Where travel and thirst collide



Cruzcampo Gran Reserva

Hello everyone,


Today I bring you another beer from my travels through Spain. A good example of a Spanish take on the Germanic ‘Bock’ style lager.

Check out Cruzcampo Gran Reserva’s cool website here:


Beer: Cruzcampo Gran Reserva

Brewery: Grupo Cruzcampo, Heineken Espana, Spain

Cruzcampo Gran Reserva - Spain - smooth Spanish lager strong flavour semi bitter semi malt some dark chocolate notes - 6o4 abv - 7 () 10

Impressions: This was a smooth darker Spanish lager. A light bitterness is well married to a sweet (light) dark chocolate malt. Medium to low carbonation.

ABV: 6.4%

Score: 7 / 10 (Good)

Verdict: I was a bit let down by this beer. I had high hopes for a rich chocolate malt married to a decent amount of bitterness. The high ABV makes one think it will have quite a bit of punch. Unfortunately it has these qualities to a lighter extent. Overall a good beer though that could use a bit more body and depth.


Bah Bah Black Sheep – ‘Best Bitter’

Hello World!

Following on from my original Black Sheep post:,
I bring you another from the Black Sheep family.


Beer: Best Bitter

Brewery: Black Sheep, Mashum, Yorkshire, England

Black Sheep - The Station - fairly bitter creamy very smooth odd after taste of cream or butter weird but nice unfortunately served warm 7 o5 () 10
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Impressions: This is a light bitter, creamy, and very smooth ale. Mild, and soft malt notes. Followed by an after taste of cream or butter. Low carbonation.

ABV: 3.8%

Score: 7 / 10 (Good)

Verdict: This was a nice ale. For what it is, it does it’s job well. A low ABV beer, that’s soft and easy drinking. Very smooth and creamy, and one that is enjoyably filling.

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LIVE UPDATE: Old Pulteney Single Malt 12 Year Old Whisky

Today I bring you a recent Tesco purchase (£24, down from £31), Old Pulteney Single Malt 12 Year Old Whisky.

A quick Wikipedia synopsis: ”

The Old Pulteney Distillery is a malt whisky production and aging facility in the Pulteneytown area of WickCaithness, in the Highland area of Scotland. The distillery produces the Old Pulteney single-malt whisky at a number of ages and has a visitor centre in Huddart Street.

The distillery was established in 1826 AD in the name of Sir William Pulteney (who died in 1805), and for whom Pulteneytown is named. The distillery is the most northerly on the Scottish mainland and was quite inaccessible, except by sea, when established. Barley was brought in by sea, and the whisky was shipped out the same way. Many of the distillery workers were also employed as fishermen. The herring fishing industry is no longer part of daily life in Wick but the distillery continues to operate, producing a Highland single-malt with a reputation as one of the finest available. Characteristics of the whisky are attributed to exposure to sea air during maturation.”

Whisky: Single Malt, 12 Year Old

Distillery: Old Pulteney, Wick, Scotland


Impressions: Without water: Quite a strong, smooth charred bitterness. Light caramel and wood, followed by a strong saltiness. With water: Strong caramel nose. Sweet caramel start with a strong, smooth, and very salty finish with a fair amount of finishing burn.

ABV: 40%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This is a nice smooth whisky, with light caramel notes. For me, there is a nice, but almost too strong salty flavour. My tastes are much more geared toward sweeter / smokier whiskies, and this one misses the ‘great’ mark for me. Nice, but probably not a repeat buy for me, though if you enjoy a saltier ‘taste of the sea side’ drink, this might be a great buy for you!

Blue Moon / Rickard’s White

Today I bring you  a tasty beer that has traversed the Atlantic and made it’s way to England. Back home we call it Rickard’s White, often sold in Pitchers, accompanied by orange slices.

But here in England we call it:

Beer: Blue Moon (Rickard’s White)

Brewery: Blue Moon Brewing Co., Molson Coors, Montreal, Canada.

Blue Moon - England - Belgian style white very smooth fruity mellow vanilla under tones lightly carbonated 5o4 abv very easy drinking - 7 () 10 - B

Impressions: This is a smooth ‘Belgian style’ white/wheat beer. Fruity citrus notes are hidden in the mellow hops bitterness followed by vanilla under tones. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 5.4%

Score: 7 / 10 (Good)

Verdict: A decent replication of the authentic European wheat beers. Good strength to the beer gives it a decent bite and the flavours blend well. After taste isn’t great (not bad), which lowered the score as the beer could be smoother. Overall a good effort, a decent choice over generic lagers and beers, and definitely worth a try.

Bah Bah Black Sheep

Today I bring you two ales from up Yorkshire. Check out their surprisingly elegant website here ( for more info about their beers.

Beer #1: Riggwelter

Brewery: Black Sheep, Mashum, Yorkshire, England

Black Sheep Riggwelter - Yorkshire England - very smooth dark ale malty with bitter sweet chocolate notes low carbonation - 5o7 abv - 7o75 () 10

Impressions: This is a very smooth dark ale. Strong malt with bitter sweet chocolate notes. Low carbonation.

