Archive for September, 2012

Old Worthy

Some time ago I got a message on twitter asking if I would like to try some beer. Well, it would be rude not to, so I replied to the message, they then asked my address, which I gave them and that was the last I heard about it,  that is until this weekend. When I got back from work on Friday I found I had a parcel waiting for me. Sure enough, inside was a bottle of Old Worthy.

So what was it like? Well, I’m sure you can see from the picture that it was a light golden coloured beer. It was highly carbonated, as is often the case with bottled beers. I found that it was a bit too fizzy for me I’m afraid, but that’s not to say that it spoilt the drink. Far from it, I really enjoyed this bottle.

Taste? Well first of all, all I could think was that I found it to be particularly sweet. I was expecting there to be a more hoppy taste to it than there was, which I found slightly disappointing. Also I didn’t really find much of an earthy, peaty flavour, which the bottle talks about. There was a more grassy, lemony feel to it, although that doesn’t quite put justice to what I was tasting. There was another flavour in there which I can’t put my finger on. I want to say rubber, but that would be doing the beer a disservice. What ever it was I found it worked well with the other flavours.

I would say that I should have let the bottle chill a bit before drinking, this bottle had been left on the side all day and I fear was a bit too warm to judge fully. I would also be interested to see how it differs when it is on draught. I have been trying to find if there is going to be a cask version available, but the website is a little sparse. I would guess that Old Worthy would make a good cask ale, not being quite so sparkling and also being kept at the right temperature in the cellar would help to showcase the flavours in the beer.

Final verdict:

6½ / 10

I would guess that a cask version would score higher, but for me it was slightly too fizzy and the flavours a bit unpronounced.

So what was it like then?

Three gallons of cider to drink. That was the upshot of the last post. I had one gallon of Ben Crossman’s Home Orchard Special (7.%)and two gallons of Thatcher’s Cheddar Valley (6%).

The Cheddar Valley is a cider that I am used to and like a lot, that is why I get a batch every time I pass through Somerset. It is a bright orange colour, not clear in the slightest. Very little in the way of carbonation to begin with, the longer the bottle was kept closed, the more there was because the cider is still fermenting in the bottle. To taste, at first it seams a little watery, definitely not harsh like some ciders. There is very little in the way of tannin. A second taste reveals more of the apple flavours, again, no strong cider flavours. This is a very easy to drink cider, too easy. It has none of the strong tastes that some really traditional ciders have but does have a sweet, juicy flavour, which, although isn’t just apple juice, does remind me of sweet, sugary drinks that I had as a child, I think that may have something to do with the colour though.

The Home Orchard Special, a lighter colour than the Cheddar Valley, more clear to look at and a lighter, more straw like colour. There is a much stronger aroma from this than Cheddar Valley. To taste, it is much drier, slightly hard to get your mouth around at first, especially when I haven’t had a dry cider for a long while. The Home Orchard Special is slightly bitter as well but I found to be a much more pleasurable drink, once I had gotten accustomed to its flavour.

Of the two I would choose Ben Crossman’s over Thatcher’s, I found the Thatcher’s, while pleasurable, to be either too sweet or too watery at times, where as once I had remembered what to expect from the Crossman’s I found it to be more rounded, more flavoursome and on top of all that, more entertaining to buy.