Saturday, September 29, 2007

Golden Bitters

The first two beers from the shipment I have tried could be classified as either English Golden Ales or Bitters and both take a very different approach. English Golden Ales are all the rage right now with there light colour and zesty hop character appealing to drinkers more attuned to macro lager.

The original cask version of Coniston Bluebird Bitter comes from a brewery behind the Black Bull pub in Coniston Cumbria, however after the success at the 1998 GBBF a bottled version was contract brewed. The current brewer is in fact Hepworth of Horsham Sussex, a brewer who's beer I have been lucky enougth to taste as a freind of mine originally hails from Horsham and brought me back some beer on her last trip home. Bluebird has a mixed reputation with some people I know identifing it as being highly overated. I was very excited to finally get the chance to make my own mind up.

Coniston Bluebird 4.2% abv
Pours a light gold with a tight disappearing white head, Aroma features loads of sulphur with a moderate tangy citric goldings character. On the palate there is plenty of resinous hop which gives way to sweet nutty malt with a hint of stewed barley which builds on the palate as you drink finally becoming unpleasant. Good clean finish that could do with a little more grunt to cut the malt.

While this wasn’t a totally bad beer I think in regards to the contract brewed bottled version I’m in the overrated camp.

I wrote about the Saltaire brewery here back in August. The more I try there beers the more I like the brewery, every beer so far has been a cracker!. Saltaire Goldings Ale is described as a golden ale and named after the classic English hop. It was a surprise then to find an awesome malty pale

Saltaire Goldings Ale 4.2%abv
Pours a crystal clear light gold with a tight fluffy white head. Exceptional sweet toffee aroma with a hint of mineraly character, interestingly earthy citric hops only seem to appear as the beer warms.
On the palate there is heaps of sweet malty toffee, hints of nuts and earthy hop ending in a satisfyingly bitter finish. Awesome beer not nearly as hop driven as the name would suggest but a top pint.

Oh the glory!

No comments: