Monthly Archives: June 2016

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.

Anchor Brewing Company – Liberty Ale

Anchor Brewing Company – Liberty Ale 5.9%

Anchor Brewing - Liberty Ale
Anchor Brewing – Liberty Ale

This is a golden amber ale with a fresh off the bine hop aroma, with hints of vanilla. It is has a pleasant malt and orange warming taste with a fruit sharpness and a good hop bitter background, without overpowering bitterness.

Brewed with Cascade hops and also dry hoped with Cascade. This is a really good ale of a European style from the U.S. west coast San Francisco. My 5*
According to the brewery Liberty Ale® was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem), he alerted the American forces of the British approach before the battles of Lexington and Concord .
It was the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop and dry-hopped ale, which started the American Craft Beer brewing.

The Good and the Grape

New west country wine – and beer – merchant.

Somerset, along with the rest of the west has a thriving micro and small brewery sector, and the north of Somerset, around the Mendips to the River Avon is particularly strong for small breweries. It is interesting that we have the smallest city in England, which is proving to be a new source of available and interesting beer. Wells has seen the usual pubs and small hotels that have come and some have gone. Yet in 2016 it now has a new micropub (yet to be sampled).

Alongside this development, a new independent wine merchant The Good and The Grape has been opened by Andrew Kinnersley, a local to the Wells. Like many wine outlets, he does stock the drink in question – beer but Not the usual supermarket selection of lagers from the big combines, or a small sprinkling of bottles in the corner. Andrew stocks a selection of his specially sourced craft ales.

My beer from The Grape and The Good in Wells
My beer from The Grape and The Good

The joy of The Grape and the Good is that Andrew knows his beer stock and does not look down on the beer connoisseur in favour of the wine drinkers. Where else would you buy a beer and have it wrapped as if it was a bottle of excellent Bordeaux.

We chatted briefly about the trend of using excessive American hops and such, and I left with his recommendation to try a dark beer from a new brewer in Dorset – Gyle 59, see separate post.