Just before Christmas I received an email from Hawkshead Brewery informing me that they were about to unleash a new range of beer and wondering if I might like to try them.
Would I like to try them?
What do you think?
“Yes please,” I said, in my calmest typing.
They arrived a couple of days ago and being bottle conditioned had a rest in my beer fridge before opening them.
The three beers in question are an IPA, an Oatmeal Stout, and an Export Porter (an Exporter perhaps?).
This is what I found.
Pouring a light amber with a nice and lively fizzing head, the smell of this IPA is jelly sweets, mandarins and tropical flowers.
The malting is big, robust almost, and packed with shortbread, white bread crusts, honey and toffee.
It’s a good malt that gives a much needed body to the hop explosion that this beer is all about.
The hops are a big shouty mix of American and New Zealand beauties that throw everything at you.
Lemon and lime, grapefruit skins, tangerines, kiwi, a whole fruit salad coated in sherbet with a finish superbly bitter and dry as a bone.
This is a very fine little bottle of beer.
Dry Stone Stout (4.5%)
This is a very good Oatmeal Stout that pours a deep mahogany brown with a creamy head and a smell that’s all chocolate and forest fruit.
In fact forest fruits is a good description as this is a beer that tastes rather like a Black Forest Gateaux – Black Cherries, chocolate cake, vanilla, a little icing sugar sweetness, all washed down with a cup of good black coffee.
The hops here are very autumnal.
They’re red and crunchy and resinous, and they lead you to a satisfyingly dry and fruity finish that’ll make you want another mouthful.
Brodie’s Prime Export (8.5%)
This is the best of the lot.
In fact, this really is a very good beer indeed.
Brodie’s Prime Export is a deep black beer with a smell that’s heavy with damsons and dew damp woodland.
The malting is burned wholemeal toast, espresso and lots of prunes and plums.
It’s sweetly bitter, with treacle at the edges, a sprinkle of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
The hops are crisp and crunchy, an English countryside walk if you like, hazel nuts, blackberry leaves, fresh and tart.
The finish is a chocolate coated boozy fruit beauty.
Long and lingering, bitter, crisp and dry, Brodie’s Prime Export is a very smart little bottle of beer indeed.
Thanks to Hawkshead for sending me these to review.