If you know me or of me, you will know I like beer. Over the last few years I have been collecting photos of every new beer I have.
I now have over 1,700 individual beers photographed and have realised that many beers that I assumed I have photos of, I haven't.

This blog will be therefore be an account of my quest for new beers to photo and how I enjoyed them (or not).
My email is ralphgant@sky.com.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

More Christmas Beers

Some more winter beers and after moaning about some Christmas beers not being very festive, these have made the effort.

Shepherd Neame, Christmas Ale 2008 and 2009 from England

Week 18-52 Beers, Shepherd Neame, Christmas Ale 2008, England  Shepherd Neame, Christmas Ale 2009, England

2009, 7.0%, deep amber with a thin head, fruity hoppy aroma, the taste which is warming, is sweet, fruity, hoppy and slightly caramel, much the same as last year's, a good Christmas Ale. I was not able to find the brew for 2010 or 2011.

Wychwood, Bah Humbug Christmas Cheer from England

Wychwood, Bah Humbug Christmas Cheer, England

5.0% very deep red with a thin head, festive aroma, sweet taste and the sweets could be Fruit Salads, also hints of Weight Watchers strawberry tart yogurt, a very good Christmas beer.

Meantime, Winter Time from England

Meantime, Winter Time, England

5.4% light brown colour with a good head, dark chocolate aroma, chocolate stout taste, a nice warming beer.

Fuller's, Old Winter Ale from England

Fuller's, Old Winter Ale, England

5.3% deep amber with a thin head, sweet malt aroma, fruity, roasted caramel flavour, a nice winter beer, that I had on one of the hottest days of the year. I would be nice to have one at Christmas time.

Erdinger, Schneeweisse Winterbier from Germany

Erdinger, Schneeweisse Winterbier, Germany

5.6% nice head, I could not really detect any difference from the classic Erdinger Weissbier but I didn't have one to compare, it was still good though, and anyway, Erdinger is one of my all-time favourites, it is gorgeous.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Two Christmas Beers from Belgium

Now for two that do live up to the expectations, it is just coincidence that they both come from Belgium. I do have two or three good Christmas Beers from the UK and I will review them next. The first of the Belgian beers is possibly the best Christmas Beer I have ever had and the other is from Leffe and if you know me, you will know how much I like Leffe.

John Martin, Gordon Xmas from Belgium

John Martin, Gordon Xmas, Belgium

8.8% deep ruby red with a very thin head, roasted malt and port aroma, complex taste of roast malt, toffee, coffee, almost sweet sherry, very festive, like a Christmas party in your mouth. Absolutely loved it, the commercial description says "Created in the thirties, Gordon Xmas initiated the tradition of Christmas brews" I wish they were all this good.

But remember, just because I thought it was fantastic doesn't mean everyone will like it but in my opinion, if you are going to try a Xmas beer it should be different from the norm and taste festive.

Leffe, Bière de Noël from Belgium

52 beers 3 - 18, Leffe, Bière de Noël, Belgium

6.6% deep red colour with a thin head, the aroma is spicy and very fruity and it has a fruity Christmas taste, exactly what I wanted from a Christmas Beer.

Two More Christmas Beers

As I said in the last blog Christmas Beers, just giving a brew a festive name and label, doesn't mean that it will taste any different from any other everyday beer. Well here are another two that fall into that category.

Shepherd Neame, Tins'Ale from England

Shepherd Neame, Tins'Ale, England

4.0% deep amber colour with a good head, fruity caramel aroma, fruity but slightly lacking in body, not the best beer on a cold winters night

Batemans, Rosey Nosey from England

52 beers 4 - 14, Batemans, Rosey Nosey, England

4.7% deep amber colour with a nice head, caramel malt aroma, slightly bitter malty caramel taste, not at all Christmassy.

Christmas Beers

Well I am back after a Christmas break from bogging (and a broken computer), and also a couple of short drinking trips to York.

I am going to do a couple of blogs on Christmas Beers. Seasonal beers were not always readily available in the UK but over the last few years they have been making a comeback. I think it could have something to do with the resurgence of small independent brewers. Of course, I could be wrong but I have never noticed so many seasonal beers before the last few years.

Now the first thing I have to mention is, that just giving a brew a festive name and label, doesn't mean that it will taste any different from any other everyday beer. Some are very ordinary indeed, while others invoke feelings of warmth and memories of the tastes of Christmas past.

I will start with the three seasonal beers I had on our last trip to York.

Northumberland, Hoppy New Year from England

Northumberland, Hoppy New Year, England

3.8% amber colour with a good head, hop aroma, hop and malt taste, not very festive at all, probably brewed for drinking in large quantities on new years eve but even then I would not have wanted more than one.

Moorhouses, Lap Prancer from England

Moorhouses, Lap Prancer, England

4.2% deep amber with a good head, fruity caramel aroma. nice fruity caramel taste but also not really a festive beer, although I did have a couple.

Wold Top, 5 Wold Rings from England

Wold Top, 5 Wold Rings, England

5.0% amber colour with a good head, fruity citrus aroma, fruity citrus hop and malt taste, slightly better on the festive front.

I have had better and worse Christmas Beers, more to come in the next blog.