Beavertown Holy Cowbell India Stout – Beavertown

From Beavertown Brewery in London England comes their “Beavertown Holy Cowbell India Stout”.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of huge roasted malts, burnt coffee and earthy hops.  The flavour is of burnt coffee, roasted malts, mild chocolate, earth and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.6%.  I am not always a big fan of bitter stouts but this one works really well together and I am happy that I had this brought back from England for me!

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Samuel Smith – Organic Handcrafted Strawberry Fruit Ale

From the Melbourn Brothers brewery of Stamford, Lincolnshire, England and Samuel Smith Brewing of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England comes Samuel Smith’s Organic Handcrafted Strawberry Fruit Ale.

OK, that was a bit of a mouthful but now on to the review.

A beautiful dark honey brown beer, clear with very low carbonation and a light tan head.

The overwhelming scent is a cross between dried and fresh strawberries with a light malt undertone.

The flavour is very strongly of dried strawberry with a tiny bit of hop bitterness on the very back of the tongue. The carbonation is very fine and just a touch rough on the tongue. While a bit one-note this is delicious. Probably more of a summer beer, though.


The Twelve Beers of Christmas – 2 – Wells Brewing Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale

(Wells Brewing is out of England Added my Mike)

The second beer of Christmas is Wells Brewing’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale.

This beer has a great black-brown colour, hold it up to a light and light barely makes it through. The head is a nice tan colour though not very stable, it disappears very quickly and does not release the aroma of the beer very well.

The nose on the beer is a little weak but there is a pleasant tinge of sticky toffee bread pudding with a nice hint of prune.

The carbonation on this beer is incredibly fine, giving it almost a champagne texture. This is a very well balanced beer, a pleasant bitterness with nice fruitiness to balance. The toffee pudding flavour mixes well with the mealtimes that comes out as the beer sits on the tongue and the hops come out again on the end.

A very nice beer, perfect to slowly sip on a relaxing winter evening. I probably would not session it, the richness would be too much but this might be my beer on Christmas Day.


Against The Grain – Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery

[Against the Grain is Brewed by Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery out of Driffield, England comes their “Against the Grain” a Gluten free ale. (Added by MCB)]

While the bottle only says “ale” this reminds me of an English style pale ale with hops as the back bone but not overwhelming the whole beer.

I know it is a bit of a cop out but this beer smells like beer.  I have no words to describe it beyond “beery” and “beer like”.  That is not a bad thing, though it does not offer much interest either.

Flavour-wise this is a good beer for those getting tired of the hop obsession brewmasters seem to have but don’t want to give up hops entirely.  There are a lot of fresh, piney hop notes over some mild malts for balance.  The flavours are very much defined by the hops with resin, pine and forest flavours dominating with hints of hay and toast coming from the malt.

It is nice to see a hoppy beer that is not determined to kill my taste buds and actually attempts balance instead.


Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale – Green’s Gluten Free Beers

[From England’s Green’s Gluten Free Beers comes their “Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale”. (Added by MCB)]

I was not sure what to expect when I opened this bottle, obviously something dark but beyond that I could not tell what this beer would be like.

The beer pours nicely with an almost Guinness-like black colour and a tan head that is very nice to look at.  Green’s Dubbel has a huge nose, it just smell like a beer you should eat with a fork in the best tradition of stouts from the UK and Ireland with loads of chocolate and toffee notes.

Unfortunately the flavour does not live up to the nose.  That’s not to say this is a bad beer, just that the thick aromas coming off of it have very little to do with what the beer tastes like.  With a very thin mouthfeel reminiscent of a lager more than an ale it does have some very interesting notes of plum/prune with a bit of coffee on the finish.  I think if I had not been drawn into expecting a chewy beer by the nose I would have enjoyed this more.  The flavours are balanced and interesting with enough complexity to enjoy but are mild enough that I could drink 3 or 4 of these without feeling overwhelmed.

Not going to be a favourite but I would drink this again if it were placed in front of me.