Proper Ansome

Clearwater: Proper Ansome (England: Bitter: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown to black, frothy coffee touched bubbled head.

Nose: Lightly creamy. Light milky coffee. Peanuts. Toffee.

Body: Smooth texture. Good bitterness. Cashew nuts. Light tart apple undertone. Liquorice back. Not too heavy. Malt chocolate. Pears.

Finish: Light nuts. Apples and earthy bitterness. Malt chocolate. Light pears.

Conclusion: Shall I praise this for its subtle use of pears and apple tartness under the dark bitter body? For I will admit that element is quite well done. Or shall I criticise it for the rest of the beers elements being slightly dull?

Let us see…

The main base is a kind of malt chocolate and earthy bitterness mix, which is neither particularly interesting nor particularly well done. In fact, ratchet back the bitterness a touch and this would be more of a mild beer in style, which could explain my slight bored feel with it. (In defence of milds, while I find a lot of the beers of the style quite poor, there are the occasional very well done beer tucked away in there). The earthy finish gets wearing after a while as well so the lighter flavours don’t session that well. So overall the base elements, from texture through to flavour are very bog standard. It isn’t that they are actively bad, so much as lack elements I would call good.

Now, as I mentioned at the start, there is a bit of a twist, the light fruit undercurrent which is unusual and pretty interesting. It isn’t heavily pushed, but when you do notice it it does bring you back to the beer somewhat. However that one element is far from enough to justify the beers existence.

Unfortunately, primarily mundane.

Background: Drunk at the Raven, I grabbed it as it was from a Brewery I had not tried before. I was catching up with friends but they were kind enough to put up with my antisocial behaviour as I did the tasting note. Not much else to add to that really, the tap handle was a printout as they only got sent one handle and they had a tap upstairs and downstairs. Oh, and I didn’t really get they were punning “Proper Handsome” until half way through the beer. Some days I can be quite slow. This review took up the last page of my current notebook. Another one down.

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