Why do I seem to be the only person who doesn’t think too much of Brass Castle’s beer?
I have tried so many of them over the years and they all leave me disappointed.
Take this, their version of the All Together Project, raising funds for Hospitality workers, smells to me of lemon fresh washing up liquid and has a slick soapy feeling that leaves me with a slimy aftertaste of hand wash and, to be absolutely precise about it, that taste you get when you put your tongue against a battery.
I have no idea how else to describe it.
The result is a beer that however hard I try, I can’t find any malting, just an unpleasant bordering on acrid bitterness.
I poured it away.
East Grinstead, a part of the map not many people visit.
A part of the London suburbs that once upon a time, back in the very early seventies, saw some hippies I know wander in through the front door of what they thought was an antique shop only to be greeted by the little old lady whose house it was with the offer of a cup of tea.
Their tiny stoned minds were blown.
That is a true story thought I reserve the right to withhold names for the sakes of people’s embarrassment.
Another true story is that Little Monster are based in East Grinstead and, if this little Pale Ale is anything to go by, are making some decent beer dow there.
Yul is a soft and gentle beer with a subtle caramel and waffle, honey and bread crust malt body and a wash of lightly bitter, pithy and steely herbal hops. some melon and some orange marmalade and not a bong in sight.
Brewed in collaboration with Wilderness, this Tropical Stout has all sorts of things going on that you’ll find both interesting and drinkable.
The beer pours a proper Stouty ruby red brown with a little frothy head, but the aroma is far from your normal Stout smell, instead being crammed with strawberries and red cherries.
The malting is all about dry and crunchy digestive biscuits, sticky honey, toffee, coffee and chocolate, while the hopping is a big and bold, bright and shiny smack of mango and green herbal leaves, coconut and Woodbines.
And all these fruity flavours build, overtaking the malting as you reach the finish where you find a wash of tangy sweet pineapple juice bringing you to a deliciously indecisive finish.
Is this a Stout or is it a Session Black IPA.
I for one would love to try this with twice the ABV, but I’ll happily make do with it as it is.
Source: Solvay Society
Brewed with Ekuanot, Bru-1, Meridian and Mosaic, there’s a rather nice metallic Basil flavour underpinning all the other hoppy goodness here.
It adds a steely dryness to the melon balls and lemon bonbons, marmalade, lettuce, papaya and, slightly oddly, ginseng that washes about all over your face.
Then you’ve got the solid toffee and brown sugar, honey, waffle and bagel of the malts creating a solid body that’s warm and sweet.
The finish is long and enjoyable, though it’s far more akin to the sweet and sticky fruit punch of a Double IPA than the sharp crispness of a regular Pale Ale.
More great Verdant brewing.
I really really wanted this to be brilliant.
After all, a Maple and Bourbon Stout sounds fabulous.
But there’s a great big watery space where the heart of the beer ought to be.
The malting is sticky with toffee and honey, digestive biscuits and brown bread crusts, and there’s a little slap of damp hedgerow undergrowth form the hops.
But the maple syrup and bourbon are a bit weak and weedy, wandering in and then all too quickly wandering off, they leave a great big gap right in the centre of the beer that leaves you with the sensation that you have been teased with something that hasn’t delivered.
And then, to compound matters, the finish feels thin and watery.
Nope, I don’t like it.