Cismontane Marea Roja

Not bottle conditioned
Cismontane Marea Roja [baron rating 5/5] - 4.4% dark ruby ale,red berries smell,sour unripe blackberry raspberry taste,sour cranberry finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Paul Kruzycki from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Cismontane ales from Ales By Mail

Alechemy Ritual

Not bottle conditioned
Alechemy Ritual [baron rating 3/5] - 4.1% gold ale,biscuity caramel floral smell,spicy floral lemon bitter taste,lasting lemon bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Chrissie Saunders from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Alechemy ales from Ales By Mail

Dark Star Hophead

Not bottle conditioned
Dark Star Hophead [baron rating 5/5] - 3.8% gold ale,spicy caramel orange oil smell,zingy spicy bitter citrus taste,dry fading bitter finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes

Central Coast Lucky Day IPA

Not can conditioned
Central Coast Lucky Day IPA [baron rating 5/5] - 7.2% copper ale,peach pine smell,fresh resin sweet fruity bitter taste,firm bitter finish
Thank you to Paul Kruzycki from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Central Coast ales from Ales By Mail

Looking forward to baron rating Beer52 ales




I got sent a box of mixed ales from Beer52 as one of the perks of attending the European Beer Bloggers Conference in Dublin this year. Well I got contacted again recently to see if I would like to review another one of their packs, this time their Autumn pack:




  • Barcelona Cerdos Voladores -6% "Hi, this is #14" our rowdiest beer, made with the finest hops
  • Belhaven Scottish Oat Stout - 7% oat stout, dark, rich and layered with a wonderful silky texture and a lingering finish
  • Einstok Icelandic Toasted Porter [baron rating 5/5] - 6% toasted porter
  • Freigeist Abraxxxas - 6% smoked Lichtenhainer Weisse. Inspired by the easten German tart wheat beer style once known as "Lichtenhainer", Abraxxxas is sour and complex, with a balancing smoky maltiness

  • Medus Blonde - 5% blonde, a light beer which is refreshing while having a full body and a characteristic bitterness
  • Oppigards Golden Ale - 5.2% golden ale with a twist, American Cascade was used late in the boil to give a hint of flora & citrus
  • Mordue Ascendancy - 7.4% Belgian double IPA-weizen hybrid brewed with candy sugar. A head storm of tropical fruit, mango and banana with a hop-forward, resiny finish
  • Redwillow Wreckless [baron rating 5/5] - 4.8% pale ale, when you want a big hit of American hops and aroma, but don't want to fall off your seat

Savory popcorn and a beer mag too!
It also included some tasty-looking savoury popcorn (fiery worcester sauce & sun-dried tomato) from the Propercorn company and issue #4 of Beer52's Ferment mini-mag/newspaper (24 pages of articles about the beers in the box, and interviews/recipes with the beers from the box).

Look out for 'baron ratings' of these beers soon, and a big thank you to Laurie from Beer52 for sending them through to me!

Buy all these ales from Beer52

UPDATE: If you do plan to buy some, make sure you use enter this discount code ORMSKIRK10 entitling you to £10 off your first box. All you have to do is visit beer52.com and click on 'got a special code?' underneath the 'get started' button!
 

La Lutine Pale Ale

Not bottle conditioned
La Lutine Pale Ale [baron rating 3/5] - 6% amber ale,sugary sweet caramel smell,biscuity apple pear taste,fruity bittersweet finish
Bought from Domme market whilst on holiday in the Dordogne region, France.

Looking forward to baron rating Cheshire Brewhouse ales



I've been chatting with Cheshire Brewhouse brewer Shane Swindells on Twitter for some time, he's very passionate about brewing and seems pretty good at it based on the limited number of bottles that I've tried of his so far. Once particular tweet some weeks back really caught my eye though, where he mentioned that he was bottling a salted caramel porter

A few weeks later I got a message from Shane saying that he's dropped a sample bottle off for me at one of my local bottled beer shops, Holborn Ales in Ormskirk. I popped down there the next day to collect it and found that he'd left a couple of other interesting bottles for me too:

Good looking bottles full of lovely sounding beer!
The Cheshire Brewhouse
  • Govinda IPA (red cap*) - 6.8% IPA, barrel aged Head Brewers Reserve. An English IPA brewed to a Burton recipe from 1830ish, brewed with Pale malt and a large charge of East Kent Goldings.
  • Govinda IPA (silver cap*) - 6.8% IPA, barrel aged Head Brewers Reserve. An English IPA brewed to a Burton recipe from 1830ish, brewed with Pale malt and a large charge of East Kent Goldings.
  • The Smokehouse Porter - 6.2% slightly smoked, salted caramel, chocolate, sticky toffee pudding porter
The different coloured caps indicated which cask it came from, half of the brew went in one wine cask, and half in another. I'm not sure what wine casks they were, Shane if you are reading this, care to leave a comment below?

Update: I got a reply from Shane last night via Twitter, here are his words:

The diff between the two GOVINDA bottles, I bought two 225ltr Oak Casks.Both white wine, I believe they had come from Germany, I didn't want to do spirit casks due to grogging issues.

When I opened them, one had white wine in & the other had had Brandy in! I therefore purged both casks for 5 days with hot saltwater. And filled, the red cap was the white wine cask, silver cap the brandy cask.

