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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cornish Ales

We are now back from the US and after a quick turnaround in Brighton, a night in Shoreham and a flying visit to Suffolk we spent our second night back in blighty at a pub with rooms in Newbury (halfway point between Suffolk and Bude). It was here that I tried the very good Wadworth Horizon. A light golden ale, very summery with a good flavour and a light hoppiness, a 4 out of 5. The next day we carried on our journey to stay with some friends in Bude, Cornwall. They recommended a shop called North Coast Wines in Bude for a great selection of Cornish Ales. After a very long browse round this great shop I chose 4. The first was a beer made by the Keltek brewery in Redruth and sold in aid of the campaign to save Bude's sea pool. It's called SOS Save Our Seapool. At 4% it was fairly easy drinking, not unpleasant but not much in the way of flavour, 2.5 out of 5. I tried another of their beers, Natural Magik at 4.5%. This was a vegan beer so hadn't used any fish derived finings and was true to natural methods of beer making. Again a nice enough beer but not a huge amount of flavour. Nice idea though so 3/5.

I'm a big fan of Skinners beers from Truro so I thought i'd try their new Skin Dog lager - an apr├Ęs surf beer apparently, 4.4%. A good flavoursome lager with a reasonable hoppiness but not as good as some of the American versions of this type of beer which, given the packaging of this beer, I'm guessing they are trying to emulate.

The final one of the 4 and the best was Badlands Bitter from Driftwood Spars Brewery in St Agnes. Absolutely top notch. A lovely dark bitter with sweetness then the roasted almost coffee flavour followed with a decent but not overpowering hoppy bitterness then lasting sweetness. A thing of beauty. 5 out of 5!

From Bude it was in to a little village outside Helston in Cornwall. The New Inn in the village provided me with my Rugby World Cup beer of choice (if only the matches weren't being played at 7am). Skinners have done Splendid Tackle for the rugby and it's perfect. Light golden in colour, just over 4%, a proper yummy beer that you can happily sip through the matches. 5/5!

As I was near Truro it would have seemed rude not to pop into the Skinners brewery. I have tried all their beers before so I went for some other breweries beers. Another Driftwood Spars beer and a mild with a label that had been printed on someone's old home printer. I love a mild so was excited about this one. But although it was in date it was off, that lemony sour off taste. Very unfortunate. So then I tried the Driftwood Spars - off again. I was so disappointed after drinking the nectar that was their bitter. I'm thinking that Skinners are sabotaging the other breweries beers so theirs seem better? I also took a chance on a very odd sounding beer. It was new in (so not enough time for it to go off fortunately), a pale ale flavoured with lime, chilli and ginger. I reckoned that it would either be lovely or absolutely appalling. Well.... it was lovely

Beer: organic golden pale ale with lime, chilli and ginger
Brewer: Atlantic brewery, Newquay
Country trying in: UK
Town trying in: Wendron, Cornwall
Where purchased: Skinners brewery, Truro
Date tasted: 7/9/11
Package type: clear bottle
Best before date: may 12
Size: 330 ml
Alcohol by volume: 5.5%
Tasting temperature: chilled

Appearance: cloudy, straw coloured

Aroma: citrus lime and light hops

Flavour: starts gingery with a lime citrus refreshing taste, then a light bitter hoppiness and then finishes with warm chilli

Overall impression: surprisingly lovely. I had anticipated over flavoured nastiness but the flavours were all very subtle and complemented the beer as a whole. Really good.

Rating out of 5: 5

Next stop is the Isles of Scilly for more Cornish brews and their very own Ales of Scilly.

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