Category Archives: 6-8% ABV

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.

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.

Ch’ti Blonde

A friend brought round this beer a couple of weeks ago and it’s been sitting in the fridge.  I’d never heard of this French brewery but it’s really excellent.  Even though it’s 6.4% its quite drinkable and the taste is not badly affected.  Lovely clean and refreshing when served cold.

I’ve done a little online research and I think it’s going to be best to make a trip to buy this as it’s about 2 euros more buying in the UK.  Anyway there are also several other beers from this brewery to try and so a full car is probably order of the day.  Visit the brewery website for the full range. I can’t wait to try some more.

Excellent! Five stars.

Innis & Gunn Rum Finish

IMG_20160523_071122This is another example of excellent brewing on behalf of Innis and Gunn and the second I have tried.  It is delicious if a little too strong.  We have taken to drink these in small glasses and sharing them a little like a bottle of wine.  This particular beer goes well with hard cheese and nibbles.  I can’t wait to try some of the other offerings from this brewery.

Innis & Gunn Barrelmaster’s Reserve

ThiIMG_20150722_184437657s was a present and a very welcome one too!  I’d never heard of this brewery but I am definitely going to try some more of theirs; and they seem to have a big selection Innis and Gunn selection.  This is a stronger ale (7.4%) than I would normally drink but is well flavoured with the whisky casks that it is matured in, (hints of vanilla).  It’s the sort of thing that you would drink with food in small quantities, in fact the bottle is a 330ml which is sensible.  They recommend to drink with cheese I imagine a strong very hard cheese would be ideal – I didn’t have any so had to make do with mousetrap but all the same it worked well,  Bottle comes nicely boxed and would make an excellent present – hint hint!

BrewDog Chritsmas Ales – Hoppy Christmas and SantaPaws

Brew dog Christmas beersI bought six of each of this for Christmas day as a beer drinking friend was coming over on the big day.  We sampled both but I now have five bottles of Santa Paws left and just one Hoppy Christmas.  So what is about them?  Well Santa Paws is a heavy ale but not strong – maybe I should have read the label before drinking as it does suggest putting it with the Christmas pud and maybe that would work because of the honey in it.  I’m really not sure.

Now Hoppy Christmas – stronger (7.2%) than my usual tipples but very nice – we should have this all year round not just at Christmas time.  A pale ale with bags of flavour and just really good to drink without food as a starter.  Excellent – no wonder I missed out on the batch in 2013- order early next year!

Grimbergen Blonde

When we lived in Belgium we used to sometime visit Grimbergen Brewery on a Sunday for lGrimbergen Blondeunch.  Seemed a good place to take the kids (they weren’t old enough to drink but the restaurant did have high chairs and was well sorted  – except that everyone smoked!).

I like Grimbergen and its transfer to Heinken and subsequently to Carlsberg has not taken anything away.  It is an Abbey beer but it is lighter and more aromatic than some and is very refreshing.  There are now quite a few pubs in the UK and bars in France (where it also brewed) which serve this on draught again this works well.  Quite a strong beer at 6.7% but for once that doesn’t detract from the taste.  Thumbs up from me

Tap Room IPA

Tap room IPAWell this was a real surprise – I wasn’t expecting to find real US craft beers for sale in Sainsbury’s but there they were – two of them from the Tap Room Brewing Company, Rochester New York.  This is bottled especially for Sainsbury’s and well done them because it’s a really nice beer.   Initially tastes a little sweat but has a very hoppy and long lasting flavour.  I’m a fan and I have yet to try the other beer of these I bought yesterday.

La Trobonix Blanche

Before I went on this holiday to France I hadn’t realised how many French breweries brewed a Blanche.  This brewery, Brasserie Terra Comtix, was just about 10km from place I was staying in Ornans in the Doubs valley in Franche-Comte.

Although I have been to France many times I hadn’t explored this area – I recommend it over say the Lot or Dordogne.  Anyway we had been out walking in the hills and on return walked down to one of the riverside bars and had this Blanche.  Note the typical table and I think you get a flavour of the place.

5.5 %abv is quite high for a blanche and I didn’t really like it which is odd because I think Blanche at lunch or mornings is great.  I had one in the fridge to try but instead it got shipped back to the UK.  I amd drinking it now in a Hoegaarden glass as I write and being good and cold I really liked it, shame it’s the only bottle.!

Just goes to show that you need to keep at it