I know it has been a while since my last post and I am sorry for that. Hopefully this ale will make up for the lack of content of late. As you may have noticed, it has started to get a bit colder and a bit greyer, which can only mean that Autumn  is starting to settle in. The ale I will be telling you about today is certainly one to try and combat the decreasing temperature and overcast conditions. ‘Dark Lord’ (5.0% ABV) comes from Batemans brewery based in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire. Batemans is a great brewery with many fine ales to choose from.
'Dark Lord' is, as the name suggests, dark in colour, not as dark as a stout but a very dark ruby colour. It is a very rich and full blooded ale, which is largely down to the alcohol content. As I mentioned before this is certainly an ale for warming you up in the colder months. It is also one that will you leave swaying a bit if you underestimate it. Perhaps this might not be to everyone's taste but I think it is an extremely quaffable ale and goes down very smooth. 
I give this ale 8.5/10
Happy ale drinking!
Harvey

I know it has been a while since my last post and I am sorry for that. Hopefully this ale will make up for the lack of content of late. As you may have noticed, it has started to get a bit colder and a bit greyer, which can only mean that Autumn  is starting to settle in. The ale I will be telling you about today is certainly one to try and combat the decreasing temperature and overcast conditions. ‘Dark Lord’ (5.0% ABV) comes from Batemans brewery based in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire. Batemans is a great brewery with many fine ales to choose from.

'Dark Lord' is, as the name suggests, dark in colour, not as dark as a stout but a very dark ruby colour. It is a very rich and full blooded ale, which is largely down to the alcohol content. As I mentioned before this is certainly an ale for warming you up in the colder months. It is also one that will you leave swaying a bit if you underestimate it. Perhaps this might not be to everyone's taste but I think it is an extremely quaffable ale and goes down very smooth. 

I give this ale 8.5/10

Happy ale drinking!

Harvey

A couple of weeks ago I set off for Edinburgh to take in the delights of the fringe festival. Whilst I was there I thought I would make use of the great opportunity to try some Scottish ales. So the ale I bring to you today comes from a brewery in the Orkney Islands. As you might expect the brewery is called the Orkney Brewery and this is a review of ‘Northern Light’ (4% ABV). The Orkney Brewery has an interesting tag line which it prints on its bottles which says ‘5000 years in the making’, which makes reference to the Orkney Islands first being inhabited 5000 years ago. 
Northern Light is a very easy drinking pale ale with delicate flavours. The aroma suggests strong citrus and hoppy flavours but to the taste these come across far more subtly. This makes for a crisp and refreshing pint, perfect for accompanying a hot day lounging in the garden.  
I give this ale 7/10.
Until next week.
Happy ale drinking!
Harvey

A couple of weeks ago I set off for Edinburgh to take in the delights of the fringe festival. Whilst I was there I thought I would make use of the great opportunity to try some Scottish ales. So the ale I bring to you today comes from a brewery in the Orkney Islands. As you might expect the brewery is called the Orkney Brewery and this is a review of ‘Northern Light’ (4% ABV). The Orkney Brewery has an interesting tag line which it prints on its bottles which says ‘5000 years in the making’, which makes reference to the Orkney Islands first being inhabited 5000 years ago. 

Northern Light is a very easy drinking pale ale with delicate flavours. The aroma suggests strong citrus and hoppy flavours but to the taste these come across far more subtly. This makes for a crisp and refreshing pint, perfect for accompanying a hot day lounging in the garden.  

I give this ale 7/10.

Until next week.

Happy ale drinking!

Harvey

In this post we will be looking at a very special ale, one with much history and reputation. This week’s focus is Samuel Smith’s, Imperial Stout (7% ABV). Sam Smith’s brewery is one of the finest breweries we have, not just in the North, but in the entire UK. Having had a fair few of their varieties, I can say that they do not put a foot wrong. Each of their ales is lovingly crafted and steeped in tradition and their ‘Imperial Stout’ is no exception to this. 
This particular brew was originally produced to withstand the abuses of being shipped long distances. The high percentage strength meant that it would keep for longer without going off. Large vats of ‘Imperial Stout’ were shipped to Imperial Russia, as the Russian nobility had a taste for the finest food and drink.
'Imperial Stout' is extremely dark in colour and rich in flavour. It is an ale which warms you up from the moment it slips down your throat, giving the drinker a nice sensation with each gulp. This stout is the perfect mixture of silky chocolate and maltiness, making the drinker feel as though velvet were being poured over their tongue. 
I give this ale 8/10
Until next week.
Happy ale drinking!

