Wall’s: Beaters Choice (England: ESB: 4.6% ABV)

Visual:  Mahogany red with half and inch of creamy, quite bubbled froth. A toffee hue to the head and a still nature to the body.  The head leaves long sud trails in the glass as you drink.

Nose: Vanilla and light chestnut. Slight custard touch and quite creamy,

Body: Quite bitter. Pineapple and citrus hops. Thick texture. Malt chocolate orange drink. Rough hop feel at times. Dried apricot. Soil touch. The sweetness grows to be quite prominent by the end. Toffee.

Finish: Dry granite and bitter. Nuts. Earthy backed by sweet apricot.

Conclusion: Huh, not the beer I was expecting from looking at it. It looks very much like a standard bitter and the aroma backs these first impressions by being smooth and slightly nutty. It doesn’t seem anything unusual to begin with.

The body then comes in with a weird mix of fresh citrus and sweetness that calls to newer brewing trends. However it does that without breaking with a lot of the older real traditions, there is still nuttiness and a quite traditional soil styled earth element to the finish.

The citrus isn’t like the brash tart elements you can get with the craft beer style, more sweet and easy going. A pleasant mix of fresh and sweet flavours coming through over a more traditional real ale body.

The sweetness grows as it goes on becoming much closer to the traditional elements but still with fresher touches backing it up.

So a traditional ale with sweetness that builds and just a hint of unexpected citrus flavours. It still leans much more towards the traditional and aims for the solid rather than showy. It does however get an impressive range of flavour from the varied elements that keeps you interested to the end of the pint. Not a world shaker and a little too sweet at the end but a tidy solid pint with good amout of play and very enjoyable.

Background: Wall’s Beaters Choice, or as the tap says “Northallerton Wall’s County Town Brewery North Yorkshire Beaters Choice” Which seems a bit of a mouthful. As always I am a tad biased  on beers from Yorkshire.   Since I’ve been having a lot of craft ale recently I decided to make a concerted effort to have do a few cask hand drawn real ales while I was back home. Which I have done, but mostly in a social situation where reviews could not be fitted in. I managed to get this one in from a Weatherspoons in Richmond.(The proper one, not the one in Surrey). I will admit I’m not a huge fan of weatherspoons, mainly cause of the atmosphere, but I will concede that they tend to have a good habit of sourcing local ales.