Wild Beer Stalker

Wild Beer Co: Stalker (England: Old Ale: 7% ABV)

Visual: Very dark red to brown. Thin smoke colour touched head.

Nose: Sour red grapes. Malt chocolate. Very light vinegar sharpness early on. Red wine. Rum soaked sultanas.

Body: Sour cherries. Madeira cake. Malt chocolate. Thick feel. Light earthy character. Red wine and raisins.

Finish: Malt drinks. Earthy notes. Bitter chocolate. Banana pie touches.

Conclusion: While I, and ratebeer it seems, have come to the conclusion this is an old ale, it manages to give a lot of the characteristics of that style, without the excessive weight that can come with some of them. In fact I would consider this beer slightly dangerous in that it does not give any hint of that 7% it is packing.

In fact the less alcohol feel means that there is almost an ESB call to the use of the flavours, with lots of raisins, red wine notes and red fruit which reminds me of Fuller’s ESB, but more complex and vinous. The aroma initially had some hint of sharper notes, but that soon smoothes out. As is you get a few of the more sour wine notes showing, but mainly a lot of influence from malt chocolate flavoured backbone and lots of raisins. Now the beer doesn’t have the complexity of Modus Operandi, and MO is by far the better beer, but this is very interesting and gives you a greater respect for where MO came from.

This is a nice wee beer, a bit strong in abv for what it brings but still pretty good. It is worth noting that it was a bloody hot day that I drank this one, and it survived that less than optimal environment well, which I will give it points for, but it is definitely more of a Winter beer.

Overall though it is very satisfying, a just sour touched enough malt heavy beer. Interesting and good if not great like some of its Wild Beer siblings. It still gives enough depth to while away the time with.

Background: I’ve been meaning to do more cask beers for a while. I also adore Wild Beer Company Beers. This, therefore is the perfect thing for me to find. Drunk on cask tap at the Small Bar in Bristol. First time I’ve been there, pretty nice tap list and friendly staff. This is the base beer for Modus Operandi, served here in its unaged form. Not sure why it is called Stalker, as it doesn’t appear to have any links to a Russian mercenary on its way to Chernobyl. If you get that reference you are probably a geek as well.