Steve McCarthy
United Kingdom
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  • Steve's Blog

  • Apr 6th 2022 at 7:30 AM
    Ale festival Follow Up #2

    Two Posts in a day ... lol

    Hi ale lovers everywhere,

    The Wetherspoon Real Ale Festival is here at last in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and its been going for 7 days. It's been a great start so far, at least as far as I'm concerned with 17 of the 25 on offer tasted and very much enjoyed. If you missed my inroduction post to the festival you can read it here Festival Intro

    So, cracking on...

    Since I've tried 17 out of 25 and not to make this an overly long post, i'll start with my review of my first 4 ales, all from my targeted challenge of 8 - the three international ales and five others that looked on paper patrticularly inviting.

    Sambrooks Brewery Tomahawk (4.2% ABV)

    Hops: Cascade, Citra, Simcoe

    Dark red in a clour with a lingering maltiness, refreshing dark fruit flavours and a slighty sweet and citrusy aftertaste. The tasting notes suggested toffee and bready flavours from the malt, but i didnt get much of that - perhaps hidden by the fruitiness. Overall a fantastic 1st ale and perhaps the sign of things to come. I scored it 9 out of 10.

    Birrificio Foglie d'Erba Hot Night in the Village (5.0% ABV)

    Hops: East Kent Goldings, Target

    Dark Mahogany in colour. Coffee & chocolate smacks you in the tastebuds from the very first sip with a hint of liquorice following on. I usually find porters a bit heavy drinking, but this is far from that and a very refreshing example of the style. My score 8/10.

    Young Henry's Brewery Young Henry's Real Ale (4.0% ABV)

    Hops: Galaxy, Topaz

    Light Copper in colour, touted as a take on the traditional English bitter style, but not as dark coppery. I found this to be pleasantly citrusy, but not overpowering, a slight spiciness and a decent lasting bitter aftertaste. As with the Tomahawk, didnt really get any of stated malty flavours of caramel and toffee, but that didn't stop my enjoyment of this very refreshing ale. My score - a strong 7/10

    Hook Norton Brewery Red Rye (4.7% ABV)

    Hops: Amarillo, Chinnok, Citra, Sovereign, Willamette

    Rich, fruity aroma. Well spiced, but not really getting much in the way of raisins as stated in the tasting notes. Deep fruity aftertaste, with an ever so slight citrus twist at the end of the mouthful. Another extremely refreshing ale and I gave it a score 8 out of 10.

    So a great start to my festival experience, and it's great to have this usually bi-annual event back in the calender after the obviously troubling times we've all been through the last two years.

    More reviews to come soon.

    If you're out and about in the UK/Ireland and get the chance to try these, or any of the other beers in the festival then im sure you'll be in for a treat.


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