The Saltaire beers have been popping up in NZ over the last few months and as I have already written on this blog, I’m a big fan. All the beers feature a prominent malt accent with earthy robust English hopping taking a supporting roll.
Fuggels Bitter 3.8%abv
Pours a mid gold with a white thick creamy head. Complex aroma features a heathery spicy hop character, tangy fruit, a hint of caramel and a boiled sweet note. On the palate there is lots of sweet creamy malt, a hint of the boiled sweet note from the aroma and a clean hop finish. Drinks way above its 3.8%abv..
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.
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. A big resounding bitterness is left at the end. A fantastic bitter that might be a little more balanced if served through a sparkler in the
Challanger Special 5.2%abv
Pours dark amber with a white head. Aroma features chocolate, and dark rich toffee. The palate features roasty, chewy malt with a distinct smoky character, the complex malt combination perhaps reminds me more of a new world scotch ale than an English beer, ends in a smooth clean bitter finish.