Tag Archive: Hepworth

Hepworth: Pullman (England: Bitter: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Bronzed gold. Large mounded loose white head. Lots of small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Lightly earthy and peppery. Orange skin. Perfume. Vanilla and cream. Cinnamon.

Body: Earthy, peppery bitterness. Lightly sour gummed brown paper. Creamy. Light creamy lime. Light creamy toffee. Subtle apple.

Finish: Earthy, peppery character. Gummed envelopes. Cream. Mild toffee. Very long lasting earthiness.

Conclusion: Well, this is definitely back in the earthier, peppery side of the best bitter. Oddly a style that I used to find dull due to overt exposure, but now seems like an interesting, intense burst in the midst of this wall to wall world of super fruity milkshake beers.

Weird how things change.

So, how does this do? Well it has a high level of dry, peppery bitterness which is the predominant front of the beer. There is a light touch of that sour, gummed brown paper feel that helps the drinkability in a lot of the well made best bitters, which is nice. Similarly it has a light, sweet, creaminess – a heavier note than the sour touch, but still nowhere near as predominant as the bitterness. It gives a subtle set of creamy fruit notes – very low and subtle, almost lost under the bitterness, but gives the slightest release from the earthy front.

It’s a decent balance – the sweeter cream is very understated but grows slightly throughout the beer so that the earthiness doesn’t get too harsh despite its heavy peppery and bitter kick.
It is a pretty well made beer, not world shaking but has enough variety to keep your attention during a pint. Not the best best bitter that I’ve had – but as something to have once in a while to revisit the earthy best bitter style, it is a welcome, well balanced bitter kick.

Background: Was up north visiting the family over Christmas again this year. As before they got in some beers for me. Many thanks. This best bitter was one of those. Not much else to add, you may notice things look a bit prettier in the background. Again, up north. I like the north. Anyway. Hope ye all had a good Christmas. Cheers.

Ridgeway: Bad King John (England: Stout: 6% ABV)

Visual: Black, or possibly merely a very dark ruddy red if you hold it to the light.

Nose: Bitter and slightly gritty, Maybe slightly empty coffee cup style. Crushed walnuts. Fresh crushed hops and gooseberries. Slightly ashen.

Body: Moderate bitterness. Malt drink style. Very milky coffee. Dash of sweet citrus. Touch of lime jelly and fresh orange juice. Very smooth texture indeed.

Finish:  Pineapple and slight citrus hops. Reasonable bitterness. Touch of lime. Still slightly coffeesque.

Conclusion: Am I getting jaded, or are beer labels making claims for beyond their beers grasp?  This beer is allegedly, and I quote “Bitter..Intense…like the ruthless man it honours”. Now it does have bitterness, tasty light citrus hop bitterness, but unless king John was kitten keeper who occasionally kept from them their favourite treats for bad behaviour, then the beers description is a big bloody exaggeration.

Or yes, maybe, possible, I killed my taste buds with the 1000 IBU beer a while back. That is also a feasible possibility.

It is actually quite pleasant as a beer. Solid slick texture, good use of citrus hops. Enough bitterness to the finish that it makes its presence know. But come on here, “intense”, really?  Maybe I just find hyperbole annoying, well annoying when it’s not me doing it.

Anyway…It actually balances the sweetness very well against the hops, and for a well hopped stout that’s pretty impressive as usually I don’t take to that style.  Hides the abv damn near completely as well. In fact if it was lower abv the whole balance would make it sessionable as hell.

So it is a good beer, slick and tasty.  Maybe I should get Tanja and Will to try a bottle, they still have actually working taste buds that still recognise bitterness.

Many, many digressions aside I could easily recommend this solid beer. It seems almost a BIPA in style. I mean its no Indian Ink or Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, but it has enough stylistic quirks to draw the comparison.  Very drinkable, very relaxing, and very open to me taking the piss out of its text, which is always fun.

For me anyway.

Background: Huh, so it was a stout was it? Or so ratebeer says.  With the style and citrus hops I would have guessed a milder take on the Black IPA. Guess that makes a bit more sense for the general style of the beer, but I never have quite got the idea of making stouts with heavy hops in mind, they never quite work for me.  Anyway, picked up from Sainsburys when they were having their annual show of different beers. Always feel its worth encouraging them to mix up their selection a bit.

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