In this post we will be looking at a very special ale, one with much history and reputation. This week’s focus is Samuel Smith’s, Imperial Stout (7% ABV). Sam Smith’s brewery is one of the finest breweries we have, not just in the North, but in the entire UK. Having had a fair few of their varieties, I can say that they do not put a foot wrong. Each of their ales is lovingly crafted and steeped in tradition and their ‘Imperial Stout’ is no exception to this. 

This particular brew was originally produced to withstand the abuses of being shipped long distances. The high percentage strength meant that it would keep for longer without going off. Large vats of ‘Imperial Stout’ were shipped to Imperial Russia, as the Russian nobility had a taste for the finest food and drink.

'Imperial Stout' is extremely dark in colour and rich in flavour. It is an ale which warms you up from the moment it slips down your throat, giving the drinker a nice sensation with each gulp. This stout is the perfect mixture of silky chocolate and maltiness, making the drinker feel as though velvet were being poured over their tongue. 

I give this ale 8/10

Until next week.

Happy ale drinking!

Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chambers of my brain.
Quantist thoughts – queerest fancies,
Come to life and fade away:
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.

Edgar Allan Poe

After reviewing a couple of ales I have decided to expand my blog to cover great ale drinking pubs. My first pub is one that I came across whilst working in Farringdon, London. When I first walked in the atmosphere was buzzing, the room filled with people engrossed in deep conversation and quaffing fine ales.

The décor is a fine mix  of old fashioned wooded fittings and modern upholstered seating following the outer wall. A rather interesting feature of this pub is its mirrored ceiling, which gives the drinker a variety of birds eye views of the hustle and bustle.

The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, making each drinker’s experience a personal one. Behind the bar they wait to tailor the ale you buy to your personal tastes and preferences. The Craft Beer Company also operate a taster system, allowing the drinker to try before they buy. This is a service that is found in any good ale pub but one that is appreciated all the same. From the picture above you can see that this pub has an extremely wide variety of ales on offer; a variety that is not restricted to the tap. The Craft Beer Company also has two tall fridges filled with many obscure and tasty beers for anyone who wishes to broaden their horizons. This particular pub also has the accolade of CAMRA pub of the year for the city of Clerkenwell. 

Although not strictly about ale, reviewing a pub is all about the complete experience and part of that experience for this pub is the delicious, albeit limited, bar food. On offer are 3 varieties of genuine Norfolk pork pies produced by a local farm. These are delivered to the customer on a small wooden paddle along with a little pot of mustard, making for a quaint and enjoyable sitting. To add to this classic bar snack, also available are some similarly produced scotch eggs, which are of an equally high standard. 

As you can see, I have also included a map giving the location of The Craft Beer Company, with nearest train stations for easy access. To get to the pub I would advise getting off at either Farringdon, which is accessible via National Rail, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and Circle Lines or Chancery Lane Tube Station, which is accessible via the Central Line. The pub is roughly a 5-10 minute walk from either of these stations. Holborn Tube Station is also within walking distance but has a slightly longer journey time of approximately 15-20 minutes. 

All in all, this pub is well worth a venture and I strongly recommend it.

Enjoy and happy ale drinking!

Harvey

Due to a question recently posed to me, for this week’s ale, I have selected one which is not only one of my personal favourites but also quite right for this time of year. Oakham Brewery’s, Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (JHB, 3.8% ABV) is this weeks selection and what a special ale it is. In a ranking of all ales I have tasted, I would put JHB in my top 3 and I have had many an ale I can assure you. This light, golden bitter goes down very smoothly, with its fairly low strength and subtle bitterness. The hop combination along with its citrusy notes make for a very refreshing pint. JHB is born in the Midlands and so can be found more prevalently on tap in that region. However, in bottle form, it is far more widely stocked and can be found at many local supermarkets. 
I give this ale a 9/10.
Happy ale drinking!
Until next week,
Harvey

Due to a question recently posed to me, for this week’s ale, I have selected one which is not only one of my personal favourites but also quite right for this time of year. Oakham Brewery’s, Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (JHB, 3.8% ABV) is this weeks selection and what a special ale it is. In a ranking of all ales I have tasted, I would put JHB in my top 3 and I have had many an ale I can assure you. This light, golden bitter goes down very smoothly, with its fairly low strength and subtle bitterness. The hop combination along with its citrusy notes make for a very refreshing pint. JHB is born in the Midlands and so can be found more prevalently on tap in that region. However, in bottle form, it is far more widely stocked and can be found at many local supermarkets. 

