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Banks’s Lion’s Roar

Hello ale fans,

Today I bring you an ale from the ubiquitous Banks’s brewery. Typical of these brewers are creamy, low ABV ales, which is exactly where this one falls. Check out their beautiful website here:  http://www.bankssbeer.co.uk/

 

Beer: Lion’s Roar

Brewery: Banks’s, Wolverhampton, England

Banks Lion's Roar - England - smooth ale mild hops bitterness semi cereal flavour creamy aftertaste low carbonation - 3o8 abv - 6o5 () 10

Impressions: This was a smooth, creamy ale. A nice rich head to the pint, with low carbonation. Very mild bitterness with low hops hidden in the cereal notes. A nice creamy follow through and after taste.

ABV: 3.8%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: This beer has many qualities that I look for in an ale. Creamy, smooth, easy drinking. But that’s where it stops. It needs more bitterness, more flavour in general. The low ABV drags this beer down further as it lacks any real punch and leaves it a bit on the watery side. That said, amongst the low ABV ales, this is very pleasant and will do the job if that is what you’re after.

Badger – Fursty Ferret – Hall and Woodhouse VIII

Hello beer people!

 

Moving right along in the Badger series, today I bring you:

Beer: Fursty Ferret

Brewery: Badger, Hall and Woodhouse, Dorset, England

Badger - Fursty Ferret - smooth and creamy bitter low hops bitterness light caramel and malt sweet mild flavour hint of bitter after taste - 7o25 () 10
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Impressions: A smooth and creamy tasting ale.  A very light hops bitterness is complemented by light caramel and sweet malt notes. Very mild and light body, with a light bitter after taste. Low carbonation.

ABV: 4.4%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This was a nice beer that brought some nice flavours together. Nice. Slightly sweet and very easy drinking, this is definitely a lighter ale. A higher ABV would have been welcome, however, as is, an enjoyable ale that I’ll probably pick up again when I’m in the mood for something lighter.

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Badger – Hopping Hare – Hall and Woodhouse IV

Hey all,

Continuing on with my series from Hall and Woodhouse http://www.hall-woodhouse.co.uk/the-range, today I bring you:

Beer: Hopping Hare

Brewery: Badger, Hall and Woodhouse, Dorset, England

Badger Hopping Hare - Dorset, England - very smooth ale creamy sweet hoppiness with notes of vanilla and citrus medium bitter medium low carbonation - 4o4 abv - 7o25 () 10
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Impressions: This was a very smooth ale, with a creamy bitter-sweet hops. Strong notes of hops citrus followed by subtle notes of vanilla. Medium to low carbonation.

ABV4.4%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: Quite a nice, hoppy ale. This one was stuck in the middle ground of too drinkable or too potent. Ie. It’s very drinkable but lacking a bit of punch (perhaps a higher ABV would have made up for the tail end of the hops flavours). Overall a good beer though, and I would recommend it to those that enjoy lighter, hoppier ales. Enjoy!

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Read my other reviews of Badger Beers here:

https://pilsnerpilgrim.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/hall-and-woodhouse-brewery-badger-ales-part-i/

https://pilsnerpilgrim.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/badger-golden-glory-hall-and-woodhouse-ii/

https://pilsnerpilgrim.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/badger-tanglefoot-hall-and-woodhouse-iii/

Adnams – Broadside

Today I bring you another from the Adnams Brewery (see previous ales https://pilsnerpilgrim.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/adnams-ghost-ship/ ; https://pilsnerpilgrim.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/hall-of-bitter-mediocrity-i/).

Beer: Broadside

Brewery: Adnams, Southwold, England

Adnams Broadside - England - very smooth ruby ale creamy light hops taste smooth bitter after taste mixed fruits notes 4o7 abv - 7o5 () 10

Impressions: This was a very smooth ruby ale. Creamy light hops taste with a smooth bitter after taste. Mixed fruits notes within. Low carbonation with a creamy head.

