Tag Archive: Vale Brewery


Vale: Black Swan: Dark Mild (England: Mild: 3.8% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown, light dust of a beige head.

Nose: Slightly sour, burnt notes. Elderberry and slight roasted nuts.

Body:  Elderberry, bitter. Slight rough texture and brambles.  Blackberry and peanuts.

Finish: Smooth. Light bitter chocolate. Charring. Peanut air. Plain crisps. Faintest fudge and gooseberries.

Conclusion: Now sometimes I think I just don’t get milds, but I realise it’s not that, its just its such a damn hard style to actually do right and not mistake mild for dull as hell.

Now from that intro you may be forgiven for thinking I’m about to treat this beer as a repository for some bile I’ve been backing up, but you would be wrong. I mean, it’s not a super exciting beer, it is a mild after all, but it’s a pint that comes with its own snacks, or so it seems.

By that I mean it has nice subtle peanuts and crisps flavours that are light but add a nice character to the beer. Alongside the very slight sourness it does give enough flavour without breaking the milds intentionally inoffensive styling.

So as you may have guessed, not shocking great, but a beer with a very traditional pub character. One for drinking at the dartboard or over a pool game I think.

Background: So milds huh?  One I’m often wary of, though I’ve had enough good ones that I give them a try every now and then. In this case I was looking for something a bit lighter ABV for the night so thought a return to this style would be the thing to do. While taking the photo, Dylan kept trying to get a v sign into the shot, I think I did ok at keeping the publicity hound off the screen.

Vale Brewery: Special Ale (England: Bitter: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy amber/pinewood with a bubbled rim of a head.

Nose: Light hops, golden syrup and a whiff of treacle toffee. Light orange.

Body: Decent bitter, milk chocolate, toffee. Smooth black cherry. Light lemon sorbet. Slick and slightly thick. Sweet and some citrus.

Finish: Chocolate, burnt wood. Cigarette ash. Good hop back. Black cherry again. Slightly sharp.

Conclusion: Well put together sweet bitter, reminds me of rare hare in some ways. Less complex and not as good, but gets released more than once every three years which means it can sit quite nicely in the quality regular pint box.

Does brilliant as a regular pint of the usual, but also plays well for social drinking with friends, session ale or taking it easy.

Well set for a host of jobs then, important in the current economic climate.

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