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    Monday, 3 December 2007

    Beer Of The Month - November 2007

    I had 56 new beers in November which isn't a bad month especially when you consider I didn't really go out very much. I had a couple of trips to Leicester and a short session in Nottingham, but other than that it was pretty much bottles at home.

    The two best beers I had were both from the bottle. Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer is the beer which has caused the most controversy in my surfing month, but it is truly a lovely beer, with the character from the rum enhancing the oaky flavours which I&G beers have. The other top bottled beer is Consecrator Doppelbock from Bells Brewery in Michigan. I was lucky enough to be sent this beer by an American RateBeerian together with another couple of Bells' beers. I am a huge fan of doppelbocks, loving the sticky sweet alcohol fused beers, and this one didn't disappoint. It is perhaps not as rich as the classic German doppelbocks like Celebrator or Maximator, but it is still a lovely beer, and not noticeably American. Other commendable bottled beers were Jubeltrunk Altfränkisch, a dunkel from Pyraser Landbrauerei, and Winter Time Winter Warmer, the new seasonal offering from Meantime of London.

    Five cask ales have stood out this month. Two of them are milds and the other three golden ales. I did have some stronger winter ales, but they didn't match up to these five. The three goldens were Hype from BrewDog. A lot has been blogged about this progressive Scottish brewery but one thing is for sure: they are not afraid to use ingredients. This is very well hopped for a 4.1% beer, and very easy to drink. The other two I had one after the other and they were amazingly similar. Both very much brewed in the American Pale Ale mould with piney hops and a nice balance from the malts. These beers were 3 Witches from Oakham, and Gold Rush from Elland. Both are well worth seeking out. The two milds were Rock Mild from Nottingham which I had in the historic old Bell Inn in Nottingham itself. This was a beer full of flavour from the roasted malt, but also suprisingly hoppy. At 3.8% it was quite amazing. The other mild was the current Champion Beer Of Britain, Hobsons Mild. This was the first time I had had this beer in five years and my memories of it being an excellent beer were fully correct. I am not sure it is the best beer in Britain today, but it's pretty damn good, and all at the miniscule 3.2%.

    Overall I would have to award Innis & Gunn the overall beer of the month, and Nottingham Rock Mild the cask ale of the month, bot h very good beers, but I am very hopeful for better in December. After all we all treat ourselves aound Christmas time.

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