Showing posts with label oakham ales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oakham ales. Show all posts

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beers of the Year

In years past I have written multiple 'Review of the Year' posts, across various beer styles, and then colours. This year, I am feeling somewhat lazy and am writing just the one long post highlighting what I think have been the best pale, amber, and dark beers from Central Virginia, the rest of Virginia, the rest of the US, and the rest of the world. So without further ado....
Pale Beer of the Year:
  • Central VA - Blue Mountain Classic Lager
  • Rest VA - Port City Downright Pilsner
  • Rest US - Samuel Adams Alpine Spring
  • Rest World - Oakham Citra
Overall Pale Beer of the Year: Oakham Citra, which I wrote about here.

Amber Beer of the Year:
  • Central VA - Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
  • Rest VA - Port City Oktoberfest
  • Rest US - Highland Gaelic Ale
  • Rest World - Timothy Taylor Landlord (bottled)
Overall Amber Beer of the Year: Timothy Taylor Landlord, one of the best beers in the world. End of.

Dark Beer of the Year:
  • Central VA - Three Notch'd No Veto Brown Ale
  • Rest VA - Mad Fox Mason's Mild
  • Rest US - Green Flash Double Stout
  • Rest World - Fullers London Porter
Overall Dark Beer of the Year: Three Notch'd No Veto, probably the beer I drink most of, when not bashing Session 42.

From those three Beers of the Year, this year's Fuggled Champion Beer of the Year is...

Timothy Taylor Landlord. 

I have come to the conclusion that there are insufficient superlatives to describe the bottled version of Landlord. Simply one of the best beers on the planet in my opinion and one which is so insanely difficult to get hold of on this side of the Pond that it astounds me that it never makes the 'Best Beers in the World' lists (oh wait, it's not a boozy hop bomb and/or Belgian). I never tire of drinking it, and in many ways, Session 42 is something of an homage to it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

British Brewer Doing American Hops

One of my habits when off on trips is to find a bottle shop in the hopes that I can pick up something unavailable in this part of Virginia. As such, whenever Mrs V and I head south to Greenville, to see her best friend and husband, I love to pop into Greenville Beer Exchange. This year's Labor Day long weekend was no exception and hidden amongst the beers from around the world were a few from a brewery I had heard much of but never seen on the shelves.

Oakham Ales, from Peterborough in England, do a range of mostly sub 5% ales which have started to find their way over the States - their importer is a company in North Carolina - and so when I saw Inferno and Citra on the shelf, well it didn't really take much thought now did it.

First up was Inferno, which according to the label uses 5 types of hop from the Yakima Valley and pours a wonderfully, almost proper pilsneresque, rich gold topped off with a white head that lingers for the duration. There was definitely the whole citrus thing you would expect from American hops, but I thought it more bitter orange that grapefruit, balanced with a very light toastiness, it almost made me think of breakfast. Tastewise lots of juicy malt sweetness, a touch of toffee and some pear flavours, all balanced out with a good citric tang of a hop bite. Certainly a very nicely balanced beer, which almost reminded me of Williams Brothers Scottish Session Ale.

It must be practically impossible to have a Twitter account, an interest in beer, and not to have heard of Oakham Citra. I will admit I was expecting an entirely different beast. It terms of the looks, it is pretty much the same as the Inferno, but the nose is a riot of funky weediness, with very definite tropical fruit aromas, in particular mango. Tastewise, straight off the bat I got lots of mango and passionfruit, followed by the comforting sweetness of malt, all leading to a lingering lemon finish. As I tweeted about while drinking this beer, where has it been all my life? So balanced, so moreish, so magnficent.

Thank goodness Oakham Ales are available in parts of the US now, and thank goodness Mrs V's friend is coming to see us before Christmas, I see some stocking up in my future...

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...