Category Archives: Veritas Ale and Wine Bar

>Copper Dragon Conqueror

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I’d been hearing incredibly positive whispers about Copper Dragon’snew beer for a few weeks now, so when it popped up on the bar at Veritas, I had to get my hands on some.

Conqueror (3.6%), on the surface, looks like your bog-standard pale ale; tight white head and soft amber colour, vaguely medieval pump clip*. But when you lift it to your lips, you realise it’s a whole lot more. Mango, Lychee and even a hint of Strawberry float up your nose, and on the taste, Conqueror reveals itself to be a wonderfully balanced, supremely quaffable Pale Ale, with a seriously clean finish. There’s so much flavour for such a low abv, and the it’s simply a top-notch beer.
We all know that Oliver Fozard will soon be (if not already) ensconced in his new role at Rooster’s; his parting gift to Copper Dragon turns out to be their finest yet. I’m one person hoping Conqueror hangs around untouched and untCheck Spellingweaked; and I’m sure after you drink it, you will too. It’s on at Veritas now.
*And yes, I know it’s William the Conqueror. But you get my point.

>Black Sheep Imperial Russian Stout

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I finally managed to get in gear and taste Black Sheep’s Imperial Russian Stout, which has been (and probably still is – just) on at Veritason Great George Street. At 8.5% abv, it’s not quite on the massive ‘Imperial’ side of things, nor is it your average bar-top stout, but I must say I enjoyed it.

On the nose there’s hints of cherry and smoke, along with a decent ‘oakiness’. That smoke dies somewhat on the taste, but the oak and fruit remains, with with fruit coming more to fore; raisin, almond, and digestive biscuits all battling it out before that drying coffee and black chocolate note comes in at the end to wrap things up.
The alcohol is up front – it does taste 8.5% – but that’s only a minor detraction for me. I enjoyed the beer; and as with their Porter , I’m really pleased to see Black Sheep branching out. I hope we see more of this sort of thing from them. Oh, and by the way – the pump clip rocks. Nice artwork, Black Sheep, thumbs up from me!
I wasn’t the only one to enjoy the beer – here’s Ghostie’s take on proceedings. Oh, and by the way – if you choose to eat at Veritas, I can recommend the Duck Liver Pate. It’s Awesome.

>Thwaites’ OBJ

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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.

>Veritas Ale & Wine Bar, Leeds

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Leeds welcomed another set of beer pumps to choose from this week, with the opening of Veritas, situated on Great George Street, just behind the town hall. Market Town Taverns are known for their tasteful and stripped-back treatments of drinking dens, and Veritas follows that blueprint closely.

The paint only just dry, I popped in for a couple of beers. The good thing about MTT pubs is that you sort of know what to expect – no music, some decent bar food, and walls covered in repro vintage beer posters. On my visit, the staff were friendly, the place buzzing along nicely with a lunchtime crowd of suits, and some decent beers to choose from.

Despite being quite Northern-Centric, the range was good – Black Sheep Bitter, Thwaite’s Wainwright, Ilkley’s Black and Mary Jane, Tim Taylor’s Best, Marston’s Oyster Stout and Wharfebank Blond adorned the pumps, and there was the usual bottled range including Kuppers Kolsch, Veltins and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout to name a few. In a pale sort of mood, I opted for two new, but tried-and-tested thirst-quenchers; the citrussy Mary Jane from Ilkley and the maltier, more floral Blond from Wharfebank. Both beers were in good nick , and I settled down for a quiet lunch with my head in the sports pages. Which is all I want, really. I’m a simple man.

Veritas seems like a decent addition to the circuit, and forms a nice little triangle in that part of town now along with comrades Foley’s and The Vic, just down the road. On a related note, Ilkley wil be launching thier new oatmeal stout, Stout Mary, in conjuction with Market Town Taverns in the upcoming month. Keep an eye out.

>Quick News Round-Up – MTT Expand Further, Foley’s and Tap Up For Awards…

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A couple of post-worthy snippets caught my ear this afternoon: Firstly, Market Town Taverns have announced that they are currently refurbishing the forgettable Waterhole on Great George Street and turning it into Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. It should be opening in early October, and given MTT’s track record, this is great news for Leeds beer drinkers. Along with the imminent opening of East of Arcadia, and another site in Meanwood, it would seem MTT are going from strength to strength. And well deserved, too – MTT represent a safe pair of hands, and Veritas will form an intriguing little beer circuit at that end of Leeds with Foley’s and The Victoria.

Speaking of Foley’s, they’ve just been shortlisted for the Publican Cask Ale Pub of The Year, along with another Yorkshire stalwart, The Sheffield Tap. Congrats to both, and well deserved, I might add.
Brewery News; Rooster’s have a pumpkin ale ready for Halloween – keep an eye out – and the ever-popular Naylor’s have opened a new Beer Emporium, selling their wares and also a few homebrew supplies, as well as a bar, at their brewery. Knowing how many Ale enthusiasts live in the Keighley area, I’m sure it’ll be popular. Wharfebank are now stocking an IPA named WISPA, and thier eagerly-awaited Black Tom Mild is now available. Keep an eye out. Anyway, that’s it. Keep on reading – and drinking. Cheers.
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