Where travel and thirst collide



Backyard Brewhouse – Bad Santa Stout

Today I bring you a delicious little number from the recently established Backyard Brewhouse brewery!

Founded in 2008, this microbrewery produces a wide range of beers, from the generic Bitters and IPAs, to seasonal brews such as ‘Summer’ and ‘Kris Kringle’.

I wish I could review ‘Lionheart’ for you today, as it’s St. George’s Day (Happy SGD!), however, I have only had the pleasure of reviewing ‘Bad Santa’, and it was a pleasure.

Beer: Bad Santa

Brewery: Backyard Brewhouse, Walsall, England

Bad santa 6o8 abv very smooth chalky creamy sweet stout caramel and vanilla nice bitterness woth lingering sweet heavy 8() 10.jpg
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Impressions: This was a very smooth, creamy stout.  Sweetness immediately hits your tongue with notes of caramel and vanilla. This is followed through by a chalky, medium to low bitterness. There is a lingering sweetness in the full bodied stout, as the low carbonation makes this beer easily sippable.

ABV: 6.8%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This was a pleasant surprise, having never heard of the brewery. Many of these limited edition Christmas ales have been generic, nothing-special ales, however, this was good. Very good. Some might say excellent. A very well put together stout, with a well balanced sweetness and bitter profile. The high ABV gives it a nice kick and it is overall a really enjoyable experience. Too bad this may never come around again.

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Beowulf – Forest of Mercia – Finn’s Hall Porter

Today I bring you another ale available around Christmas time (try Wetherspoon’s).

Beer: Finn’s Hall Porter

Brewery: Beowulf, Forest of Mercia, Staffordshire, England

Beowulf Finns Hall - Staffordshire England - very smooth porter ale sweet milk chocolate with subtle bitter dark chocolate notes low carbonation - 4o7 abv - 7o75 () 10

Impressions: This is a very smooth porter ale, with sweet milk chocolate note. Subtle dark chocolate notes hide within the malt bringing a nice smooth bitterness. Low carbonation.

ABV: 4.7%

Score: 7.75 / 10 (Very Good to Excellent)

Verdict: This was a pleasant surprise. Too often you’ll get a porter/stout with pedestrian malt notes that taste of chalk. This was a full bodied sweeter ale, with very pleasant marrying of bitter and sweet. A decent ABV gives the beer a little kick, and the low carbonation leaves it an easy drinking pint. Recommended, try one!

The Vale – 5 Golden Rings

Just a quick update today on one of the many Christmas ales available throughout the holiday season.

Beer: 5 Gold Rings

Brewery: Vale Brewing Company.

Interesting fact: this brewery is located in Brill, Buckinghamshire, which was the inspiration for the town Bree, in the Lord of the Rings.

5 rings bitter sweet caramel tangy citrus bitter hops strong cereal notes bready 6o75 () 10.jpg

Apologies for the blurry/overexposed picture!

Impressions: This ale was a fairly standard pint consisting of a smooth, creamy body (see picture) with a bitter sweet caramel tone. The sweetness melds into a tangy citrus hops with strong bread/cereal notes, and light bitterness.

ABV: 4.8%

Score: 6.75 / 10 (Average to Good)

Verdict: A nice Christmas pint with a full body, soft hops notes and a smooth finish. Enjoyable but not remarkable.

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