Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The 'Spoons Festival gets a Bit Fruity !!

I have previously spoken about the current Wetherspoons festival, which continues until this weekend, and since there are 50 beers available throughout, I still keep coming across new beers as they appear on our local bars. This weekend seems to have had a surfeit of 'weird' beers though. Let me draw your attention to a few.

I will kick off with Batemans 'Springtime Oatmeal Biscuit'. The pump clip is a clue - it has a pile of oatmeal biscuits on it. Not that I have any issue with them per se, I just don't want them in my beer. Raw cane sugar, oats and malted barley combine to give a sickly sweet concoction that masquerades as a beer. Not for me I must confess.

Saltaire 'Juniper Rye' sounded promising. Another let down. There are some decent hops here but they are masked by the taste of malted rye, and whole juniper berries, making another odd tasting beer. Thank goodness I did not order a pint.

Surely my next choice would be better. Sadly my choosing was astray again. This time it was partly my fault though. The pump clip does say that Green Jack 'Red Herring' is a smoked beer - a style I dislike with a passion - and it is a very smoky beer. I missed that vital part of information so the oak and beech smoked malts in this red beer came as a bit of shock. Another catastrophy.

By this time I was getting desperate for some hop taste, and I still had a couple more beers to try.I read the tasting notes on the Lancaster 'Raspberry Rose'. Wheat and Slovenian hops with the subtle spring hint of raspberries. If this is what a 'hint' tastes like...well ?? At least I was getting my five a day in without leaving the bar !

I eschewed the Elgoods 'Plum Porter'. By this time I had learned my lesson. Daleside 'Sea Fever' had a couple of decent hops in it, and thankfully, did taste of hops, and was clean and refreshing without a suggestion of any odd flavours. It made my day. 

Of course there will be drinkers out there who will love the beers that I disliked otherwise they would not be brewed, and of course, I was unlucky to find all these beers in the same pub at the same time. One I could overlook - five was a step too far for me. Just wished I could have found the Hawkshead 'El Dorado' rumoured to be the best beer at the festival. 


Phil said...

Not crazy about beer with added flavours myself - thanks for the tasting notes! I haven't had any of these, except the Plum Porter - which I actually quite liked. On first taste it was on the knife-edge between "interesting blend of porter and fruit" and "a decent beer ruined", but for me it ended up on the right side.

Ale Ambler said...

I quite liked the Bateman's Hazelnut brownie from earlier this year but then I am a cake-o-holic.
Keep up the sterling reports from the bar, Timbo!

Jibber said...

The El Dorado went on at Leeds Railway Station Wetherspoons at about 5pm today (Tuesday). Everything you'd expect from Hawkshead.

Leigh said...

I've tried all of the BAteman's biscuit beers - I was lucky enough to be sent some - and they were genuinely awful. I'm not sure what Bateman's are trying to do - they are a classic british brewers - but they need to stop! Re-brand looks bad, too.

Phil said...

I've now had the juniper & oatmeal biscuit beers. The juniper was pretty poor, but the biscuit one got me seriously thinking about what needed to change for beers like this not to be brewed any more. It was 'anging, as a Lanky friend of mine used to say.

Fortunately I finished with Acorn's Black Oak, which was weird but in a good way - like a black IPA (lots of bitterness, piney finish) but with the front-end mellow sweetness of a dark mild. Rather good when you got used to it. Not a "dark old ale" or a "premium bitter", though, whatever Spoons' tasting notes say.