Ale to the King.

Edinburgh's quality beer and ale review and culture site.

Archive for the tag “finch”

Aledvent Calendbeer selection 2

If you haven’t been keeping up, Ale to the King has been counting down to Christmas in the best way it can think of.  While many go for the common or garden advent calendar with chocolate and others prefer the more traditional advent candle, Ale to the King has created the Aledvent Calendbeer. A carefully chosen beer that reflects Christmas in one way or another (no matter how tenuous the link!) will be decapitated, drunk and deliberated over until the big day itself.

Selection 1 consisted of Christmas Ale by Goose Island, Paradox Isle of Arran by Brewdog, Black Lager by Zeitgeist, Finch by Natural Selection Brewing, Samuel Smith’s India Ale by Samuel Smith Old Brewery and There is No Santa by Brewdog.

But that was just Selection 1 and as 007 once said, you’ve had your six.

So, without further ado Ale to the King presents you with Aledvent Calendbeer Selection 2:

If you want to drink along with Ale to the King and compare notes, then you will need:

  • Hefeweizen by Stewart Brewing
  • Winter Ale by The Brooklyn Brewery
  • India Pale Ale by Knops Beer Company
  • Hop Trials – Nelson Sauvin by Tryst
  • St. Mungo by West Brewery

If you’ve not been able to keep up with the Aledvent Calendbeer  then now’s a great time to get on board and even make up for lost time by having a second beer a day from Selection 1!

So charge your glasses and raise it in honour of the ever approaching jolly Saint Nick. Because Christmas is a time for treating yourself as well!

What did you think of the Aledvent Calendbeer Selection 1? Disagree with Ale to the King‘s verdict on There’s No Santa or the praise heaped upon Goose Island’s Christmas Ale? Please, do sound off in the comments below!

Review: Finch – Aledvent Calendbeer 4

Beer: Finch
Brewery: Natural Selection Brewing
Type: Red Ale
Served: Bottled
Alc: 6.5% Vol
Aledvent Calendbeer Number: 4

Alright,  Ale to the King thought it was a Robin.

Finch however, despite not being named after the most festive of birds (aside from the turkey of course) is still a suitably Christmassy ale. Brewed by Heriot-Watt alumni the beer also gets bonus points from Ale to the King for being an Edinburgh ale.

But even if the beer wasn’t native to Auld Reekie, it easily stands up on its own merits. Its got an appropriately rich, dark, ruddy red colour that reminds of cranberries and a lovely frothy head for a bottled beer.

The smell is very light and sweet. Its got floral notes mixed in with honey and pollen but there’s also the sweet richness of panettone.

The beginning of the sip tastes rustic somehow, like old wood in a Highland pub with hints of orange peel which redefines itself as potent pomander as the drink goes down.

Its not just a bitter orange pomander on  the aftertaste however, its also tastes slightly of cranberries, altogether less red and ripe than those the beer’s colour resembles. Its also decidedly salty and its a saltiness that stays on the flat of the tongue for a remarkable amount of time, like its physically got granules of the mineral in it.

This isn’t to say its not smooth, it is, very much so.  This is an interesting contradiction in taste. All these layers don’t immediately reveal themselves, but gradually unveil in a very leisurely pace as the glass is drained. Much like its charming label, Finch is a beer that appears simple at first, but upon further inspection showcases real elegant complexity.

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