Tuesday night, fancy a beer? Beer reviews below....

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sierra Nevada - Pale Ale (USA)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
5.6% ABV

First brewed in 1980 by Ken Grossinem of Sierra Nevada.  This could have been the first beer to have kick started the whole new school of craft brewing of Pale Ales.  The intention was clear - to create a pale ale that did not lookl to the English style of pale ales but to a newer, cleaner tasting, hop-driven beer.  After extensive research and experimentation using various hops it was decided that the aromatic Cascade hops would be used in the finishing process - giving the beer a distinct flavour and aroma.  Magnum and Perle hops are used in the bittering process and two row pale and caramel are the two malts used.


A golden, clear liquid is poured with a white foam head.  On the nose an immediate smell of Cascade hops are present giving the beer a floral aroma, hints of citrus and passionfruit are there.  There is significant bitterness present during the taste but not much else.  The palate is quite light but quite gassy but has a bitter finish. 

Overall the beer has good aromas with a nice finish but not too much in between.  I was a little dissapointed by this one as I had been looking forward to tasting as had read and heard a lot of good things about it.  I would say this beer would be perfect to have alongside a few pizzas.

Scores: -

Aroma 6/10
Appearance 3.5/5
Taste 5/10
Palate 3/5
Overall 14.5/20

Total 64%

Theakston Old Peculier - The Legend (England)

Theakston Old Peculier - The Legend
Theakston Brewery
5.6% ABV (reduced from 5.7% in 2010

The Theakston family have brewed Old Peculier since 1890.  Hailing from the Yorkshire town of Masham, Theakston's brewery has been and is still producing great flavoured quality beers perfect for mid week drinking.  The brewery features a visitors centre and offers daily brewery tours.

In the brew of Old Peculier both Pale and Crystal Malts are used along with cane sugar and caramel, all contributing to the colour and flavour of this Northern English favourite.  Fuggle hops are used in both the boil and the dry hopping process adding depth and character to the mix.


An initial burnt caramel fragrance is present on the nose along with some licorice and a little resin.  The dark red/brown liquid is hazy with a creamy tan head.  On tasting; a good amount of bitterness is there initially and on the finish.  There are also some dark malt toffee flavours accompanying the bitterness.  On the palate it is surprisingly quite light for the dark colour with a good amount of weight, making for excellent drinking.

To sum up - some great bitter flavours in the mix, the colour is quite deceiving as the body is quite light allowing for quite a few of them to be consumed with ease.  A good drop.

Scores: -

Aroma 5.5/10
Appearance 4/5
Taste 6/10
Palate 4.5/5
Overall 15/20

Total 70%

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Peroni Gran Riserva (Italy)

Peroni Gran Riserva Doppio Malt
6.6% ABV

Not much information available on this beer.   In Australia it is priced for an imported 3 pack at the same price as a 6 pack of premium beers.


On the nose this beer has hay (almost) barn yard characters with the malt also present.  A clear light golden beer that has a white head.  There is an immediate high alcohol level present that is accompanied with the malt flavour that has been empasised by the "double malt" brew.  The beer itself has a light to medium body with a bitter or almost sour finish. 

Overall this beer is not worth the money, there are not enough good flavours present to leave you wanting to try more.

Scores: -

Aroma 5/10
Appearance 3/5
Taste 5/10
Palate 3.5/5
Overall 13/30

Total 59%

Young's Special London Ale (England)

Young's Special London Ale
Wells and Youngs Breweries
6.4% ABV

One of the survivors from the merger of Youngs brewery with Charles Wells.  This strong ale has been around since the late 1990's.  Starting out as an experiment by brewer Derek Price, he took a scientific approach to the research and development by experimenting with live yeast in the brewing.  The brew uses Maris Otter and Crystal malt in the mash tun and then once fermented (and prior to bottling) spends three weeks over a bed of whole Target and Golding hops emphasising the hop characters.  The final product utilises the live yeast and continues to live in the bottle.  The carbonation that is present is the natural fizz produced during fermentation.
This beer has notched up several acolades since it's launch including CAMRA Champion Bottled Beer of Britain, achieving Gold Medal Winner status in 1999 and winning Silver Medals in 2004 and 2005, In 2008, Special London Ale received the Grand Gold Monde Selection and CAMRA Champion Bottled Beer of Britain Bronze Awards and In 2006 it was named as one of the World’s Top 50 Beers in the International Beer Challenge.


The beer itself is amber in colour holding up a cloudy white head.  A zesty orange aroma is then noticeable with slight banana notes alongside a floral fragrance, all characteristics of the Golding hops used in the brew.  On the tongue there is perhaps too much hoppy orange flavours (almost marmalade) with some bitterness.  The beer has a medium body along with an average amount of carbonation.

On the whole a little too sweet upfront to score top marks there is some good bitterness on the back but just not enough other flavour going on in between.

Scores: -

Aroma 7/10
Appearance 4/5
Taste 6/10
Palate 3.5/5
Overall 16/20

Total 73%