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    Thursday, 5 February 2009

    Beer Of The Month - January 2009



    I'm not going to distinguish from now on between beers I've had before and those I haven't, when I choose my beers of the month. The only beers which are excluded are past winners. I'm not as bothered about seeking out new beers as I once was, and am far happier revisiting stuff I know is good.

    January was a quiet month on the beer front as it usually is. I didn't get out much and the beers in the garage are so cold I just couldn't be bothered bringing them in and getting them to a desirable temperature.

    As far as cask beers went I enjoyed Ascot On The Rails a dark bitter from a brewery I've consistently enjoyed. Castle Rock Black Gold in the brewery tap: The Vat & Fiddle in Nottingham; was as good as ever; a roasty yet citric mild, very much a modern beer. But the best cask ale was Thornbridge Jaipur IPA in The Kean's Head, also in Nottingham. This is the first time I've had this beer through a handpump and I think that extra pressure really brought out the fantastic hop flavours. I'm hoping to get to The Coach & Horses in Dronfield in May; that'll be a lot of fun.

    As far as bottles go I had real high hopes for Struise Mikkeller. When two fantastic brewers get together and produce a 9% hop monster IIPA, then I've got to be excited. Except I didn't get a hop bomb. What I did get was a strong Belgian ale with that Struise sweetness. I did enjoy it but it fell short of my expectations and desires.

    Far better was the first beer I had this year: Fullers Vintage Ale 2006 was as complexly fruity, bready, malty, hoppy and vinuous as I've come to expect from these annual offerings. A great beer which just shades the Jaipur as overall Beer Of The Month.

    5 comments:

    Mark said...

    Jaipur IPA is a worthy winner. It's a great beer. I'm tempted to say that I prefer it bottled to cask though, there is a very noticeable difference. I'm going up to the pub in Dronfield next month - very excited!

    haddonsman said...

    Welcome to my world... there's a reason why Jaipur sells out within two hours of it going on in my locals. It's a freaking awesome beer and everyone - even the lager drinkers - know so.

    And if you're coming up to the Coach, I'm happy to play tag in Sheffield or Derby. Or both. And if either of you want to go and brew at Thornbridge....

    haddonsman said...

    Welcome to my world... there's a reason why Jaipur sells out within two hours of it going on in my locals. It's a freaking awesome beer and everyone - even the lager drinkers - know so.

    And if you're coming up to the Coach, I'm happy to play tag in Sheffield or Derby. Or both. And if either of you want to go and brew at Thornbridge....

    Boak said...

    I had Jaipur on tap for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Absolutely lovely stuff.

    I'm going through a Vintage ale phase at the moment. Expensive habit.

    Artist formerly known as Wurst said...

    Anyone have an idea what it's hopped with??