Theakston Old Peculier

Theakston Old Peculier

Look how dark this is, almost halfway to a stout. This is a lovely beer and is very smooth to drink. There is an interesting story behind it’s name and it’s brewing history which is best read on the Theakston’s website. It doesn’t taste as it looks and is surprisingly refreshing despite it’s strength at 5.6% ABV.

Nothing really more to say about it – go try it yourself.

Marston’s Pedigree and Old Empire IPA

Marston’s Pedigree

I used to drink Pedigree more or less every day when I was in my 20’s. It was what we had a lunchtime and it was on draft at one of the City’s (now disappeared) pubs. Obviously I liked it a lot so this bottled version , which I hadn’t tried before was a bit of a surprise: I found it had a strange after taste which was different to what I remember.Now I look at it the label speaks of bottle conditioned and explains how it continues to ferment in the bottle, maybe this explains it. Also a bit of surprise was that it is described as an amber ale as I had always assumed a bitter. It is a sensible 4.5%.

Marston’s Old Empire IPA

I had seem Old Empire on the Marston’s website when I was deciding whether or not to invest in Marston’s Brewery (I’m looking for dividends these days) but I had never had it. I loved it what a refreshing beer. I could imaging drinking this all day at a summer BBQ; only slight problem might be that I’d end up rather drunk because, although it’s easy drinking, it’s 5.7%. I will definitely be buying this again.

Newcastle Brown

Newcastle Brown

I haven’t had a bottle of Newcastle Brown since I was at University (a long time ago, I don’t remember the price then but the Uni bar sold draft Newcastle X at 10p a pint!). I suppose I never read the back label but interesting history/linguistics lesson there. Also put in my mind of a favourite band Humble Pie and from “30 days in the Hole”:

Newcastle Brown, I’m tellin’ you, it can sure smack you down 
Take a greasy whore and a rollin’ dance floor 
It’s got your head spinnin’ round 

Anyway I really enjoyed this and I guess the memories it brings back. Easy drinking – 4.7% great taste. And you can drink from the bottle – just make sure no one smashes theirs down on top.

Adnams Ease up IPA

Ease up

This is a strange one: someone bought this as a sampler and so I decided to try it at lunchtime. It’s very fruity – like a tropical fruit salad which is something of a shock if you haven’t read the label. Looking at it now the label looks like those fruit salad sweets which were 4 a penny when I was young. It’s quite a pleasant drink like for a summer BBQ in the garden but mid winter with hail coming down it just seems wrong. As noted elsewhere in this blog I am not averse to peach beers and various ciders but I should have waited for summer. 4.6% is a good lunchtime rate.

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord


I used to sometimes drink in The Old Bell in Fleet Street and they served a good pint of Landlord. They don’t anymore and it’s become part of a chain. I never really thought about it but reading the label on the back of the bottle it seems that it is a multi award winning beer, read about it on their website. I liked this in the pub but that was a long time ago and I hadn’t had it in the bottle before. My wife and I both commented on a slight bitter after task which I don’t remember in the draft version. Interesting the bottle says 4.1% and the website 4.3%. Maybe the bottle is different.

Old Crafty Hen

Old Crafty Hen

Old Crafty Hen is the sister beer to Old Speckled Hen but aged in oak barrels. Old Speckled Hen is a favourite of mine in bottles and is the regular at parties, always a good bulk but price at the supermarket. So is Old Crafty any better? Well yes although its not really a huge difference. This one is quite strong and more flavoursome and we like the oak (being fans of Australian wines which are often heavily oaked). Another great effort from Moreland Brewery. There are many more in the series – must try the local alcohol version, could be a good thing to serve if the taste is still there. (And yes I did buy some Greene King shares yesterday.)

Abbot Reserve

Abbot Reserve

Abbot Reserve from Greene King of Suffolk. I tried to buy so Greene King shares last week when the price was low and now it’s sky rocketed. Important for me was the dividend and I figured people will always want beer and eating out however down spirited they feel (or maybe even because of it). This is one step up from ‘normal’ Abbot and I really really liked it, I wanted another but didn’t have one – I will rectify that today. Fruity and Malty which must be what I prefer over the hoppy ones. 6.5% ABV but didn’t even hint at that over strong flavour which so many 5+ beers have, Five stars.

Proper Job

Proper Job

When I saw this I thought of Scrapheap Challenge and the team that appeared several time. Typical west country expression though and this come from Cornwall so why not? It comes from the St. Austell Brewery which has been going since 1851 (is it breweries that are the oldest companies?) – I’ve only had Tribute before, but there is quite a choice on their site.

It has a golden colour and a slight bitter after taste. I liked it but I’m not sure I’d want to have two in a row. This might be better a little colder and in warmer weather. An IPA at 5.5% which deserves its name.

Titsey Brewery Company

A couple of months ago Titsey Brewery were raising money through crowd funding, the offer seemed too good to miss because, as well as some sample bottles of beer, there was a voucher for the well respected Botley Farmhouse pub. So without further ado I invested. Well I picked up the beers a couple of weeks ago and here is my view having sampled three of them.


First off we have the Gresham Hopper. It claims to be a hoppy pale ale, and it is very very hoppy. In my mind a bit too hoppy! It was also rather cloudy, now I don’t know if this is due to sediment in the bottle or if it is just naturally cloudy. Its just 3.7% so not strong and so should be easy drinking, however I struggled to finish it. So not my favourite.

Next the Leveson Buck IPA, this one is still very hoppy but much more manageable. It was also a little cloudy which make me think there are supposed to be like that. Both this and the Gresham Hopper have Cascade and Chinook hops but unlike the Hopper this one has Simcoe rather than Eurica. Anyway it is also 3.7% and a much better drink in my view. Still not my favourite of this bunch.

Gower Wolf

Gower Wolf is the Best Bitter and at 4% very drinkable. This was easily my favourite of the trio. Not too hoppy and with a nice finish. This one uses East Kent Golding the traditional English bitter’s hop. I have yet to try this on draft but I suspect that will be more or a treat.

I have one more to try but that will be subject to a later post. In the meantime Happy (or should that be hoppy) New Year.

Beardo IPA

Beardo – ready to drink

An interesting IPA from Robinsons Brewery in Stockport.  I spotted this on a trip to Morrisons (who by the way have an excellent range of beers in the larger stores).  Sensibly priced so I thought I’d give it a go.  I was very impressed, similar in some ways to Punk IPA, very hoppy and an enjoyable stronger IPA.

I was interested because I used to live in Levenshume just up the road from Stockport so I looked up Robinsons and found they have the largest hopnik in the world!  I then looked up hopnik: I’ll leave you to do the same and also to try the beer.