ABV: 4.7%

Score: 7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

Verdict: This is another impressive ale from Adnams. With a nice depth of fruit notes, a creamy head, and smooth body, this is definitely an enjoyable ale. Marked down for the lower ABV and resultant lower body. That said, a stronger 6.3% ABV version of this is available in bottle http://cellarandkitchen.adnams.co.uk/catalog/product/bottles/adnams-broadside-12-x-500ml-63-abv, which I will definitely have to try if I find it.

Adnams – Ghost Ship

Hey all, today I bring you a lovely little number from the Adnams Brewery. A brewery that produces unique and interesting seasonal beers, Adnams also has a fairly large regular line up of ales as well. http://adnams.co.uk/category/beer/our-beers/current-beers/

Beer: Ghost Ship

Brewery: Adnams, Southwold, England

Adnams Ghost Ship uk 4o5 abv smooth pale ale sharp citrus hops notes with a soft bitterness malt background 7o5 () 10 (1)

Impressions: This was a very smooth pale ale (quite dark for a pale ale). You’re first hit with sharp citrus hops, followed by a soft bitterness. A light sweet malty background is present amongst strong floral notes. Low carbonation.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This was a good introduction to the Adnams line of ales. Smooth and easily drinkable, with a nice bitter hit from the hops. A higher ABV would have bumped this to a higher score as a little bit more kick would have been welcomed. Probably one for those than enjoy lighter ales with strong hops. (Hops, and bitterness in general, is a taste that grows on you. The more you drink it, the more you’ll enjoy it). That said, this is a very deep ale, that is both refreshing and delicious. Try it.

Stella Artois Compendium

Today I bring you 2 beers and 2 ciders from the Stella Artois family. Started from a brewery dating back to 1366, “Stella Artois was launched initially as a seasonal beer for the Christmas holiday market. First sold in Canada, it was such a commercial success that it became available all year round, and, apart from the duration of the Second World War, has been produced ever since.”

http://www.stellaartois.com/

 

Beer #1: Stella Artois

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Artois - apparently called wife beater in England - highly carbonated light flavour mildly bitter - not as good as the Canadian version - 6o75 [] 10

Impressions: This is a very smooth lager, with medium bitter hops notes, and little else. Medium to high carbonation (in this bottle) makes this lager very lively, but is also quite refreshing.

ABV: 4.8%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: A fairly standard lager. Refreshing with a decent amount of bitterness, but no real outstanding qualities. In England this is apparently called ‘Wife Beater’.. not really sure why. In Canada it is sold at 5.2%, so it has more kick and is overall a better beer.

 

Beer #2: Stella Artois Black

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Artois Black - Belgium - cold smooth ale very refreshing light hops flavour less bitter than normal but cleaner finish medium carbonation - 7o25 () 10

Impressions: This was an even smoother version of Stella. Very refreshing with a light bitter hops. Less in the way of bitterness than the original (above), but with a much cleaner body and finish. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 4.9%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict: This has a slightly higher ABV than above, but oppositely, is a much cleaner beer. Very smooth. Not much in the way of stand out flavours, but very refreshing. Pleasingly served very cold. Worth a try.

 

Cider #1: Cidre

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Artois Cidre - Belgium - very smooth mild cider 4o5 abv mild semi sweet apples create a warm mouth feel medium carbonation - 7o5 () 10

Impressions: A very smooth, full bodied cider. Mild in strength, but a strong apple flavour throughout. Clean, semi sweet apples, with a warm mouth feel. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

Verdict: This was an enjoyable cider. Much better than I had anticipated from a large beer brewery! Slightly low on the ABV leaves a bit of punch to be desired, but it’s very smooth and easy drinking. Definitely worth a try.

 

Cider #2: Cidre Pear

Brewery: Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium

Stella Pear Cidre - Belgium - very smooth pear cider not too sweet notes of vanilla nice sharpness medium low carbonation - 4o5 abv - 7o5 () 10

Impressions: As above, a very smooth cider. Strong pear notes, but not too sweet. Notes of vanilla blend in the background. Medium to low carbonation mix with a slight sharpness, creating a tangy lively cider.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

Verdict: Again, a surprise from the Belgians. I’m not usually a fan of ‘Perrys’ as they are often sickly sweet. This was a nice blend of warm, but also sharp, pear notes with an acceptable amount of sweetness. Again (as above), a higher ABV would have given the whole package a better kick, but as is, this is an easy drinking cider and would be perfect on a hot summer day.

