Ale to the King.

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

Archive for the tag “thornbridge”

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: Hobgoblin

Beer: Hobgoblin
Brewery: Wychwood Brewery (Witney)
Type: Ruby Ale
Served: Bottled 
Alc: 5.2% Vol
Album listened to while reviewing: Rivanna Junction by Tim Barry (2006)

[Note: since this is an early review Ale to the King thought it best to cover to basics before we go in too deep].

Hobgoblin  is easier to taste than Ale to the King‘s first review as there’s simply a lot more flavour on offer.

There’s an aggressive fizziness here, but one that keeps its potency almost all the  way through to the after-taste.

The first element that hits your tongue after the crackling bubbles fade is a nicely mild orange zest. Its really nicely tempered which is a shame as its hidden behind all the physical sensation that bombards the mouth. What you do get a real taste of, however, is heavy licorice. Its like the bubbles have forced this round your trap and your mouth is left feeling coated in a thick, viscus, layer of the stuff.

A subtle ale this is not.

But then its the beer that bullied its way into being the most mainstream ‘craft ale’ under the tag-line “What’s the matter? Afraid you might taste something, lager boy?” A phrase I’m sure we’ve all felt like saying at some point as pints and pints of stellar have been sold over local, lovingly brewed craft beer.

Due to this success however, Hobgoblin does seem to be treated with derision and scorn in many proper beer lover’s circles. Its the ‘mainstream’ ale, but that’s a ludicrous concept, just because something we like has gained popularity, we should be glad the general public has wised-up and joined in, not scorn the product for ‘selling out’ if it hasn’t or wanting to selfishly keep it for ourselves. Its not derision and scorn this beer deserves. There’s a fine, gummy chewiness that few beers manage to balance so well, between heavily sugared water and milk which is a stand out texture. Slightly fired cloves hit the nose in a similarly meritorious way.

Its not the most flamboyant and boisterous of beers like the sumptuous  Old Wobbly (Mitchell’s Waterfront Brewery), nor the most delicate and balanced like White Swan (Thornbridge Brewery) or even the most unrepentant and belligerent like the machismo of Skullsplitter (The Orkney Brewery). But it is a good, solid, moderate dark ale, that’s quite underrated and deserves a better appreciation.

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