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.

Hobgoblin – Wychwood Brewery (England)

Hobgoblin – Wychwood Brewery, 5.2% ABV – 500ml, (Whitney, England)

On the back label:

“Full-bodied & well balanced with a chocolate toffee malt flavour, moderate bitterness & a distinctive fruity character & ruby red glow.”

  • Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Creamy airness -> sarsaparilla/malts/chocolate -> sharp lingering bitterness.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50, Summer 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours root beer brown with a hint of red, small creamy head, thin retention, tight clusters of CO2 streams. Hints of malts on the nose, but otherwise muted. Drinks with a crisp creaminess airyness up front, tastes of sarsaparilla, malts, mild chocolate, cutting quickly into a sharp lingering bitterness. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, okay carry, decent drinkability.

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.