Saturday, 19 May 2012

Live Beer Blogging at EBBC12

This post was written and published 'live' (as in unedited) during the live tasting session at the European Beer Blogger's conference in Leeds.  Ten breweries presented their beers, with new one appearing every five minutes for an hour. The brewers toured round the tables and 'pitched' their beers, telling us a little bit about them as we tasted. These were:

  • Rooster's (Baby Faced Assassin)
  • Innis & Gunn (Scottish Pale Ale)
  • Marble (Earl Grey IPA)
  • Adnams (Ghost Ship)
  • Brains (Dark)
  • Camden Town
  • Otley (Oxymoron)
  • Slater's (Top Totty)
  • Leeds (Hellfire)
  • Great Heck (Stormin' Norman)

Here are my thoughts on the beers as they came into my head during the event!

Innis & Gunn (Scottish Pale Ale)

This beer is currently only available in Sweden but will be released in the UK soon. It's their interpretation of an IPA, using classic British hops and aged in Kentucky bourbon casks. It weighs in at 7% ABV. On the nose I was getting banana notes. The goldings hops are there on the finish. I've had better Innis & Gunn beers.

Leeds (Hellfire)

Perfectly described as a fiery pale bitter on the bottle. That's exactly what it is, with a lingering bitter finish and a zesty citrus flavour which is also present on the nose. Very pleasant and at 5.2% a beer you could drink a few of. Not fiery in a chilli sense but plenty of hop character.

Otley (Oxymoron)

A cask conditioned Black IPA. Very light carbonation (some knocked out by the mini-keg it was decanted into). The nose is one of grapefruit and citrus fruits with the dark malt simmering below the surface. A very pleasant smelling beer. On the palate it was very nicely balanced with roasted chocolate malt flavours married nicely to the hops. A decent example of the Black IPA style.

Brains (Dark)

A dark mild weighing in at 4.1%. Hints of liqourice on the nose underpinned by roasted notes. Clean drinking with coffee notes on the palate followed by a subtle hop bitterness. Very sessionable. I enjoyed this one and didn't expect to as I'm not usually a fan of the style.

Marble (Earl Grey IPA, collaboration with Emelisse)

A 6.8% IPA brewed with earl grey tea-leaves. A US citrus hop nose. This is a fabulous beer with subtle earl grey flavours balanced perfectly with the hop bitterness. Could never do this justice in a couple of sentences. Worth seeking out!

Rooster's (Baby Faced Assassin)

A 6.1% single-hopped IPA brewed with Citra, cask conditioned. All late kettle hops so all about hop flavour rather than bitterness. Subtle orange notes on the nose. It showcases the Citra hop very well. An very flavoursome beer full of juicy tropical fruits. Emptied my glass in about 30 seconds!

Great Heck (Stormin' Norman)

A 6.5% IPA, cask conditioned. Orange notes on the nose. A good example of the style with a rasping bitter finish.

Slater's (Top Totty)

A blonde beer with wheat malt. Filtered and carbonated. You definitely get the wheat malt on the nose but the palate is classic blonde, perhaps a little thin. Refreshing and clean drinking. Just what I needed five beers in but not one I'd seek out. No comment on the branding.

Camden Town (Unfiltered USA Hells)

A German Helles recipe brewed with US hops, at 4.6%. Bottle conditioned and nicely carbonated. Classic helles nose. You have to fish for the US C hops a bit but they are present on the nose and creep into the finish. Great stuff.

Adnams (Ghost Ship)

A 'ghostly' pale ale, dry hopped with Citra, based on Adnams' deathly pale ale - a centennial recipe. A lemony nose with a light, refreshing bitterness on the palate. Really liked this on cask last year when it was released. The bottle less so but still enjoyable.

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