MAPS!

The one thing I enjoy possibly more than beer? Looking at and playing with maps. They’re so cool.

So I could hardly avoid mapping my beers – indeed the map section has been up there in the bar at the top since late January. However, it is now live! You can zoom, click on the brewers etc. WordPress finally sorted out their plug in and now it works as it’s meant to!

Check it!
 

191. Sadler’s Mud City Stout

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I don’t know if I’ve just been frightfully lucky of late, or if I’m in a more positive frame of mind, but I’ve been blessed with rather a good run of beers. I have no doubt that I’ll soon sample some Brew XI-esque disaster of a beer, but for now I’m riding high.

Mud City Stout is the third of my Sadler’s ales and I have certainly left the best til last. While Thin Ice and Sorcerer had their merits, this deep, dark and powerful beer was a veritable party in my mouth to which only the best and most distinguished guests were invited. 

It starts with a rich, dark chocolate bitterness on the tip of the tongue, before a sweeter mocha coffee middle, with hints of dark fruits, ending on a subtle dry, grainy hoppiness. The thick texture gives you time to really taste every bit. and I rarely find a beer where I can so easily distinguish flavours.

To count against it – it’s possibly too rich for some, and at 6.6% a rare treat rather than a regular tipple. Indeed it does have a slightly boozy quality which I’m not 100% enamoured with. Perilously close to a five star. Still, a very fine beer. 

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190. Loddon’s Hullabaloo

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This Reading brewed best bitter was an pleasant surprise, not what I was expecting from probably the least appetising shade of brown I’ve seen in a while. “Best” bitters normally mean something seriously average, but this was pleasant, sweet and fairly biscuity, with a full bodied but warm, rather than overly bitter, hoppy finish. A very satisfying pint.

Perhaps I’m starting to buck the trend for silly-named beers being crap?

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188-189 Badger’s England’s Own and Poacher’s Choice

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With these two, I think Badger Ales officially become my most often drunk brewer so far this year. In fact, this pair are probably two of the best, forming a nice contrasting couple of drinks, both with much to their credit.

England’s Own is a fairly traditional golden ale, with a soft, fairly mild and grainy start leading to a fairly moreish lemony sweetness at the end. There’s a pleasant hoppy bitterness, not too strong, all the way through. Very drinkable. 

The Poacher’s Choice is a lovely brown-ruby ale (very much up my street), with rich, dark fruit flavours mixing nicely with an almost toffee sweetness. There’s a fairly dry hoppy finish, so this beer really has it all! I really like the balance in this one. 

England’s Own: three star

Poacher’s Choice: 4_stars_svg

 

 

186. Daleside’s Square Rigger

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Square Rigger looks to be your standard pale ale, and unfortunately, it doesn’t even quite live up to that billing. This Harrogate brewed beer is fairly bland and smooth, with an unimpressive bready sort of hopped after-taste that doesn’t last. It’s not bad – it would make for an uninspired session ale choice, but it lacks anything to make we want to try it again. I’ll be kind and give it a two.

I’ll give Daleside another go I suspect however, they seem to have won enough awards to warrant it! 

two star

184 & 185. Sadler’s Thin Ice & Woodforde’s Norfolk Hawker

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Thin Ice is the second of my Sadler’s beers, and I expected this to be rather a light, lemony beer, but while there is a definite subtle flavour (rather than tangy or sharp) this is also a fairly sweet beer, with more sugary fruits and a little hop dryness than the citrus punch I was expecting. This is not bad thing. It’s a good solid session beer – light but flavourful. 

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Woodforde’s Norfolk (booo!) Hawker is a new one on me, another brewer I’d yet to encounter. Probably because I avoid most things from Norfolk (I’m kidding). Woodforde’s seems a fairly well established producer, with some 30 years of experience and a good selection of permanent and seasonal ales. They’re actually based out the back of a pub near Norwich, which I like – true to the microbrewer’s spirit. 

Norfolk Hawker is a very hoppy, tart beer with a drier ending, very tasty and quite a rich colour as well. Perhaps a little too sharp to start, it does seem to mellow once it has sat for a while. Would go well with very flavoursome food I suspect – it was rather nice with my super-cheesy Macaroni Cheese. 

Both: three star

183. Everards’ Xingu Gold

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This is unfortunately not a Brazilian import, instead being brewed under license in Leicestershire.  However, Xingu is an actual Brazilian classic, even if it’s actually their black beer for which they’re more famous.

This particular point is fairly disappointing, being more of a beer squash, low on flavour and although there is a pleasant grapefruit sweetness and a little grainy bitterness but overall rather bland.

Two stars

182. Bangla beer

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This is a new addition to the curry beers I’d yet to see, and is meant to be an authentic Bangladeshi style beer, although it’s actually brewed in East Sussex by a brewer called Hepworth & Co – so much for authenticity. 

Still, it’s a very decent addition to the curry lager range, and given that most of the curry round these parts is actually Pakistani or Bangladeshi in origin, it is well suited to the sorts of dishes I eat. It’s got a full, not overly fizzy sweet and malty flavour, which acts well to cut through spicy flavours. 

three star

181. Sadler’s Worcester Sorcerer

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Worcester Sorcerer is the first of three beers I sampled recently from Stourbridge’s Sadler’s brewery. Another local gem I’d never heard of, they are a fifth generation family brewer who have an broad and entertainingly named selection of beers, three of which have started cropping up in bottled form in Tesco. 

Worcester Sorcerer is described as a golden bitter, but is probably better described as a brown ale. It has a rich bitterness and a fairly woody flavour, with some mild toffee sweetness. There’s no real honey or citrus as you might expect from a golden ale, but there might just be a hint of ginger. Nice stuff. 

three star

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