I give this ale a 9/10.

Happy ale drinking!

Until next week,

Harvey

Anonymous said: What ale would you recommend - as the best “summer” thirst quenchers? TC

Ale is not typically a summer drink and so us ale lovers sometimes look for alternatives to quench our thirst in the hot and sticky conditions. However, many breweries have cottoned onto this and filled this gap with some beautiful, refreshing ales, so there are a few that I could recommend to you. One of my favourites, which is readily available in supermarkets, is Badger Brewery’s, Golden Champion (5% ABV). This is perfect for those long summer days lounging in the garden or watching some cricket from the boundary. Another which I would strongly recommend for a dry mouth is Castle Rock Brewery’s, Harvest Pale (3.8% ABV). This is a very crisp pale ale with lovely citrus and hop notes. Very easy drinking and also widely sold, especially in the Midlands. Hopback Brewery’s, Summer Lightning (5% ABV) is one you may have to watch out for as it goes down far too easy and you may end up with a headache in the morning. My final ale for you to go and sip in the sun is Adnams Brewery’s, Southwold Bitter (4.1% ABV). These ales are all great for quenching your thirst but my rule of thumb for those summer days is to stick with those that are lighter in colour and maybe even lower in percentage (don’t hold me to that last one). Maybe the occasional bitter but the strong darker ales are what get you through the winter. My answer is clearly limited and there are many more ales which can serve this purpose but these are a few of my favourites. 

I hope this helps you out and thank you for your question. 

Happy ale drinking!

Harvey

As this is my very first blog post, I feel it is fitting to select an ale which is one of my all time favourites. Robinsons brewery, based in Stockport, is one of the finer breweries in the North of England and in this post we will be looking at one of their best. ‘Chocolate Tom’ is a hybrid ale based on Robinsons original ‘Old Tom’ but has been infused with cocoa to give it a beautiful chocolatey flavour. I know not all ale lovers are partial to the sweeter varieties but the strength of alcohol (6% A.B.V) in ‘Chocolate Tom’ makes for a good beery after taste. I must say that I was amazed when I first tried this particular ale, as I was unaware that it was possible for an ale to taste so similar to chocolate. So if you love chocolate and you love ale, this is the perfect one for you.     
If you are new to world of real ale, I would advise you not to be dissuaded by the dark colour of some ales, such as ‘Chocolate Tom’, you may find that they are the ones you love the most. 
I gives this ale 9/10
Happy ale drinking!
Until next week
Harvey

As this is my very first blog post, I feel it is fitting to select an ale which is one of my all time favourites. Robinsons brewery, based in Stockport, is one of the finer breweries in the North of England and in this post we will be looking at one of their best. ‘Chocolate Tom’ is a hybrid ale based on Robinsons original ‘Old Tom’ but has been infused with cocoa to give it a beautiful chocolatey flavour. I know not all ale lovers are partial to the sweeter varieties but the strength of alcohol (6% A.B.V) in ‘Chocolate Tom’ makes for a good beery after taste. I must say that I was amazed when I first tried this particular ale, as I was unaware that it was possible for an ale to taste so similar to chocolate. So if you love chocolate and you love ale, this is the perfect one for you.     

If you are new to world of real ale, I would advise you not to be dissuaded by the dark colour of some ales, such as ‘Chocolate Tom’, you may find that they are the ones you love the most. 

I gives this ale 9/10

Happy ale drinking!

Until next week

Harvey

spooksterbarnes said: Which Brewery/ale would be most likely to fight, and defeat, a Basilisk?

Thank you for your inquiry. This raises a very valid and interesting question. I will give you two answers, one for the brewery and one for the ale. Having done my research, I know that the Basilisk’s weakness is the crowing of a rooster. In this light, the brewery which I will pick to defeat the Basilisk is Courage brewery whose emblem is a rooster; hopefully the Basilisk would be warded off by the mere sight of it. For the individual ale I would go for Cocker Hoop by Jennings brewery as this too has a cockerel on its label. The cockerel also appears to be in full song, which would instil even more fear into the Basilisk.