Thwaites Crafty Dan

Thwaites: Crafty Dan (England: ESB: 6% ABV)

Visual: Just slightly hazy yellow to peach skin coloured base with a large sud and loose bubbled ripe banana touched head. The head leaves sud rings as the beer descends.

Nose: Raspberry Pavlova. Pineapple. Crushed custard cream biscuits. Apricot. Fruit syrup.

Body: Gooseberry. Good bitterness and hops. Juicy peach. Marshmallow. Carmel malt. Passion fruit. Slight soured twist. Raspberry Pavolva. Tangerine.

Finish: Marshmallows. Good bitterness. Pineapple. Fluffy feel left over. Gooseberry. Dried passion fruit.

Conclusion: Damn. I didn’t expect a beer from Thwaites to actually be this good. This is genuinely full bodied, craft hopped in its fruitiness, everything layered on excellently over a thick malt heavy body.

It’s been long time since I last tried Oakham Asylum, but from memory I would say that this compares very well with it indeed – and that is high praise. It is a very bright beer – sharp raspberry over pavlova, gooseberry and tart orange, with understated but robust bitterness backing it up. The sweet malt seem to be a big element in keeping the hop flavours in check so you find it very slightly restrained in the main body, but after you swallow the remaining air is just so fruity and fresh now it is unopposed. You just get full fruit hop flavour lighting up your mouth.

This is remarkably good – the flavour is at a level I would normally associate with an IPA, but the bitterness is far reined back, and the malt really works the main stage with huge caramel.

It even slightly reminds me, flavour wise – not bitterness – of Arrogant Bastard Ale in the way it pushes both the malt and the real big flavours of the hops. A seriously good beer.

Background: Looking online, apparently this was brewed to celebrate the first year anniversary of Thwaites’ in house micro brewery. I didn’t even know they had an in house micro brewery. My finger is not on the pulse of the modern beer scene. I am also suspicious of non craft breweries trying to jump on the craft bandwagon. See Brains brewery for an example of how this can go badly wrong. Anyway, this was the last of the three beers given to me at Christmas by my work colleague. many thanks. Drunk while listening to some Against Me! and catching up on what was new on ERocks channel. I am finding the Black Crosses part of the White Crosses/Black Crosses double CD is by far my preferred side for Against Me!.

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