Category Archives: Strong Ale

St Austell Ales – Proper Black IPA

St Austell Ales – Proper Black IPA 6%

This is a black strong ale, with a deep fresh hop aroma.
It has a dry strongly hopped taste, with hints of black coffee and a lasting hop bitterness.This is a strongly hopped IPA and becomes another of the growing number of Black IPA beers.
Another member of the Proper Job, Big Job range of IPAs from the Cornish St Austell Ales.

Innis and Gunn – Original Oak Aged Ale

Innis and Gunn – Original Oak Aged Ale 6.6%

Innis and Gunn - Original Oak Aged Ale
Innis & Gunn – Original Oak Aged Ale

This ale is bright amber coloured with a pleasant toffee malt aroma, with aged oak wood notes. The taste is made up of sweet smooth, honey caramel toffee and vanilla notes, with an aftertaste of aged oak. A good strong ale, with an aroma reminiscent of sitting in an Elizabethan or Jacobean house surrounded by aged oak furniture.

A strong ale for all seasons but especially winter.
My 5*
This was the first beer produced in 2003 from this Edingburgh based, Scottish brewery, produced by storing in oak whiskey casks to flavour before using for whisky. Well worth trying if you like strong ales.

Hopshackle Brewery – Double Momentum

Hopshackle Brewery – Double Momentum 7.0%

Hopshackle Brewery - Double Momentum
Hopshackle Brewery – Double Momentum

This is an amber coloured ale with a strong malt and dried hop aroma. It has a strong malt taste with a heavy resinous hop bitterness. A strong IPA rather than a barley wine type that may be expected at this strength.

This ale is based on a historic 18th century recipe.
The Hopshackle Brewery is based in Market Deeping, Lincolnshire have originated from The Saracens Head in Cambridge via Cox’s Yard Inn in Stratford on Avon and the brewing equipment was built by the engineers at Charles Wells, Eagle Brewery in Bedford.

Penpont Brewery – Silent Knight

Penpont Brewery – Silent Knight 7.2%

Penpont Brewery – Silent Knight

This is a golden amber strong ale, with good malty aroma with toffee notes. It has a strong warming flavour of malts, toffee and hop bitterness reminiscent of the lighter coloured barley wines. It is a good warming winter and Christmas ale from this Cornish Brewer based near Launceston. This gets my 5* rating but watch the strength.

Brakspear – Triple III

Brakspear – Triple III 6.7% 

Brakspear – Triple III

This is a chestnut coloured ale with good fruit and molasses rum aromas, with a hint of vanilla. It has a rich malt, dried fruit and citrus flavours, leading to a bitter aftertaste. A good warming winter ale. 

The Brakspear Brewery was a traditional brewery in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. In 2002 brewing ceased and the brand and equipment were sold to the Wychwood Brewery Company, now part of the Marston brewing group and the Brakspear range of ales are now brewed under the Brakspear name at the Wychwood Brewery in Witney.

Brakspear historically had many pubs around the Henley, Maidenhead area as a local brewer and now supplies bottled beers to the general market as part of the Marston range.

Chimay – Red

Chimay – Red 7.0%

Chimay – Red

This is a brown coloured ale with a rich fruit aroma of cherries and toffee malt. The taste is rich in warming malty flavours and a following light bitterness. 
A good trappist ale reminiscent of a great barley wine. Best enjoyed sitting outside in the evening under the lights in the Grand-Place in Bruxelles.
Brewed at the Scourmont Abbey near the to the town of Chimay near the south west border of Belgium.

Wychwood Brewery – King Goblin

Wychwood Brewery – King Goblin 6.6% special reserve

Wychwood Brewery – King Goblin

This is a dark chestnut red ale, with rich fruity aroma. It has a good, strong malt taste, almost on the edge of being a barley wine; with added fruit notes.
A good rich ale for winter drinking by a log fire.

The King Goblin ale is brewed at Marston’s Wychwood Brewery in Witney Oxfordshire.

Arbor Ales – Breakfast Stout

Arbor Ales – Breakfast Stout 7.4%

I came across this ale in Bristol and I have to say it is the first time an ale has almost had me reaching for a soup spoon, in fact one  wouldn’t  be that surprised if it was ladled from a soup terrine on the bar, rather than a beer pump. I have tried some unusual ales tasting of cappuccino or custard creams, strong barley wines and Trappist dark ales but this stout is in a class of its own.
Arbor Ales – Breakfast Stout 7.4%
It is a very dark ale with a thick chocolate brown head, which leaves the glass coloured as you drink. It has rich aromas of chocolate, coffee and toasted malts. The taste is sweet for a stout, compared to the usual dry Irish style, moving to rich espresso coffee taste, with vanilla, toffee and chocolate. Breakfast Stout is an experience not just a dark stout ale.

Arbor Ales is a micro brewery based in Bristol.