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Friday 28 November 2014

Youngs Stout Day!

It's not often you get invited to 3 pubs to drink a free pint of beer at each, but I was earlier in November. However, they were all in London, and I wasn't that day! Anyway, my brother, the Routemeister, took up the challenge for me, and provided this photograph, I think from the Dukes Head in Putney; he also went to the Coach and Horses at Kew Green, but I think he didn't make the third! 

Dan didn't record the strength, but I believe Youngs London Stout to be 5.2%, and, well, it is a stout! Very dark, almost black, he found the flavour not as heavy as he expected it to be, roasted barley in the flavour, as you'd expect, and as it "was free, it tasted better!" 

Cheers Dan! 

Saturday 1 November 2014

Yorkshire Green Hopped Ales PLUS!

There's a surprise, for me at least! All the hops grown down in the South East, and I hadn't seen any 'green hopped' ales in Hastings this year until these 2 came along. What makes them so special? Well, the hops have to be added to the brew within 24 hours of being picked, at least that's my take on the style, please feel free to add to my knowledge!

Anyway, this is very seasonal, obviously, and hops have to be dried very quickly, to retain flavours once picked, so that they can be used over the year, in turn, making them more pungent and intense. The more delicate flavours and aromas of the hop oils are lost, hence the green hopped ales' flavours being very different, and I've never drunk a bad one, though no doubt they've been brewed!     

The first one I tried, both were enjoyed at the Dolphin in Hastings, by the way, was the Saltaire (website) Sovereign Harvest (4.8%), as they say, brewed with Sovereign hops "picked Tuesday, brewed Wednesday". Probably because of the time and distance traveled, the flavours weren't as "floral & herbal" as the label says, but I certainly found it to be a pale golden fruity ale, sightly sweet at first taste, but drying out into a bitter finish, a bit 'sour' even; not bad at all. 

The contribution from Ilkley Brewery (website) though, is a bit special! Brewed using the locally developed and grown Yorkshire hop, Olicana, The Green Goddess (4.9%) had aroma and flavours that smacked me in the face immediately, getting right up my nose, but in the nicest possible way! It reminded me of drinking a wheat beer at first, and there's a lot about the flavour I cannot explain, presumably Olicana flavoured. Fruity and herby aroma, a pale golden bitter, very dry at the finish, and very refreshing, I loved it! 

OK, it's not a green hopped ale, but this ale from Oakham Ales (website), their seasonal Asylum (4.5%) is another excellent ale from this brewery, and a hoppy delight indeed! A pale amber bitter, with a lovely fruity aroma, slightly sweet on the palate,  but dry as well, then getting more bitter as it wanders round the mouth, and I wrote "bloody good!!" So it must be, cheers!