Beer of the year 2010

10 01 2011

You might not have noticed but 2010 is dead and gone.

Whilst I don’t believe in New Years resolutions or anything that daft I do like to take the new year as an opportunity to look back over the previous one and take stock.

One thing that really stuck out for me whilst I was looking back over 2010 was the sheer number of different beers that crossed my path during the past 12 months, from old friends like Theakston’s Old Peculier to new encounters like Sharp’s Cornish Coaster I have sampled a huge variety of beers, even if I haven’t managed to get all of the reviews up yet!

I spent an enjoyable half hour or so considering this selection and there were a couple of beers that stood out for me as being real gems that deserved to be shouted about.

So with no further delay here are my personal picks for Beer of the year 2010

Beer of the Year 2010:

Great Oakley Gobble


 

Best Stout or Porter:

Maldon Oyster Stout

 

It was so tough for me to pick just two beers as I have tasted some really fine examples of the brewers art this past year and could have quite easily come up with a list of beers as long as my arm.

They haven’t all been good beers though and whilst I was happily day dreaming of beers gone by there were one or two horrors that had me shuddering at the thought.

So here we have a new category, one which no brewer should ever hope to end up…

Worst Beer of 2010:

Rocking Rudolph



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Cornish Coaster 3.6% bitter – cask

2 11 2010

 

Cornish Coaster is a bitter from the normally very good Sharps brewery in Cornwall, I have only ever seen Cornish Coaster available on draft and as far as I am aware there is no bottled variant.

I have tried CC 3 times now, all from decent enough pubs that know how to keep and pour a beer, I make this point for a reason, sometimes with cask beer it is possible to end up not enjoying a particular pint due to how it has been poured or how the beer has been kept.

This time this is not the case.

I have tried hard to like Cornish Coaster I really have but I just can’t bring myself to do it, there isn’t anything that is overly offensive about it but at the same time there is nothing that would make me want to drink it again!

When poured you notice that there are some very subtle aromas of citrus, malt and caramel that you can just about pick up but they are very faint indeed.

CC is a very pale golden colour and looking nice and attractive with the light sparkling off of it, the head however is very light and looks almost oily on the top of the pint – not the most promising of starts!

There aren’t really any flavours that you would say are predominant in the beer, the hops come through as being grassy at best and there is a little bit of citrus but you would could be excused for missing it. There are some hints of caramel and a little maltiness but again it is all very wishy washy, not bad but you wouldn’t write home about it.

The big thing that I have to fault Cornish Coaster for is how it feels in your mouth, it is very thin and very very wet, there is no body to it at all, sure this makes it easier to drink as a session beer but there are limits! I have also noticed a slight oily /buttery feel to CC in the past suggesting that there is a bit too much diacetyl for it to be pleasant.

If I were being nice I would say that Cornish Coaster is quite well balanced , if a  little bitter and that it would be easy to drink as an un-inspired session drink, particularly on a hot day when all you wanted was refreshment.

All in all a little bit grim.

2.5/5

 





The Marquis of Gransby, Cambridge Circus

29 10 2010

The Marquis of Granby

142 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8HJ

The Marquis of Granby is probably the pick of the pubs at Cambridge Circus, unfortunately that isn’t saying a great deal!

The pub itself is well situated and has a fairly large main bar with a smaller room upstairs that is occasionally open when the pub is busy and boy does this place get busy, particularly on match days.

The decor is a bit tired and shabby looking which is a shame considering the last refit was as recent as 2008! The posters and programs from various operas and plays over the years add a bit of interest though.

The staff are competent and the service is prompt enough, I have found the landlord to be a tad unfriendly though; one particular story that was relayed to me involved a non-regular asking for the television to be turned up so he could hear the game and the landlord turning the volume from 0-100 whilst staring the guy down the whole time.

In relation to the football the Marquis seems to focus on showing Celtic matches and appeasing the cockney red brigade, funny as I thought we were in London not Manchester!

There is usually a decent selection of beers on offer and last time I was in here I had a very good pint of Ringwood Old Thumper and a not so stellar pint of Cornish Coaster – which was no fault of the pub I just don’t find much to enjoy about it!

The prices can be a little prohibitive if you were planning on having a bit of a session, a short walk can see you paying £2.50-£3.00 a pint as opposed to the £3.50-£4.00 that you will pay in the Marquis.

I find the Marquis of Granby to be fine if I am bowling along through Soho and need to wet my whistle but for me it would be a stop along the way, not a destination.








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