 

LIVE UPDATE – El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion Rioja 2010

RIGHT NOW I am enjoying a bottle of El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion Rioja from 2010, served at a perfect 17*C. Currently available at Tesco for £4.99 (Half Price, they say).

Wine: El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion, Rioja, 2010

Vineyard: Garcia Carrion, Spain

IMG_20130322_204721

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Impressions:  This is a velvety smooth wine, with and equally soft flavour. Very dry but with little tannin puckering mouthfeel. Very light notes of grape are followed by a light alcohol after taste. Update: After having the bottle open for 1 hour+, the smoothness of the wine has decreased. A much more potent alcohol feel is prevalent, with a sharper, drier, more pungent taste. Not as nice.

ABV: 13.5%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good  to Very Good8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: Addendum: As per the tasting notes above, this wine has seemingly lost some of it’s smooth qualities after being opened for around 2 hours (uncorked/lidded) and thus, the score has suffered. Still an enjoyable wine however. This wine is definitely an easy drinking wine. It’s so soft that it could definitely be marked down on its subtle fruit notes, but the value for money here at this (half) price point more than make up for that. For someone who isn’t a connoisseur, I’m sure this will be highly enjoyable.

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Norwegian Charm

Howdy All!

Well I’m back after a short hiatus caused by work, Christmas, and adding more beers to my archive! With over 200 still left to Blog I had better start pumping more of these bad boys out.

Today I bring you however, two drinks from my recent work related trip to Oslo, Norway. Oslo is the largest city in Norway at ~1.4 million people in the metropolis (small for a capital by western standards). The city itself is beautiful and modern, sprawling across the ‘Oslofjord’, or inlet from the near by North sea and Kattegat sea. Interestingly, ‘fjord’ in Norwegian doesn’t necessarily refer to the glacier-geological formation, but refers in a general sense to different waterways. Oslo as a bustling city was bright and beautiful, full of life and friendly people. As a tourist destination however, I was a bit disappointed. Having been to Greece and Egypt (the two nations with the most famous mythologies), I had high hopes for Oslo to display with pride its history and folklore. Unfortunately, the city itself is too modern and lacks the medieval charm that cities like Prague possess, or the historical/mythological in-your-face tourism that Cairo has. All in all, it is a city where I would happily live, but probably not return to as a tourist.

Anyway, on to the drinks!

IMG_20130118_142845A view looking across the famous Vigelandsparken Statue park in the centre of Oslo.

Beer: Ringnes Pilsener

Brewery: Ringnes AS brewery, Oslo, Norway

Ringnes - Norway - very smooth pilsner buttery notes at the front with a cereal maise finish a light chalky bitterness with medium high carbonation 6o5 () 10.jpg.jpg.jpg

Impressions: This was a very smooth, cold pint, served in a run down old pub in the downtown Oslo area. This ‘pilsener’ has buttery soft notes when it initially hits your tongue, followed by cereal hops and maize notes that end in a light chalky bitterness. A very average beer with medium to high carbonation that is very drinkable, but nothing special.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: A very middle ground beer that tickles the throat and sates the thirst. Probably nicer on a hot summers day.

..and now to announce my very first Vodka post!

Vodka: Vikingfjord

Check out their cool website here: http://www.vikingfjord.com/

Check out their ‘ FAQ’ where people can ask the brewery some truly random questions..

Vikingfjord - Vodka - Norway 40abv - very smooth vodka sweet notes hit you first mellow followed by a soft burn very little nose 8o5 () 10 .jpg

Impressions: This was drank neat at room temperature. The vodka was very smooth with sweet notes that hit your tongue first. A soft mellow sweetness that leads to a soft burn at the back of the throat. The nose in this glass is very minimal.

ABV: 40%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This being my first documented vodka, I have probably been very generous in the scoring. I also don’t generally drink vodka neat, so this was an interesting experience. Be that as it may, it was smooth, had a pleasant taste, and had very little harshness/unpleasant burn. At £9 for a litre from the Oslo duty free, this was one killer value for money drink.

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