Forest Fruits – Wychwood Brewery (Witney, England)

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  • My Rating: FAIL

Forest Fruits Mixed Berry Fruit Beer – Wychwood Brewery, 4.2% ABV – 500ml, (Witney, England)

On the back label:

“A traditionally crafted beer, infused with mixed Bramble berries to deliver a truly distinctive, refreshingly fruity flavour to savour.”

  • Style: (Bramble Berry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: artificial sweetener -> red bull/apple -> rough/burpy/medicinal finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50 – 500ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: A beautiful label on their own branded bottle. Pours pale orange with almost no head nor retention, almost no activity either.

Nose: a very fruity fieldberry nose, a mixture of raspberry-blackberry-strawberry, though somewhat perfume-like. (7)-aromatic strength.

Attack: aspartame-like, medicinal

Mid-palate: fizzy texture, (3)-sweetness, (MAIN) club soda, elderflower, red bull, watered-down apple juice

Finish: rough on the palate, burpy, light apple-medicinal finish.

Summary:  It drinks like an under-sweetened energy drink. The body is flat, flavour is awful, and nothing like any bramble berries I’ve ever tasted. NOT recommended. (Note: numbers above are on a 10-point weak-strong scale)

Bah Humbug!

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Bah Humbug! – Wychwood Brewery, 5.0% ABV – 500ml, (Oxfordshire, England)

On the back label:

“Brewed with the choicest hops & malt, lightly spiced with cinnamon, this is a rich ale complemented with subtle tones of dried fruits. Beer with Cinnamon. (Note: cloves and coriander but no cinnamon in the listed ingredients)”

  • Style: Spiced Ale
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Caramel-orange -> fizzy/cloves/coriander -> malty/med-bitter finish.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50, November 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear medium dark copper brown with a very small head, light retention, lots of active streams mainly in the center. Malts, cloves and hints of orange peel on the nose. Drinks with 7/10-sweet caramel malts up front, light cocoa, sweet orange peel, light malted bitterness, coriander and cloves near the finish, fading partially thin/watery and medium bitter. Medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability. Okay flavour profile but body thins out at the finish.

Duchy Originals Old Ruby Ale 1905

Old Ruby Ale – Duchy Originals from Waitrose, 5% ABV – 500ml, (Oxfordshire, UK)

On the front label:

“A deliciously robust rich blend of hops and malt, including an English barley first used in 1905 called plumage archer.”

  • My Rating: D+
  • Why I don’t like it: one-note and boring
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50, April 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: NO

Tasting notes: pours copper brown, minimal head, several active CO2 streams. Medium malts, transitions into a watery body, rough finish in mouth. Finishes medium bitter. Low complexity, low-medium depth, okay transitions, not so good carry, no good drinkability. I only taste malts, quite boring.

Re-tasted (12/2012): Rating: C- Notes: Pours almost clear copper brown, almost no head, not much activity. (honesty) a bit of fart on the nose. Drinks with med malts and hops up front, sourness, dryness, finishing sharp hoppy bitter. Low-med complexity, medium depth, okay carry, okay transitions, okay drinkability.

Old Hooky – Hook Norton Brewery, 4.6% ABV, (Oxon, UK)

On the back label:

“A beautifully balanced beer, fruity by nature with a well-rounded body and the suggestive echo of crystal malt. Brewed for the discerning drinker, try it as an accompaniment to meat dishes. Cheers!”

“We have been brewing award winning beers since 1849. Our traditional Victorian tower brewery, deep in the Oxfordshire countryside, is still powered by a steam engine.”

“Our beers contain natural ingredients – malted barley and wheat, hops and yeast. With pure spring water from our own spring-fed well.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I kinda like it: Great complexity for a low ABV beer
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: <$6 for a 500ml, Summer 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes
  • Listed in the “1001 beers you must taste before you die”

Tasting Notes: pours amber-orange-brown, decent thick head, sporadic sticky lacing, micro CO2, lots of CO2 streams. Medium malts on the nose. 5/10 mildly citrus fruitiness upfront mixed with medium malts and hints of nuttiness. Stays sweet through the mids and smoothly transitions into an off-dry hoppy bitterness that lingers at the top of mouth and partially down the throat. This beers drinks strangely “warm” and the carbonation is so ultra soft that all the flavour sensations are vibrant and clean <- quite unique. Medium-high body (amazing for 4.6% ABV), medium complexity, medium-long length, medium depth, 7/10 carry. Brewed with barley and wheat. Solid, worth 1x try.