Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special 12 Reserve, brewed to 8 percent abv by the Harviestoun Brewery in Hilfoots Village in Scotland, is a fine ale aged in whisky casks from the Orkney’s Highland Park Distillery that held its 12-year old single malt. It pours a glassy black colour with a mocha hued dense head of foam.
Aromatics of dark chocolate, alcohol, chocolate malt and roast flavours vie for attention. On the palate, black licorice tumbles forth from the midst of roast and lightly charred toast. The finish delivers alcohol, roast and licorice in an intriguing tussle of flavours. For a bottle dated best before June of 2014, this beer has stood up remarkably well. http://www.harviestoun.com/
(Obviously, no pub is to blame for people’s comments, so no image this time out!)
“My eldest son is a year away from completing his degree. My other son is a drug dealer, probably go to jail. But that’s okay with me.” Said by a man to a barmaid.
“I don’t know what he knows. But I do know he makes $5,000 an hour.” Said a publican to a punter.
“I think in the end I didn’t leave with him.” One woman confiding in another woman.
“Is it really you?” Pause. “I’ve never seen you with your pants on before.” One man to another man.
“Praise the Lord for lack of evidence.” Said a mother to a vicar about her son who looked very much a criminal.
“I have a lot respect for her. But I still think she is an a..hole.” One woman speaking of another woman.
“This was a letter that was actually mailed?” One woman said to another woman.
“You only die once?” One woman said incredulously to another woman.
Beavertown Black Betty Black IPA brewed by the Beaver Town Brewery of London, England, hits its stride at 7.4 percent abv. This black beauty of a beer pours an ebony colour with a dense head of mocha coloured foam.
On the palate, concentrated flavours of dry roast, dark chocolate, crisp brown toast and a penetrating hop bitterness give rise to the OMG feeling of, is this really happening to me? Yes, damn it, it is, and it’s a mighty good happening! The finish is mouth puckering dry and moreish in nature as hop bitterness unfolds from the core of roast and envelops the tongue entreatingly. http://www.beavertown.com
From the Beavertown Brewery of London, England, comes one of the longer names for a beer, ‘Longmorn 1992 whisky barrel aged H20 Beavertown Imperial Stout’. Sold in hand-signed bottles, this being bottle number 354, which revealed an ebony coloured ale with a glassy coating and a sharply defined nose of black licorice that masks the scent and taste of alcohol, which hits 10 percent abv.
On the palate, Beavertown Imperial Stout serves up black treacle alongside malt sweetness and a kiss of hop bitterness. With all this in place, it still surprises with a dryness coming through late in the finish, thus increasing drinkability. http://www.beavertownbrewery.co.uk
Worthington White Shield, brewed to 5.6 percent abv at The National Brewery Centre, a subsidiary of Molson-Coors, in Burton-Upon-Trent, pours a distinctive copper colour, with an off-white head of dense foam. On the nose, fruit and malt notes compete in a gentle way. On the palate, chewy malt folds into hop bitterness that becomes almost steely in nature.
The finish is of malt to the fore, and though not initially sweet in nature, it becomes more so as it warms in the glass. Still, it is a fine English brew. And while the brewery claims it to be an IPA in style, it is at the lower end of the alcohol scale. White Shield is bottle conditioned, showing clumps of fine powdery yeast on the bottom of the bottle. CAMRA noted as real ale in a bottle.
Midtfyns Bryghus Imperial Stout hits 9.5 percent abv and showcases a glassy ebony colour with a creamy mocha coloured creamy head of dense foam. Aromatics of roasted malt and dark chocolate are evident up front. On the palate, bitter chocolate, roast malt, vanilla notes from oak and a pleasant hop bitterness help to mask the alcohol but alcohol steps out as the beer warms in the glass.
Even so, there is enough hop bitterness to carry it all forward and make this a dangerously drinkable stout. This beer is aged with oak wood to soften and mellow out the bolder roast and hop flavours. http://www.midtfyns-bryghus.dk.
The brewery is located in Brobyvaerk, Denmark.
Mo, is a delicious pale ale worthy of the style brewed by the Maine Beer Company of Freeport, Maine, USA, to a strength of 6 percent abv. This golden coloured ale has fresh yeast, malt and hops in the nose. On the palate, a crisp hoppiness attacks forthrightly, while the alcohol is neatly recessed.
A drying finish puts me in mind of enjoying another, but alas, I only have one bottle. It is bottle conditioned and therefore is real ale in a bottle by CAMRA’s definition. http://www.mainbeercompany.com
Five O’Clock Shadow is an uncompromising American IPA hitting 7 percent abv. It is brewed by the Weird Beard Brew Company of West London, England. From the nose to the finish of this pale straw coloured ale, just think of having your head in a hop pocket drinking a sharply bitter beer.
Summit, Apollo, Citra and Columbus charm the pants off you in an aggressive but friendly way. It is bottle conditioned and therefore real ale in a bottle under CAMRA’s definition. http://www.weirdbeardbrewco.com/
Mariana Trench, 5.6 percent abv, brewed by the Weird Beard Brew Company of West London, England, is described by the brewery as a trans-Pacific pale ale as it uses both American and New Zealand hops, specifically, Citra and Pacific Gem. Aromatics of mango fruit and fresh green hops pulsate in the nose of this golden coloured beer.
On the palate, it is refreshingly stamped with pungent hop bitterness. A sharp and clean bitter finish on a sturdy malt structure allows for a full expression of the hops. It is bottle conditioned and therefore real ale in a bottle under CAMRA’s definition. http://www.weirdbeardbrewco.com/