This old style stout from the Samuel Smith Old Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England pours an opaque black with ruby tones visible around the edges when held up to direct light. The tan coloured head is very frothy and leaves a fair about of lace before settling as a collared film. Samuel Smith’s Celebrated Oatmeal Stout has an aroma dominated by molasses, with notes of chocolate syrup and coffee as well as a fairly pungent, yet mild ripened fruit smell.
The taste of Samuel Smith’s Celebrated Oatmeal Stout is fairly bitter up front with notes of baker’s chocolate and coffee in addition to a slight smokey wood tone. The finish brings a subtle and slightly sweet plum-like taste. The beer is full-bodied with a mild, but distinct carbonation level and the mouthfeel is extraordinarily smooth and creamy. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with notes of oatmeal and wood.
King Goblin from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, UK pa deep ruby colour with amber highlights and a fluffy, tan coloured, root beer-esque head that gets retained as a thin collar and leaves spotty lacing. This English strong ale smells of sweet, toasted caramel malts and a light, grape-like fruit note reminiscent of white wine. Light chocolate, fresh grains and pungent floral hops can also be detected.
The taste of King Goblin starts off bitter then reveals notes of ripened fruits, roasted bread-like malts and a peppery spiciness and then finishes with a bitter brewed tea-like taste. The mouthfeel is pretty heavy and malty overall, but the ale still pops on the tongue thanks to a medium carbonation and long-lasting collar. The aftertaste is clean and dry with a bitter chocolate tone.
Goliath from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, UK pours a clear golden-amber colour with a large frothy white head that gets retained as a thick film and leaves a fair amount of lace behind. This mild English pale ale has a mild, yet malty aroma with a ripened fruit tone that reminds me of white grapes and a definite toasted character.
Goliath has a malt forward taste with a strong grape or cherry-like fruit tone. A somewhat surprising alcohol taste comes through in the bitter finish, along with a subtle metallic or mineral quality. The ale has a rather thin body with a moderate carbonation level. A nice creamy sensation with a slightly yeasty character can be felt on the tongue. The aftertaste is dry with a fresh, grainy quality to it.
This English-style IPA from the Greene King Brewery in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England pours a nice rusty amber colour with a moderate tan head that gets retained as a collar. There’s a lot of visible carbonation when held up to light. Greene King IPA smells like toasted malts, with a grape-like fruity character, a lemon grass tone and a hint of brewed orange pekoe tea.
The taste of Greene King IPA follows suit; there’s no bait and switch here. Toasted malts, a fruity tone and a brewed tea flavour are accompanied by a lemony bitter finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a decent carbonation and a light, but noticeable bready body. The lemony tone lingers in the aftertaste.
Dubbed “The Original Export”, Old Empire IPA from Marston’s Beer Company in Burton Upon Trent, UK pours a bright golden-amber colour with a frothy white head that doesn’t last very long, but holds on as a collar and paper thin film.
Because it’s packaged in clear bottles, Old Empire IPA can smell a bit skunky at first when exported; it’s best to let it breathe a few minutes. The beer has a bready malt aroma with hops, brewed tea and lemon accents coming through as it warms.
Old Empire IPA tastes of toasted malts and honey. A butterscotch tone is countered by a strong dryness that has a grassy or floral tone to it. The beer is noticeably carbonated, but creamy and slightly yeasty as well. There is a wood character to the finish that has a slight smokiness.