Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Cheer

It has been a tradition for a while for some of us more aged gentlemen to gather together on a Monday in a local hostelry to compare notes whilst sampling the wares on offer. This week we gathered in The Grove for our usual brainstorming session, and were treated to some excellent beers, both English and foreign.

My only regret was that the Dark Star 'Green Hop IPA' ran off before I could sample it, (thanks Gary!) but I managed to find several other beers to make the disappointment more bearable.

Moor 'Revival' seemed a good place to start; a 3.8% session beer, pale and hoppy and well up to their usual standards. A brewery rarely seen about these parts but one that is consistently good and has the knack of succeeding, whatever style it produces. I followed this with another Moor, 'Ported Peat Porter', which was dark but equally good. Those in the know told me it was their 'Peat Porter' with added port. At 4.7% it was robust but very drinkable, with just a hint of the port.

Another of my favourite beers was on the bar, so next on the list came Bathams 'Best Bitter'. I was a little disappointed with this as it displayed a little more sweetness than usual and seemed a tad unbalanced, but there were still plenty others to go for. I followed this with Nethergate 'Sweeney Todd', which was not to my taste, unlike the Adnams 'Old Ale'. This is another favourite from years back and this time it did not disappoint, bringing back memories of times gone by when it was often on at the 'Rat & Ratchet'.

By this time I had decided to go a bit experimental. I often overlook the foreign beer in The Grove but this time did venture around the other side of the bar and took the plunge. It is not cheap but does give the chance to see what other countries have to offer us at this time of year. I started with the American 'Stone Pale Ale', and at 5.4% I expected much from it but it did not have a lot of the flavour I want from a beer of this strength, especially from one of the classic breweries of The States.

That was soon put right by a 1/3 pint of the 'Delirium Noel' though, a dark, fruity 10% offering. I could not complain about the lack of flavour here, a robust little number, packed with taste and far too drinkable for it's strength - a real Belgian classic and a fine way to round off an interesting afternoon. Should you be in the area and need an antidote to the Christmas shopping then look no further, I am sure you will enjoy it.


Leigh said...

Yet to find a bad beer from Moor yet!

Anonymous said...

The Dark Star Green Hop was a sensation. Not sure there's another either, Brian seemed to think that was it.
Moor are superb (best new brewery?) certainly England's answer to BrewDog!