Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Does Timmy Taylor's, Boltmaker, warrant its "Head Honcho" status?

I visited a boozer recently, and there on the bar was the "CAMRA Supreme Champion Beer of Britain", Timothy Taylor's, Boltmaker. You would think that a beer, that has attained such a prestigious award, would have you salivating, at the thought of an imminent slurp.

However, there was no excitement for me. No "wow factor" ale on the serving counter. Just a shrug of the shoulders on witnessing, in my opinion, a decent, flavoursome ale - one of many I quaff on my beery excursions.

When it was announced as the 2014 "Supreme Champion", it certainly raised an eyebrow or ten. Many ale aficionados being  equally mystified, on how it had attained the ultimate award, that CAMRA could bestow.

Ok, it's a malty, fruity and mildly spiced slurp - a nice, flavoursome, well balanced bitter . But, top dog status? A beer of the highest authority? The head honcho? I think not. 

Come on, be honest, did Boltmaker really cause you great excitement, when the result was announced? Unlike its predecessor, from the "White Rose County", Elland Brewery, 1872 Porter, may have done. A "wow factor" beer, in the extreme. That fully justified the 2013 crown - in my opinion.

Nah, Boltmaker, you are not a beer to increase the heart rate, on witnessing your representation on the bar. An ale with pleasant , but certainly not gargantuan qualities - as the tasting panel would have you believe.


  1. Well first, "Wow factor" is all in the eye of the beholder. For example 1872 doesn't do anything for me, so you can see it's all subjective. That is why judging at the GBBF tries to be a little more impartial. What you are really looking for is how closely the beer in front of you matches CAMRA guidelines on a particular style. You rate the beer on certain criteria and the beer with the highest score wins. Simples!

  2. Always appreciate your views pal. It's also good to broaden your beery knowledge from your valued comments.

  3. Thats the question though, are there "orders" passed down as to what will win, as in what style of beer? Not saying that;s the case but it does seem like it sometimes! And nothing really good will ever win as the brown beer society don't like modern hoppy beer and, anyhow, look what happens when a small brewer wins... on past experience they contract out to some regional dinosaur and the resulting dross makes everyone wonder why it won.

  4. You seem to be suggesting that a beer shouldn't win CBOB unless it is in some way extreme, either in strength or flavour or both. Boltmaker is widely considered to be one of the outstanding "ordinary bitters" in the country and, if a beer of that type is going to win CBOB it must be a prime candidate. Maybe familiarity makes you take it for granted.