I don't do tasting notes that much as most of my readers will know. In fact I rarely read that thoroughly the blogs of those that solely do, with the exception of the Beer Nut, as he is one of the few that does it in an interesting way and whose palate seems up to the job. (That is it sometimes concurs with mine.) What I do do though, is make occasional recommendations.
Last night I had four different beers, all golden and all pretty damn good in their way. I know that golden beers get a fair bit of stick, but I like them and when done properly, they make drinking a pleasure. (Drinking should be a pleasure by the way, not an ordeal of sipping and trying to make the best out of a mass of conflicting ingredients.) But I digress. Phoenix Pale Moonlight was clear, citrussy and dry. Roosters Cogburn (geddit?) was rather grainy and husky, but once my palate had adapted, easy to drink though, as I often find with Roosters, a touch under conditioned. These were tried in the Flying Horse in Rochdale, a Good Beer Guide pub and well deserved too on this showing.
These were horse's dovers though. The main meal as it were was served up in the Regal Moon, another GBG entry and where I met the lads (OK my fellow geriatrics). Ossett Silver King is an old friend and was distinctive, full bodied and lemony hoppy. Lager malt is used and the beer was so polished that you could see my mates ugly mugs through it. Dave, who works in the chemical industry said that its turbidity measurement looked pretty near zero. This is astonishingly clear in layman's terms, so would not count as good beer to some murky beer lovers. Dave himself had started on Marston's Citra. He liked it, but found the grapefruit flavours a little overpowering, so switched to Silver King. I picked up the challenge. I thought it a delight. No holding back on the hopping, this Wolverhampton brewed beer showed the Citra hop off well. It had the full gamut of flavours from peach through to grapefruit and all tropical points between. It wasn't perfumey though, but had just the right amount of bitterness and was full bodied and easy drinking. Pin bright too. To me it was the beer of the night against pretty stiff opposition. Well done Marstons and of course the Regal Moon for serving the beers in top condition.
So there you have it. Three and a half recommendations, all golden, all hoppy and all with that most elusive of attributes, drinkability. That is if you actually want to drink beer, rather than sip it.
Citra was craft brewed at the Wolverhampton (Banks) Brewery. See here for further details.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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