Chimay – Blue/Grande Reserve

WP_20161231_21_27_57_ProWhat they say: “….a dark ale with a powerful aroma. Its complex flavour improves with passing time.” and “is principally distinguished by its character of a strong beer. This is a beer whose fragrance of fresh yeast with a light, flowery rosy touch is especially pleasant. Its flavour, noticed when tasting it, only accentuates the pleasant sensations perceived in the aroma , while revealing a light but pleasant touch of roasted malt. This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurised.”

Wow, what a beer to finish 2016 on – and I did literally. This 75cl bottle was a gift and a cracking one too. I’ve never had Trappist beer before but this wont be the last one I try. A mighty 9% A.B.V so a little goes along way. Great stuff.

So, that last beer of 2016 bringing the years total of new beers to 160 and over 400 since I started the archive. Here’s to many more. Cheers and Happy New Year.

Mauldons – Bah Humbug

WP_20161231_20_18_22_ProWhat they say: “A tawny red strong seasonal bitter with a malt and fruit aroma brewed with hops and East Anglian malted barley. It has a full bodied soft finish.

Some of these ‘Christmas’ ales can be a bit sweet and fruity, but they got it right with this one – according to my taste buds anyway. Full bodied at 4.9% A.B.VWP_20161231_20_18_34_Pro

I did have a third from Mauldons to try – Silver Adder – however it poured cloudy and didn’t taste quite right. Sadly it turned out to be over three months out of date, so I tipped it away. Clearly the Co-Op in Woodbridge need to take a little more care with their stock control. Still, I hope I come across Mauldons again on our travels because there’s many more in the range to try.

December 2016

Mauldons – Suffolk Pride

WP_20161228_22_00_43_ProWhat they say: “A full bodied strong bitter, light in colour with a powerful bouquet of hops and developed fruit with a deep dry finish”

One of the joys of getting to travel like we do is discovering beers that don’t make it down to our part of the world, so I was delighted to find three beers from this Suffolk brewery on the shelf of the Co-Op in Woodbridge during our stay in nearby Hollesley.

This, the first of the three was a little too hoppy for my tastes but it was certainly full bodied at 4.8% A.B.V.

December 2016

Belhaven – Smoke Stack Stout

WP_20161227_14_18_52_ProWhat they say: “Great roasted coffee and wood-smoke aromas, rich dark chocolate and black coffee flavours combined with velvet-smooth oak notes and a spicy, smoky finish”

Owned by Greene King which might explain why this appeared in Suffolk, along way from it’s home in Dunbar, Scotland where I assume it’s brewed. I actually missed out on this last Christmas when it appeared at one of the pubs near to the Caravan site in Cherry Hinton, so was pleased to have another chance to sample it.

Wow, what a beer, it really was very smokey, but wonderfully enjoyable. Not one I drink all the time but nice as a one off – which is just as well as it’s only available in December anyway! Great stuff though. 5.0% A.B.V. December 2016

3 Brewers – IPA

WP_20161224_19_08_11_ProWhat they say: “Golden colour with an orange tint, brewed with five hops from the UK and USA and fermented longer to give a clean and dry finish.”

Sadly the last to come from the guys from St Albans but there’s three more in the range that I hope to get my hands on at some point. Another enjoyable ale that went down rather too well considering it’s ABV – 4.6%.  December 2016