Archive for December, 2012


This is the first beer which I have tried from the small selection which I was bought for Christmas. An offering from Ridgeway Brewery (I would link to them but their website seems to not exist), which, by its labelling at least, looks like it should have been exported to America. The label, for all the writing on it, tells nothing of what is inside except that it is a winter porter.

Pour and colour:
Deep and dark chestnut colour, not as dark as I would have expected for a porter. Off white head which disappeared fast. Visually you can see the bubbles bursting off the top of the beer, seems very lively, but calmed down quickly.

Aroma:
Very little, possibly some fruits, strawberry, blackcurrants, but it is very faint. Hardly any smell to it at all.

Taste:
Light coffee, quite sweet and spicy. There is a back of the throat sweetness like butterscotch. A small amount of dark chocolate.

Mouth feel:
Medium bodied. Quite sparkling to start but settled down by the end to a lightly carbonated all round pleasant feel, just as I like it.

After-taste:
Quite a warming alcoholic kick to it in the after-taste. A slightly more pronounced coffee and chocolate characteristics.

Final Verdict:

7 / 10

At first I wasn’t so sure about this one. Way to carbonated for my liking, but it did settle down and I could enjoy the taste and the warming feeling as it went down.

Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKpGdo5LI0A.

Joseph Holt’s 1849 Champion Ale

Another one of my “found un a supermarket for less than a quid” beers. 1849 (4.5%)  was only 99p in Tesco in Burnley. I decided to buy it, and review it in the hotel tonight. The label “gold medal champion ale” for the international brewing industry awards 2004 gives me high hopes.

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Pour and colour: 1849 has a dark copper colour with a thin white head which doesn’t all together disipate.

Aroma: caramel and chemicaly, slight hint of cut grass.

Taste: Bigger caramel flavour than you expect from the nose. Rounded and balanced in general. Slight citrus, lemon possibly as well.

Aftertaste: More citrus, not exactly hoppy though.

Final verdict:
6 / 10
Well rounded, with a citrus finish. Not especially different or special but definitely worth its 99p, infact, it’s a bit of a bargain.

Making mead

The following happened a few weeks ago, I know, I thought I was getting better at posting as things happened too, then I remembered this post which I has planned to write.

Basically all I want to say is that me and my mate Jay are in the process of making a batch of mead.

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Boiling water

We had been saying about doing this for some time now and a few weeks ago we finally Got our added into gear and got on with it. Were going with a very basic recipe of honey, water and yeast. That’s it.

We did read a few blogs and got some ideas about the details. We learned from a video on basicbrewing.com that it is best to use spring water or to boil tap water, this means there will be no chlorine in the must. In hind sight it was probably better to buy spring than what we did, which was wait hours for tap water to boil.

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Different website’s suggested differing amounts of honey, we went with an average of 5.1kg for our 5 gallon batch.

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When it was all said and done we got a hydrometer reading of around 1.072, if we can get that to fement down to around 1.000 then were looking at about 9.7%. Fingers crossed.

Oh, and incase you were wondering we have no money so we used Tesco Everyday Honey.