Fuller’s London Pride from Fuller Smith and Turner PLC in Chiswick, London, England pours a gem-like golden amber colour with a rich and creamy white head that settles as a sturdy film and leaves a moderate amount of lace. The aroma of this English Pale Ale is of roasted malts, with a cherry or plum-like fruitiness and it carries undertones of freshwater and floral hops.
The taste of Fuller’s London Pride has a bready character, with a toasted accent and a faint honey or caramel-like sweetness. This ale has an extraordinarily smooth and creamy mouthfeel, despite little to no perceivable carbonation aside from the head. A dark wood note comes through on the back of the tongue as it finishes and the aftertaste is nicely embittered.
Bah Humbug from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, England pours a clear copper-ruby colour with a moderate tan coloured head that leaves minor lacing and settles as a thin collar. The aroma of this spiced winter ale is malt forward with a syrupy caramel tone, a peppery spiciness, a slightly sour ripened fruit tone, a touch of pine needles and a hint of cinnamon.
The taste of Bah Humbug has a caramel malt body with a crisp and spicy bite of cinnamon. A bitter, chocolaty taste is balanced by a sweet dark fruit taste that reminds me of plum. The finish is dry and mildly bitter. The ale has a medium body with a low carbonation level. A strong biscuit or bread-like quality weighs down the tongue and the aftertaste has a syrupy fruit quality.
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.
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.