>Thornbridge and Dark Star’s Coalition Old Ale

Brewed in 2009, Coalition Old Ale (7%abv) is the result of a collaboration between the Thornbridge and Mark Tranter from the ever-excellent Dark Star . I first tried this beer a few months back, at one of our fabled bottle-swaps, courtesy of those kind chaps Andy and James of SummerWine Brewery. As I sat and tasted mine, I was very aware of how I’d probably need another chance to try it to really form an opinion of it; I certainly wasn’t expecting the kind of beer that it actually is. Not sure why, I just expected something darker, smokier, and stronger in alcohol.

Luckily, Hopzine Rob and Baron Orm rushed to my aid, and I managed to get my hands on another bottle – and I’m glad I did. Coalition Old Ale is an exercise in subtlety; a real class act. Firstly, there’s that colour – hazy Amber, bright and…well, vibrant. Not the look of a beer dormant since 2009. The lasting, substantial head is the only giveaway to the age; slightly tobacco-hued, not quite white. The taste is softly sweet, with only the slightest hint of resinous wood (pine?) floating around underneath.
There’s a little spice – Cinnamon, perhaps – and then comes along those flavours you’d more typically associate with ‘Old Ales’; some raisin, some bitter cherry, a hint of almond. The finish ramps up the bitterness, and the beer ends up with a really satisfying Orange note, drying the palate and making it a surprisingly moreish beer. The alcohol is only gently warming, and Coalition is well worth seeking out if you can. A beer to be sipped and savoured, for sure.

About leighgoodstuff

Blog: https://goodfoodgoodbeer.wordpress.com/ I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 22/06/2011, in beer reviews, Coalition Old Ale, dark star brewery, thornbridge brewery and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. >I absolutely loved this beer! For something of its age it's a masterpiece.

  2. >I agree Mark, I thought it was genuinely well crafted and unique.

  3. >Pleased to here this – I've got three bottles in my cellar at the moment. I'm wondering if it's one for keeping a while or drinking while relatively "fresh" ('cos it had a pretty lengthy maturation at the brewery I seem to recall).

  4. >I invested in a couple of bottles of this one when it came out. One is definitely staying in the beer cupboard for a good long while, but I might try the other before too long. Sounds pretty damn amazing.

  5. >An inspiring review mate as we discussed. Fab beer too.CheersPhil@filrd

  6. >Guys – if you've got more than one bottle, I'd drink one now – I really think this would benefit being drunk younger – bear in mind, as John says – that it's two years old already.

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