriate that I highlight a dark mild, for the third of my dark beer selection. Some say mild is an endangered species. Irwell Works Brewery from Ramsbottom in East Lancashire, have their 'Tin Plate Dark Mild'. This will surely never become endangered. It's delicious.

I had it last week, at a pub where I was doing a review for the local press. It tasted a little stronger than the 3.6%, to be honest. A really rich roasted dark mild. With a nutty finish, commonly found in dark milds, here up north. 

 Dark milds are so good to see on the bar and it was proving very popular with the regulars.

So, three to watch out for, and hopefully I have given you a decent description in how they will tickle your taste buds! Feel free to comment on my tasting notes. They are nowt special. I just like to explain it in plain english.....I think.