15 July 2013

The kids in the Hall

Thornbridge abounds! The Black Sheep had their Seaforth on tap a while back, a dark orange IPA named in honour of an early ale-bearing ship plying the East India trade. It's a powerful 5.9% ABV but was being served cold enough to hide that strength and actually make it seem a little watery. First impressions are of mild jaffa orange and a hint of spicy sandalwood. I was expecting more of the malt character to come out as it warms but in fact it's the complex bitter flavours which rise to the surface: some metallic notes and a layer of eucalyptus. Decent but, like with its shipmate Jaipur, I think I'd like a bit more complexity in a beer of this strength.

Meanwhile, off the other end of Capel Street, the Porterhouse had Reverend and the Makers on their gravity cask. This is a 4.8% ABV golden summer seasonal, packed with lots of lemony sunshine. Again, though, I can't help but think they could have achieved the same level of flavour at a lower ABV.

Finally, a bottle I have Steve and Reuben to thank for: Imperial Oatmeal Stout, from the Thornbridge Hall series of extra-expensive beers. It's 11% ABV and this time you can taste every little bit of that strength. It serves up a decent slice of roast, milk and dark chocolate and a strange, but not unpleasant, putty sensation which I assume is contributed by the oatmeal. Heavy and filling, it's one to finish the night, and this blog post, on.

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