Even though they barrels had been purged you can clearly taste the difference between the two
I think the brandy cask is softer with less wood, but I love both beers and I'm brewing the next batch of it with Chevallier malt and barrel-ageing that too in 4 barrels

Look out for baron ratings for these The Cheshire Brewhouse beers soon, and a big thank you to Shane Swindells (@shaneswindells) for sending them through to me!

Buy Cheshire Brewhouse ales from Holborn Ales

Summer Wine Maelstrom

Not bottle conditioned
Summer Wine Maelstrom [baron rating 4/5] - 9% amber ale,sweet tropical smell,piney resinous tropical bitter taste,spicy herbal resin finish
Buy Summer Wine ales from Source Deli

Looking forward to baron rating Dark Star Hophead

I grew up in Brighton down on the south coast, which is original home of Dark Star Brewing Co. Shame I wasn't into ales at that point as otherwise it might have been hard to leave there...

Dark Star have been very good to the baron over the years, with guided tours, free swag and also a chance to try their latest bottled ales as soon as they have come off the bottling line. That's pretty much what happened last week when their new bottled ale, Hophead arrived:


Dark Star Brewing Co.
  • Hophead - 3.8% perfectly balanced light ale, straw coloured finest malted barley and delicate fruity Cascade hop flavours
This is Dark Star's number one cask ale, accounting for around half of the brewery's annual production. Not really a surprise when the cask version is excellent - an extremely tasty sub-4% beer which is completely sessionable. Once you've got a taste for it you don't move from it for the rest of the evening! Let's hope the bottled version is as good, it's got a lot to live up to!

Look out for baron ratings for these Dark Star Brewing Co. beers soon, and a big thank you to James (@darkstarbrewco) for sending them through to me!

Buy Dark Star ales direct

Central Coast Catch 23

Not can conditioned
Central Coast Catch 23 [baron rating 5/5] - 7.5% black ale,roasted malt fresh green hop smell,roasted burnt coffee taste,fresh hoppy finish
Thank you to Paul Kruzycki from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Central Coast ales from Ales By Mail

Looking forward to baron rating Stringers gluten-free Outlook ales

Stringers Brewery from Ulverston, Cumbria. One of my favourite breweries who brew one of my top ten beers and possibly my 'desert island discs, take only one beer' beer - Stringers IPA.

Jon and Becky are great people working very hard to brew great beer which is now not only available in small independent places but also in the North West's Booths supermarket chain. They have a solid range of bottled ales and have now come out with two new ones both of which are gluten free:

Lovely looking bottles but why the same name?
Stringers Brewery
  • Outlook - 4.9% Gluten-free amber ale, brewed with pale & crystal malts, Northern Brewer & Cascade hops with flavours of caramel, herbal & spicy
  • Outlook - 3.7% Gluten-free golden ale, brewed with pale & wheat malts, Northern Brewer, Challenger & Mittelfruh hops with flavours of light lemon, herbal & honey
These beers are "Crafted to remove Gluten":

Our brewing process removes Gluten. Proper beer, made with barley malt, but less than 20ppm Gluten.

I really like the look of these new Stringers beers, they have taken a step away from the round style (see brewery logo above) which I still love, but these labels appear fresh and clean with a classy look. What I'm not happy with is the choice of the same name for both beers, is Outlook trying to be a gluten-free brand within the Stringers brand? I can see conversations like this:

"Get me some Stringers Outlook please as it's really nice"
"Yeap, they had some, here you go..."
"Oh no I didn't mean the X ale I meant the Y one!"

Jon, if you've got any comments or reasons for the labeling then please get in touch and I'll update this post with your input, would be useful to see the reasoning from the brewery's eyes.

Thank you to Jon (@StringersBeer) from Stringers for handing this over for a baron rating!

Buy Stringers ales from Source Deli, Booths & Holborn Ales

Tap It Ale Camino

Not bottle conditioned
Tap It Ale Camino [baron rating 4/5] - 5.5% amber ale,sweet brown bread smell,rye brown bread bittersweet taste,long dry mild toasted finish
Thank you to Paul Kruzycki from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Tap It ales from Ales By Mail

Beavertown 8 Ball can

Beavertown 8 Ball can [baron rating 5/5] - 6.2% dark amber ale,rich candied caramel smell,malty big bitter taste,bitter dusty rye finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Paul Kruzycki from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Beavertown ales from Ales By Mail

Cumberland Corby Fox

Cumberland Corby Fox [baron rating 2/5] - 4.7% brown ale,raisins malt loaf smell,balanced raisin watery start taste,long malty finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Siobhan from Beer52 for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Cumberland ales from Beer52

Gayant La Goudale

Not bottle conditioned
Gayant La Goudale [baron rating 3/5] - 6% gold beer,earthy yeasty straw smell,sweet buttery apple/pear taste,light juicy fruity finish

Fourpure Amber Ale

Fourpure Amber Ale [baron rating 3/5] - 5.1% amber ale,mild clementine smell,mild candied sweetness bit bitter taste,too bitter dry taste
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes
Thank you to Paul Kruzycki from Ales By Mail for sending this through for a baron rating!

Buy Fourpure ales from Ales By Mail