Category Archives: beer in Lancashire
>Thwaites Indus IPA
> Thwaites continue on their journey with new beers and styles with Indus IPA(4.6%abv). Named after a ship that very well may have journeyed eastwards whilst Daniel Thwaites was alive, Indus may not satisfy fans of US-Style Hop-Bomb IPA’s, but there’s plenty to recommend.
Brassy Amber in colour, it’s a vibrant, well-conditioned bottle. The nose, as you’d expect, is Citrus-led but with Orange or Tangerine being the dominant note. That softness continues into the sip; a well-rounded toffee sweetness that is stopped from being slightly too sweet by another bitter Orange/Lemon sharpness hit at the end; a full, sweet finish rather than drying.
Thwaites’ beers are usually well-made and solid; Indus IPA is another beer that hits that mark, and is definitely worth a look.
Apologies for the stock picture. Strangely – and it’s something I have never done before – I deleted the original picture before use. Must be getting old.
I’ve been meaning to get my hands on some of Thwaites’s new Signature Range since seeing them advertised at last month’s Winter Ale Festival. OBJ (6.5%abv) landed at Veritas this week, so I loped off for a pint.
OBJ (Oh Be Joyful) is a copper-hued Winter ale – the fairly sizeable abv comes through in the thick mouthfeel, but it remains a smooth pint. Tan of head, there’s not a great deal going on in the nose except for Toffee and Caramel, and this continues through into the sip. Underneath all that toffee-apple sweetness there’s a touch of Dundee cake spiciness, and a subdued bitter finish. It’s a difficult beer to place at times, because it’s strong enough to not really be sessionable, yet smooth and balanced enough to fit that bill. There’s hints of a Barley Wine in there, but again drunk in a pint that seems at odds with OBJ’s image. Maybe bottled – so it can be sipped over an evening – OBJ might find a little niche.
OBJ’s altogether an intruiging and enjoyable beer. I’m a fan of seasonals, one-off’s and specials, and I commend Thwaites on stretching thier muscles and giving us something new to look forward to in 2011. You can see the whole range here. If you want more Thwaites action, you can read Fletch’s recent encounter with perennial favourite Nutty Black here.
>Twissups, Treason and Tapping The Pumpkin
Christ, it’s been a busy week. Enjoyable, but busy nontheless. So I find myself with a spare ten minutes, on a Friday night of all nights, tapping away when the majority of Leeds beer-folk are hunting Pumpkin Ale. But more on that later.
Twissup kicked off the madness in style last Saturday; a hop to Manchester and then onto Huddersfield. There was also a hop to Stalybridge, but I got on the wrong train and missed that (honestly). A lot’s been said over the past week about this event, so I don’t want to dwell too much on it; but I would like to put my ‘official’ thanks to Mark and Andy for organising it. Apart from the great locations and beers on offer, It was a great opportunity for me to finally meet some of the people I’ve been conversing with more or less every day for the last god-knows-how-long and actually share a beer and a chat. I made a comment a few weeks ago that Blogging is like being in a virtual tap room when at it’s best and most dynamic; well, this weekend, it became real, and it was an absolute pleasure – you were all top lads and lasses. Highlights? All of it. From the cask Ola Dubh we shared in The Angel (whisky-tinged, smoky, chocolate milkshake) to the wonderful surroundings of The Marble Arch, to finding the creamy Moravka (one of my faves) available at The Grove, the day was great. I’ll be doing it again. Read here, here, and here for much better rundowns of the day.
Wednesday saw me hook up with James and Andy from Summerwine again; this time in Foley’s for a Meet the Brewer event. Having met them previously we basically carried on chatting where we left off last time over a few of their own brews; tax on beer, the government, the joys of homebrewing, and future plans. Future plans is what these lads do well; this Christmas will see a Chocolate Orange Stout appearing in our glasses, as well as the last of the (surely now-famed) Project 6 IPA range. Next year sees another project; the Nerotype Black IPA’s, the dark sister of Project 6. I for one can’t wait. Myself, Chris, Dean and Fletch happily sampled the range whilst the lads gave a good account of themselves to a decent-sized crowd. Apart from spending every waking hour brewing, they do find time for these sorts of thing, and if they come to your town – go see them. Have a pint and a chat. I can recommend the Treason Treacle Stout in particular. Here’s what BeerProle thought of the evening.
This afternoon my work schedule prevented me from getting too much time away from the desk; which as typical given that Rooster’s were hopping around Leeds dropping off their Pumpkin Ale like evil little beer-elves. However, I did manage to catch the delivery of Foley’s beer-filled treat, and hung around for the tapping and a subsequent cheeky sip. What’s it like? Well, I did only have a couple of mouthfuls and a good ol’ swirl, but there’s masses of black pepper and spice on the nose, but a much smoother, sweeter and unmistakeably vegetal body to the (amazingly clear) beer. I liked it – and hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on more of it this weekend. Twitter was rocking to the tune of a lot of bloggers going out to North and Foley’s tonight, so I imagine there will be a lot of good chatter about this beer over the weekend.
Right, I’m off to crack open a SWB P6 Brew 2 and put my feet up.
>Thwaite’s Very Nutty Black
Whilst in preparation for the madness at Elland Road yesterday, Friday night was very much one ‘on the sofa’ for me. Whilst taking stock of the cellar to find a suitable, low key accompaniment, I plumped for a bottle of Thwaite’s Very Nutty Black.
Now, this is an idea I like. I’m a fan of Nutty Black – The Palace in Leeds stocks it all the time, and it’s a popular beer for a dark mild. Whilst it does everything it promises, I do, however, personally find it a little thin in the body to be truly satisfying.
Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to find that Thwaites were seemingly thinking the same thing, and had created a bottle-conditioned, ‘Export Strength’ version, Very Nutty Black (3.9% abv), which is also their first foray into bottle conditioning. The result? A smooth dark mild, with a much fuller, more rounded mouthfeel. Plenty of liquorice on the nose, and not much hop aroma. The pleasingly tan-shaded head lasts until the end, and there’s a moreish, lactic creaminess underpinning everything.
In short, everything I’d been asking Nutty Black to be. I liked this a lot – hence the post – but the only problem I’m faced with now is this: Can I go back and drink regular Nutty Black? Time will tell – I understand it will only be available during May and June.
Oh, and if you’re thinking that 3.9% abv doesn’t sound like an export strength beer, you’d be right. An amusing little note is put on the label to explain – “…This stronger beer will now be leaving Lancashire and is destined for the Far East (Leeds), and even remote areas of the Southern Hemisphere (such as Watford). Made me chuckle, anyway.