Thursday, August 23, 2007

New ales hit the streets

Every now and then a new import of beer from the Northern Hemisphere comes in. When this happens my heart beat quickens, my eyes widen and my bank account groans. Recently I have picked up Saltaire XB from Saltaire in Yorkshire (a Victorian socially engineered community featured in Bill Bryson's fantastic DVD "Notes from a Small Island") and O'Hara's Celtic Stout from the Carlow Brewing Company, a real Irish stout.

Saltaire XB 4.3%abv

Spicy tangy english aroma, hints of dried fruit, and tangy vine fruit vie with nutty malt, certainly
none of the diacetyl hinted at in the description. On the pallet fruit continues, with some spicy anise notes, malt sweetness makes a brief supporting appearance but little in the way of malt flavour, fruit and hops really dominate.A big resounding bitterness is left at the end. A fantastic bitter that might be alittle more ballanced if served through a sparkler in the Yorkshire tradition.

O'Hara's Celtic Stout 4.3%abv

Good aroma of roasted grain , slight astringent note, and some hop resin. A hint of malt sweetness on the pallet before a big dry chocolate character, fading to lots of roast barley astringency and hop bitterness. Very good dry stout , leaves the most famous one for dust.

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