selection No2

Roundtable tasting

Beer as far as the eye can see! Well, as long as my garden wall…

When you’ve got a good selection of beers that need drinking (and they’re not 10% ABV beasts!), you need a roundtable.

This is part two from a selection of beers sent by
They are from the previous quarter’s box for the 52 Week Beer Club.

First up…
Aviator, Dent Brewery, 4.0% ABV

RD: A pretty standard British golden ale. A nose of bready malt and rubber, not a great start. The taste lifted things a bit with plenty of biscut/toffee malt accompanied by lemon citrus hops. I’m just not a fan of this type of beer. Dent are a highly thought of brewery but I have to admit all that I’ve had have been a bit lackluster apart from their Dent Porter.

MT: I second what Rob’s saying here. Hop Back “Summer Lightning” still leads the way in terms of golden ales. As far as this goes, it’s alright, it’s just a little lacking in spark.

The second beer to be dispensed was…
Wandle, Sambrooks Brewery 4.2% ABV

RD: A smooth and rounded ale with a pleasing level of carbonation that keeps it fresh. Not much of a fruity flavour but a great balanced between Kentish hops, maris otter and crystal malt. Pale stone fruits come through on the nose with a soft and enjoyable mouthfeel. The one thing that was confusing but interesting was a certain ester quality similar that you are used to finding in Belgian ale. Have the brewers been playing around with some Belgian yeast?

MT: Similar to the Pen-Lon bitter in the previous myBrewerytap roundtable this has that Belgian blonde touch to it. There is an interesting slight spicy edge to the bitterness making it a bit more worthwhile. Still, not my cup of tea.

In Wensleydale they make cheese and beer, what not to love!

Next up is a good old Yorkshire Ale…
Gamekeeper, Wenleydale Brewery 4.3% ABV


RD: A beautifully filtered copper ale. A fresh spurt of carbonation and a well balanced flavour. One taste that stood out was of ginger ale, but not fresh ginger more like Canada Dry. Traditional malts and hops make this a textbook British ale. But saying that, it most certainly not boring, a great example of the style. A very clean and well-defined beer. Very enjoyable.

MT: It has a sweet nutty flavour to it which is really pleasant indeed. There’s a slight bitterness which disappears into a greasy mouthfeel. This is possibly a good alternative to something like a Black Sheep ale. It’s a really approachable, charming British ale.

And finally…
Woolsack Organic Porter, Stroud Brewery, 5.0% ABV

RD: After being showered by Matt’s erratic bottle opening I toweled myself down and got stuck into this beer. I love porter and was looking forwards to it.
Initially it was doughy and fruity on the nose. The taste reminded me of a Belgian Dubbel more than a porter. A bit too thin on the body and tasting more sour than roasted. Far too much carbonation continued to spoil this ale. I think the aggressive treatment of the bottle by my fellow HopZiner may have gone a long way to impairing this beer. The flavour that did fight its way through the fizz and dank sourness was of dark berries and raisins with plenty of hops on the back end.

MT: It had been a long day, I just wanted to rip the lid off of it! To make it sound more professional what I was actually doing was putting it through a “stress test” to see how it could stand up to a modern aggressive urban environment…… maybe not.

Anyway! There was a prominent marmite taste, like a light spreading on a buttered toast. Admittedly my “stress test” might have impaired it a little but it was being overwhelmed by the yeast and the beer didn’t have much to say over the top of that. Not too sure whether this was something I’d want to try again (despite my sloppiness!).

Concluding: Surprisingly we both preferred the selection drank in part one. These are from more established and renowned brewers but fell short of their counterparts in the first myBrewerytap roundtable.

The general consensus was that Wensleydale’s Gamekeeper came out as the favorite on the night by a significant margin. HopZine have yet to experience a bad Wensleydale beer and you can check out the review of Wensleydake’s Black Dub here!

For more information about these beers please check out
The 52 Week Beer Club is a great idea; fantastic value and they are adding more exciting breweries every week.

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