Gem Amber Ale

Bath Ales – Gem Amber Ale 4.8%

This ale is a light chestnut colour with a malty aroma with slight plum notes. It is a malty rich taste with a well blended hop bitterness.

This is the bottled version of Gem with a higher ABV 4.8% compared to the Gem draught previously reviewed at 4.1%, or a reformulation.

It is brewed by Bath Ales a small brewery now owned by St Austell Ales.

Rum Barrel Red Beer

Innis & Gunn – Rum Barrel Red Beer 6.8%

Innis & Gunn – Rum Barrel Red Beer

This is a dark chestnut red coloured ale with a strong malt and plum fruits aroma. It has a sweet malty taste with a hint of rum spirit. It is lighter and sweeter than a barley wine, of it’s strength.

This is a rum barrel aged ale from this Scottish brewery, noted for its barrel aged ale range.

Innis & Gunn is a brewery based in Edinburgh.

Oxford Scholar Ale

The Shotover Brewing Co. – Oxford Scholar Ale 4.5%

Shotover Brewing Co – Oxford Scholar Ale

This is a chestnut copper coloured ale, with an apple and fruity aroma. It’s taste is a lightly smokey, hop bitterness, with a good malty backing.

The Shotover Brewing Company base in Horspath Oxford, describe this beer for drinking by a log fire, with the light smokey taste; presumably in an old oak-beamed pub!

Cotswold Best

North Cotswold – Cotswold Best 4.0%

North Cotswold Brewery – Cotswold Best

This is a golden ale with a summer aroma of fresh leaves and grass. It has a stronger hop bitterness and a malty balance, without being grapefruit citrus. It is brewed with English, Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles hops and according to the Brewery is a traditional Bitter ale.

The North Cotswold Brewery is a family craft brewery in the heart of the Cotswolds on the edge of Stretton-on-Fosse, near Moreton-in-Marsh.

Haymaker

Hook Norton – Haymaker 5%

Hook Norton – Haymaker

This is a dark golden Pale Ale with a hop fresh aroma. It has a pleasant taste of hops and malt, giving a light, slightly sweet taste, with a light bitter follow-on to finish. A good English stronger golden seasonal ale from this traditional Cotswold based brewer.

Hook Norton Brewery

Ruby Mild

The Incredible Brewing Company – Ruby Mild 3.8%

The Incredible Brewing Company – Ruby Mild

This is red-dark chestnut coloured ale, with a malty, slightly smokey aroma.
It has a malty taste with hop bitterness. Not a sweet mild and is a thinner, lighter bodied ale which would be suitable as a session ale.

The Incredible Brewing Company is a craft brewery based in Bridlington in Bristol, aiming it’s beers at the Bristol craft beer scene.

Dark Horse

GT Ales – Dark Horse 4.5%

GT Ales – Dark Horse

I received this North Devon offering as a present. Not surprisingly from a relative with an interest in American ‘muscle cars’. Always happy to try out a new brewer and a new ale, especially from the southwest.

This is a ruby coloured ale, with a sharp fruity aroma and according to the label, has a spice note. It has a sweet, smokey malt flavour, with slightly plum fruit notes but the most noticeable is the spice note in the taste, reminiscent of Hoegarden Belgian white beer.

I presume the brewer may have used a little coriander to achieve the taste, although there is no indication on the website.

An interesting brew and more fruity winter ale but with a reminder of warmer days drinking Belgian white beer.

This brewery is based in Braunton, north Devon, close to RAF Chivenor.

GT Ales

Cotswold Pale

Hook Norton Brewery – Cotswold Pale 4.4%

Hook Norton – Cotswold Pale

This is a golden coloured ale, with a fresh fruit aroma. It has a sweet start with a bitter hop following taste. It is not endowed with grapefruit taste.

This ale, interestingly, has a taste reminiscent of traditional English pale ales, so if you like a beer at the lighter, happier end of things but want a change from all the craft UP As and Grapefruits APAs, this is a pleasant change!

It is brewed with English Cascade and American Chinook hops for bittering, Slovenian Celeia for sweeter notes, American Cascade, Willamette and Amarillo.

Brewed by the traditional and long established Cotswold Hook Norton Brewery in Oxfordshire.