Tag Archive: Hatherwood

Lidl Hatherwood The Amber Adder No 3
Lidl: Hatherwood: The Amber Adder: No 3 (England: Amber Ale: 4.3% ABV)

Visual: Ruddy red brown. Medium off white head and clear body. Very low carbonation.

Nose: Malt chocolate and toffee. Low hop character and bitterness. Orange. Brown sugar.

Body: Caramel. Prickling hop bitterness and greenery. Light glacier cherries and fruitcake. Creamy orange.

Finish: Bitter hops. Mild charring and greenery. Caramel. Some pineapple.

Conclusion: You know, it would be oh so easy to take the cheap route here, to take the piss as this is a Lidl beer. But, eh, I try to be vaguely professional and, well, this is ok. It plays everything straight down the middle, pretty much the base you would expect – caramel body, low level but present hop bitterness, and a bit of greenery character. The base you know? Oddly, colour wise it doesn’t really look that much like an amber ale though, tending more towards a ruddy brown.

So it is solid at the base, but nothing more than that is done. It favours the malt over the hops, pushing more the light fruitcake notes. There are hints of a fruity hop character – in the finish it comes out as light pineapple, but it is definitely muted as an element. The hops are more a light generic bitterness and slight rough feel character. So, yeah, more on the malt and a decent toffee, chewy base.

Well, huh, that pretty much is the beer summed up, and fairly quickly as well – there is not much to say. It is ok but without any real character from the hops, what they do use gets leaden quickly. I will repeat that it isn’t actively bad, but so very middle of the road, no risk, no glory, no stand out character.

An inoffensive beer, it passes the time, tastes ok, but doesn’t do more than that.

Background: Style call was a hard one on this – they call it an amber ale but it doesn’t have much of that character. Ratebeer calls it a bitter which does fit better. In the end I have gone with my standard, which is lean towards what the brewer calls it and judge it as that. So in this case an Amber Ale. This was another beer given by the parents while I was up north. Many thanks! Drunk while listening to Jonathan Young’s cover of Dinosaur Laser Fight. Which is awesome. On Toast. I never claimed to be mature.

Ruby Rooster

Lidl UK: Hatherwood: Ruby Rooster (England: Bitter: 3.8% ABV)

Visual: Ruby to black cherry red. Reddened brown large inch and a half of froth that leaves suds.

Nose: Earthy. Slight spice and cinnamon. Banoffee. Potatoes.

Body: Banana. Caramel. Apricot. Peanuts. Potatoes. Earthy. Slick texture. Lightly bitter, Cinnamon. Light citrus.

Finish: Banana ice cream syrup. Apricot. Light bitterness. Caramel. Light earth.

Conclusion: You know, I took a look online after doing this review and saw this beer getting quite the kicking online, with lots of jokes about it being a Lidl beer, but the thing is… I found it to be a nicely balanced beer. A bit of traditional earthy style, but generally a smooth gently sweet beer with main style of banana and caramel, understated but soothing.

Now it isn’t all great, there is this almost potato character that brings it down, but the nutty and surrounding earthy hops contrast nicely with the smooth and sweet main base. It isn’t the heaviest beer, which may put people off, but it doesn’t seem thin or weak, just mellow. There is a bit of cinnamon spice an apricot to give a few frills, but for the main part it feels like a very traditional bitter, the extra elements seem like bonuses rather than work to eclipse the base bitter style.

I will say it doesn’t in any way push the envelope, instead turning out a competent but not very exciting base beer, however as the word says, it is competently delivered. With the exception of that potato element that brings down everything else in the beer, it is actually a solid and quite enjoyable ale.

Solid, soothing, far from perfect but a nice mix of a few new elements on a traditional ale. I think it deserves better the kicking it’s getting.

Background: Lidl is a very cheap supermarket, and it turns out they commission beers to be made on their behalf – in this case brewed at Wychwood. They are cheap, but not necessarily bad – however considering it is commissioned by a fucking supermarket I find labeling it “Craft Brewed” to be a tad taking the piss, and makes me think that there may be something in getting a definition for that term after all. An idea I previously opposed for a while. This was one of a set of beers provided by my parents while I was back home over Christmas so I decided to give it a review. Many thanks for providing the beer (oh and food, and shelter, and bringing me up, and all the rest)

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