Tag Archive: Oakham

Oakham: Inferno (England: Golden Ale: 4.4% ABV)

Visual: Pale and light yellow. Clear. Still. Small white head.

Nose: Thick, muggy passion fruit. Vanilla hop character. Doughnut. Pineapple.

Body: Grapes. Moderate bitterness. Soft golden syrup and vanilla. Soft kiwi. Good hop character and prickle. Soft fudge. Light strawberry. Soft lemon.

Finish: Good bitterness and hop oils. Pineapple. Good hop character. Passion fruit.

Conclusion: Ah, Oakham, the experts of getting the best bits of traditional British ales and matching them with the craft hop style with subtle mastery. Always good to see these beers again.

This has the traditional, kind of Real Ale in a bottle feeling base (of note, it doesn’t say on the bottle that it is real ale, best I can see, it just has that feel). It has a nice thickness and slight call to, but not heavy, sulphur touched weight – hope that makes sense. It hints at the characteristic rather than having overt flavours. Behind that the base is soft vanilla and lemon notes, with occasional stronger but not overly heavy golden syrup notes.

The front is taken by excellent hop usage- tart grapes and pineapple – used in moderation for a balanced, flavoursome but easy to drink beer. The flavours are clean as can be – adding freshness, but holding back from being a full on hop assault.

Big juicy flavour over well set golden ale base, dry enough to be drinkable, juicy flavoured with just slight oily hope bitterness. At a touch lower abv that would be an utterly awesome session beer – as is it is a solid one to have one or two of with mates, or at pretty much any drinking occasion.

Excellent work again form Oakham.

Background: Oakham! How long has it been since I went back to Oakham? These lot balance the real ale and craft tricks perfectly – used to love finding them on cask at random pubs. Anyway, Tony, in his great taste, gave this as the final of his birthday presents for me. Much appreciate mate. Went with Nightwish – Dark passion Play again for this one – been really enjoying them since my mate Andy introduced me to them.

Oakham: Green Devil (England: IPA: 6% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain to yellow, clear with lots of small bubbles. White dash of a head. On later pours head was much larger and a certain cloudiness of body introduced.

Nose: Pineapple, custard and bicuity (So custard cream biscuits then). Fresh but moderate hope presence.

Body: Good bitterness and crushed digestives. Pineapple. Lightly oaken. Toffee sweetness. Slightly resinous and some apricot.

Finish: White grapes and hops. Elderberry. Dry gritty bitterness. Very biscuit filled. Dried apricot. Decent resin feel takes over from the grittiness quite quickly.

Conclusion: For a heavily hopped beer this really doesn’t kick mid body. Very easy drinking. It is a quite resinous beer, and the finish brings the hop kick that seems missing mid body, though never goes into the silly stakes hop wise. In fact the most notable element to me is actually the biscuit that fills the beer, in a very soothing way.

Possibly that says more about how blasé I have become to bitterness, rather than anything about the beer, but anyway, I shall continue.

There is a reasonable call to the American style IPAs (A fact that became easily explained when I found out it is Citra hopped), with lost of citrus and apricot flavours, and a decent weight to the flavour as well. The texture is tad thicker than the average interpretation, and the biscuit base is a treat to layer everything else upon.

The solid nature of the base grounds the beer well, but also seems to hold it back from quite hitting the heights it could. Not a terrible thing as the grounding makes it easier to drink in the sizable bottles it comes in, but all the elements that make it so easily drinkable also seem to cap the heights it can reach.

Minor points though. That slight toffee sweetness and great citrus fruit make a great one two punch. Across the whole pint and a bit you get in a bottle it kept my interest and never became too heavy. Very well crafted and very solid enjoyable beer.

Background: Single hopped with Citra, a hop with a massive reputation. Oddly while I enjoy Citra beers, I don’t go quite as nuts for it as most people seem to.  Still I never complain to see in included. Oakham are a great brewery but until recently their bottled line didn’t show anywhere near the skill they could bring to the cask line. With the recently released new bottle lines I’m hoping some of their finer beers become more easily available.

Oakham: Akhenaten (England:ESB:4.9% ABV)

Visual: Clear grain gold with virtually no head of bubbles.

Nose: Orange, hops and syrup, slight citrus fresh. Gooseberries.

Body: Sweet with a backing of stable but strong hops. Orange and syrup. Light fudge, grapes, lemon curd and vanilla. Tingles on the tongue.

Finish: Lime, greenery and growling hops into lasting charred bitterness and sour lime juice.

Conclusion: Fantastic sweet and almost grape and wine feeling beer with a huge hope effort that counterbalances nicely.

Very much a mix of old and new, with the traditional grape and old recipe elements that call back to the Egyptian theme so prominent coming into direct clash with the new wave hop attack. Contrary to all you would expect this results in something wonderful.

Full flavoured and really plays with what can be done with the style, brilliant crafted – the sweet and hops are matched in perfect harmony.

So two beers at the festival so far and both are top notch.

Guest Taster: Dylan

Nose: Sweet/ sharp and sugary. Sweet fruit texture- elderberry.

Body: As with the nose, elderberry is very dominant. Very crisp, sharp but with a smooth tangy aftertaste.

Finish: Very Pleasant fruity beer leaving a tangy aftertaste. Very Good.

Random Quotes

“A well crafted son of a gun”

“A taste we should never forget – the old style ale”

Oakham: Midnight Mild (England: Mild: 4.0% ABV)

Visual: Opaque black with a moderate coffee cream beige head.

Nose: Very mild, hops, cream and coffee.

Body: Treacle, light bitter and milk chocolate. Malty. Slightly milky. Very light smoke.

Finish: Treacle and charring, then some bitter chocolate comes out. Quite dry feel.

Conclusion: A reasonable mild, but not one that particularly excites. It’s definitely a gulper not a sipper, as so often with the style. Doesn’t overstay its welcome, and rolls out a decent mix of flavours, not nothing seems to quite stick.

Another beer that’s unobjectionable but doesn’t find its own niche. Mild in type, nature and recollection. Unobtrusive would be the best word.

Oakham: Asylum (England: Bitter: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Pine, with an oranged hue and a small bubbly white head.

Nose: Grapefruit, light yet fresh hops. Some sharp lemon. Citrus dominated with passion fruit and a hint of strawberry. Very well done.

Body: Pineapple, lime jelly, vanilla and toffee traces. Good malt backbone and hops laced throughout the flavours in balanced and not overpowering measures.

Finish: Strawberry and hops with a growing bitterness and light charring that gives an edge to the lighter flavour. Popcorn and popcorn butter. Lemon. Finally a nice traditional ale finish emerges.

Conclusion: Very well put together bitter, bringing a new wave style excitement to an oft overly traditional style. Reminds me somewhat of the brewdog brands with the grapefruit and pineapple elements – however they tie this into a solid bitter core without compromising either element which gives a traditional core and exciting range and makes it very much its own thing. Nice sweet and fruity with decent bitterness, a very balanced rounded pint.

Very easy to appreciate, and yes you could have a few pints, though probably a tad strong flavoured for a long session pint. An almost punk IPA take on a bitter and very impressive at that. May not be worth quite the journeys I went to in order to try it, but definitely worth trying in nigh any other circumstance.

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