ABV: 5.7%

Score: 7.75 / 10 (Very Good to Excellent)

Verdict: This is a very nice strong ale. The strong flavours present are typical of a beer like this, but this is done well. The high ABV lends to the nice kick, but a little more body would have put this into the Excellent category.

Beer #2: Golden Sheep

Brewery: Black Sheep, England

Black Sheep Golden Sheep - England - smooth dark ale dark roasted hops notes creamy finish fairly bitter after taste medium low carbonation - 4o7 abv - 7 () 10

Impressions: This is a smooth light ale with bitter hops notes to the front. This is followed by a creamy cereal finish, with a  fairly bitter after taste with a light body.  Medium to low carbonation.

ABV: 4.7%

Score: 7 / 10 (Good)

Verdict: This is a nice, light ale. A good amount of bitterness blended with creamy, soft cereal notes. The lower ABV and light body leave a little more to be desired, but still worth a try.

LIVE UPDATE: LIDL Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Today I bring you a Chianti from LIDL’s own wine range. We were using it to cook a Vegetarian Chilli for Mother’s Day and thankfully we live by the well accepted old adage ‘You must drink the wine you cook with, or the food will taste spoilt’. I’m sure Confucius or someone said that… It’s a well accepted concept. From the picture below, you can see this was consumed at the recommended 18*C. Purchased for ~£5 (can’t recall exact price).

This Chianti D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantitafrom 2011 won a Bronze award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and is made of Sangiovese grapes.

Wine: Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Vineyard: Unknown (LIDL), Italy

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Impressions: This is a very smooth dark red wine. Very dry (not as dry as the Baturrica Gran Reserva) with a sharp, pungent, tannin body, that does leave your tongue dry. Medium to low body on this wine, with little in the way of berry or fruit notes. An alcohol ‘wisp’ after taste sometimes resides on the tongue.

ABV: 13%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This was a nice, easy drinking wine. Little in the way of memorable notes, or stand-out features, but as a cheap easy drinking wine I can’t complain. Not as nice as the Baturrica Gran Reserva, which I will probably buy again, but I wouldn’t shy away from this wine. Worth a punt at this price.
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Tre Birre per Favore – A Taste of Italy

Buongiorno Signore e Signori! So conditions haven’t really improved here in England. Traffic is jammed, roads are shut, and I couldn’t find my swimming trunks today. Darn. No work for Evan.

Anyway, as I’m sure the Brits would rather be anywhere other than here, I chose to bring you to the lovely shore of the Mediterranean. Italy.

Beer #1: Birra Morreti Original

Brewery: Birra Morreti, now Heineken, Italian Division, Italy

So you’ll have to take my word that this beer is actually Morreti! Unfortunately lighted taps don’t photograph well!

Impressions: This is a nice smooth lager. Very light and refreshing. Low bitterness with only a light hopping, creating light citrus notes. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 4.6%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: This is a squarely average lager. Light and refreshing, with enough flavour to be enjoyable. Better options out there!

Beer #2: Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Brewery: Peroni Brewery, now owned by SABMiller, Rome, Italy

Impressions: Another smooth, refreshing lager. Light and crisp taste, medium to low bitterness. Medium carbonation (as you can see from the awful pour, resulting in a large head). Light cereal notes, and I strangely get a taste of olives. Not sure if that’s psychosomatic association with Italy. Hmm.

ABV: 5.1%

Score: 7 / 10 (Good)

Verdict: I’m not sure why I enjoyed this more than Birra Morretti, but there’s just something to this beer. I’ve had it several times now, and it’s definitely a go to lager against the likes of Carlsberg (English version) or Carling. It’s smooth, light, refreshing, and goes down well. Nothing too unique about this beer, it’s just made well.

Titanic Brewery – Fit out

In light of the recent flooding across the UK I thought I would comment on the Titanic Brewery.

Titanic beers are quite prevalent in England, seen in pubs from ever present bars like Wetherspoons to the little local pubs that pride themselves on real ales. I’ve tried quite a few of their ales, but today I bring you just the one:

Beer: Fit-out

Brewery: Titanic Brewery, Stoke-on-Trent, England

This ale was apparently brewed specifically for the Wetherspoons Ale Festival, 2011, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s ‘fitting-out’. Unfortunately, my dear reader, that means it will be incredibly difficult for you to replicate this drinking enjoyment.

Impressions: This is a smooth, well hopsed ale. The hops provide a nice, sharp, citrus bitterness, complemented by mild orange notes. The low carbonation provides a creamy richness, and a nice smooth head (as seen in the picture above). A cloudy beer, with a nice body.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 7 / 10 (Good)

Verdict: This is a nice, strongly hopsed bitter, that is complemented by smooth, creaminess. Not to everyone’s taste,  as the bitterness from the hops may well overpower those with a palate not used to beers such as this, or pilsners. I found this an enjoyable experience, that still left a little to be desired, as the bitterness was slightly sharp and could be refined. Though you can’t complain at that price, eh!

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