Iceni – Men of Norfolk 6.2% ABV

30 01 2011

Men of Norfolk is a strong (6.2%) dark beer from the Iceni brewery in Norfolk.

The Iceni Brewery is situated on the edge of Thetford Forest and takes its name from the Iceni tribe who were ruled by Queen Boudicca (yes, the famous one in the chariot) and occupied most of Norfolk and Suffolk around 61 AD. They have been producing beers since 1995 and even have their own hop garden on site…

I first came across the Iceni Brewery selling bottled beers in a food hall at the nearby Elveden Estate and picked up a couple of bottles for my uncle and I to  have later that day – Roisin Dubh if my memory serves correctly.

Well those couple of bottles went down well and since then I have tried pretty much all of the beers that Iceni have produced.

I have seen Men of Norfolk listed as a couple of different styles over the years, a few pubs have put it down as a porter and I have often seen it listed as a mild… I am going to stick with my original assertion that this is a strong dark ale and will try to steer clear of pigeon holing it unduly.

The pint pours to a rich black colour with a fairly thin cream coloured head that lasts well through out drinking – you could be mistaken for assuming it to be a stout based on looks alone.

The aroma is definitely there but isn’t too pronounced with roasted malts, raisins, chocolate and liquorice coming through clearly, there is also a slightly sour/bitter note almost like a bitter coffee that comes through in the background.

The main flavours are roasted malts chocolate, some sweet dark fruit – raisins, sultanas etc,  caramel and there is a nice cocoa bitterness in the finish The sweetness from the fruits and the slight bit of bitterness from the cocoa work well to balance out the rich roasted malt.

The carbonation is a little light and gives  a very soft mouthfeel that might not appeal to everyone but overall this is a small complaint to have.

I really enjoyed Men of Norfolk, the flavours work well together and have enough punch to carry the strength of the beer so you don’t just end up with that sour alcohol note that can plague some strong ales. 

 A very good beer from a small local brewer 4.5 / 5

Advertisements




Beer anyone?

28 09 2010

A fair bit to report from my ongoing home brewing saga so far.

My second batch of beer has now been bottled, well about 6 days ago! So I am eagerly awaiting my first little taste in order to see how my IPA has turned out and whether playing with the choice of fermentables has backfired or not.

Meanwhile my lager is now into it’s third week since being bottled. My brother and I cracked a bottle open on Saturday evening and I think we were both quite pleasantly surprised at how it is coming along.

There is plenty of carbonation in the beer and it is developing a really good looking head, it is a little cloudy but that that will hopefully clear further and should definitely start to lessen when the lager is chucked in the fridge.

The taste is really rather good if I do say so myself, there is a nice bitterness to the beer and a pleasant slight sweetness coupled with a nice hint of maltiness. It isn’t dissimilar to something like an Erdinger in actual fact.

I will be honest enough to say that it has turned out better than I had hoped.

I think somewhere in the back of my mind I was fearing it would turn out to be like those brewbags that you used to be able to purchase at Boots, the ones that you just tipped water into and left on the back of the airing cupboard door for a month or so. As such the pleasant drinkable nature of the beer has bought a smile to my face





Woodforde’s Admiral’s Reserve

9 08 2010

Before I chuck myself into my write up of this year’s GBBF (Great British Beer Festival) I thought I should really get round to publishing these reviews that have been kicking about on my notepad for a while now; so here is the first of them:

Admiral’s Reserve is a strong ale from the Woodforde’s brewery in Woodbastwick, Norfolk. Despite being a small brewery Woodforde’s have consistently produced exceptionally good beers and Admiral’s Reserve is no different.

When poured it has a tawny almost coppery colour with a very small, almost non-existent, fluffy head.

The aroma from the beer is fruity and sweet with a roasted malt undertone which stops it from being sickly or over powering.

Woodforde’s say that in both flavour and smell there are hints of sultanas, almond and sherry and they are bang on the money; however unlike a lot of beers with these particular flavours Admiral’s Reserve has none of the Christmas cake like overtones that you would expect.

The fruit is sweet but light, there are notes of caramel which add to the overall sweetness of the beer but there is also a rich roasted flavour that comes through from the malts (rye malt I believe) which balances things out nicely.

The mouthfeel of the beer is full bodied, malty and smooth with a nice bitter finish.

All in all a good beer and one that could be drunk often.

3.8/5








%d bloggers like this: