Another fairly quiet month saw me drink just 42 new beers in February. Even with the extra day that's well below average! The majority of these beers were on either The Oxford Pub Crawl, or at The Merton Beer Festival.
I've already reported on the better beers I drank on these two ocassions, and to be honest, the rest of the beers I drank during the month were fairly disappointing. The one bottled beer of note was Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale which has been for sale in Oddbins. This is a hoppy beer as you would expect but somehow it seems more British in taste than American. I put that down to the body being less chewy than a lot of American IPAs although its ABV is lower than is usual. There were no other candidates for Bottle Beer Of The Month.
As far as cask conditioned goes I cannot look beyond the four outstanding beers I had at Merton. The complexity of the spicy chocolatey Milton Mammon; the roasty slightly sweet Imperial Stout Marcus Aurelius from the same brewery; the wonderfully hoppy yet superbly full bodied Oakham Oblivion, and the sensational Old Chimneys Good King Henry are all beers I would happily revisit time after time, and helped make Merton a fantastic beer festival not just for the comapny of good friends but also for the beer quality.
Good King Henry is Beer Of The Month, and comes so close to matching the bottled and aged Reserve which was the third best beer I drank in 2006. It's a rare beast on cask and special props go to the Merton organisers for puliing it off. It's a worthy winner and if I taste a better cask beer all year I will be laughing.I can't find an image of the beer anywhere so you'll have to make do with a picture of Henry VIII, who probably wasn't a good king at all (and yes I know the beer isn't anything to do with any historical kings, but rather an extinct animal or something)