Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted 4.7% Blond Beer

11 10 2010

I wasn’t planning on having a drink last night, but on hobbling (knee injury dont ask) into my local office licence I noticed that he had some new stock in.

Two particular bottles caught my eye; Marstons Old Empire (review to follow shortly) and Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted.

I have never had the oppurtunity to try Bitter and Twisted in it’s bottled form until now and couldn’t say no!

Bitter and Twisted is probably Harviestoun’s best known beer and with good reason it has won a list of awards literally as long as your arm for both it’s bottled and draught variants including World’s Best Ale at the World Beer Awards in 2007.

Not that their other beers are slackers, they also boast a World’s Best Pilsner amongst their ranks from 2008.

There is a lovely zingy citrus nose to Bitter and Twisted along with some slightly spicy and floral hints in the background.

B&T pours to a lovely pale golden colour with a thin white head that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

You reallynotice the hops in bitter and twisted which is good considering they have gone to the effort of using 3 separate varieties; challenger, styrian golding and Hersbrücker, luckily though at no point does the hopping seem overwhelming, either in terms of bitterness or taste.

There is a nice balance of caramel sweetness from the malt and a grapefruit/citrus sharpness that comes through strongly along with that pleasing spicy note that you can pick up in the aroma.

I usually only see blond beers as something to enjoy in the summer months, ideally in a sunny beer garden however I found Bitter and Twisted to be a blond that I could just as easilly enjoy on frosty autumn evening by the bonfire.

It might not be the world’s best ale but it is certainly up there.



Great Oakley Gobble 4.5% bitter

30 09 2010

I’m finally sober and coherent enough to start reviewing some of the many beers sampled at this year’s Great British Beer Festival.

One that I have fond memories of  is Gobble from the Great Oakley Brewery in Northamptonshire.  Admittedly a lot of the fond memories I have stem from Alan, Ric and I thinking it was hilarious to approach the young lady manning this particular pump and asking her how much she was charging for a gobble…. I think we might have had a few by that point.

Off colour wordplay not withstanding I did enjoy my pint of Gobble and it seems like I wasn’t the only one;  Gobble won joint bronze in the “Special Bitter” category.

When poured Gobble was a lovely golden coloured beer with a weak head,  the aroma was light and zesty with a nice hint of caramel creeping in at the back and just seemed to scream summer drinking.

In terms of taste Gobble had a nice soft hoppiness coupled with some zingy citrus fruits making for a very refreshing taste, this was offset with a nice hint of caramel sweetness.

I noticed a little bit of an oily texture to the beer but considering the hoppiness and the nice citrus sharpness this wasn’t unpleasant and rather seemed to prevent the beer being too dry.

All in all a very very good little beer and well deserving of it’s award.


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