Day 12: Patriot by Privateer Beers #12beersofXmas

Day 12 – #12beersofxmas


Brewery – Privateer Beers

Location – Manchester, Greater Manchester

The Drink: Patriot

ABV: 3.9% – 330ml

Style: Amber Ale


Privateer brew on Temperance Street in Manchester.  They will form (hopefully) part of the Manchester Mile of brewers (blog to follow) that in 2015 will put London’s in the shade (typed with a lot of Manchester/Lancastrian/Northern pride and optimism).

The drink pours a still, very, very lightly carbonated light amber/dark straw colour, with a light off-white head forming a meniscus all the way down to the bottom of the now empty glass.  The aromas are of malts and there is a distinct nuttiness to it too.  Soft in the mouth with a very mild bitter taste, more malts and nuts, with hint of berries.  A very nice, sessionable traditional bitter/ale.

Privateer have a good range of ales and I have enjoyed every one of them, it would be remiss of me not to recommend the Dark Revenge, a wonderful dark brew.

With a BBE July 2015, this is the first of four beers to be brewed for the LMS Patriot Project which aims to build a steam locomotive in time for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice in 2018.

Happy New Year to all and all the best for 2015…

Day 11: Halcyon by Thornbridge Brewery #12beersofXmas

Day 11 – #12beersofxmas

Brewery – Thornbridge Brewery

Location – Bakewell, Derbyshire (historically Mercia)

The Drink: Halcyon

ABV: 7.4% – 500ml

Style: Imperial IPA


A review in which I hope nothing I write is beery blasphemy.

I’ll admit it now, this is only the second bottle of Thornbridge I’ve ever bought.  I’ve had a bottle of their Thornbridge Hall Bracia waiting for me, for over a year now I reckon, so this it the first Thronbridge to be drunk in my house.

This is also the first time that I’ll be drinking Halcyon.

I have nothing against Thornbridge at all – I can’t explain why I’ve never bought their bottles before – I usually buy their stuff if available at any pub I visit and it isn’t like I actively avoid them like certain other breweries.

Their Baize is one of my favourite ever drinks, but oddly, when I see their seemingly ever-present Jaipur I get a feeling it is the “craft” beer equivalent of Doombar or Deuchars IPA – if at least far more enjoyable.

As a slight detour here is Rowan Molyneux banging on about Jaipur


Prevaricating, what a wonderful word.

If Untappd did a reward for all #badgewankers out there, I suggest it is called “Klaxon Bastard”.

So, very light carbonation, it pours a lovely, light straw colour with a very fine suspension and a slight but sticky white head that retains through the whole drinking experience.  Big aromas of citrus and hops, a very slight fizz in the mouth but light, full and refreshing.  Definitely not tasting the bigger ABV means this is dangerously drinkable.  Flavours of melons, grapefruit, general citrus and slightly sweet, not dry but quite bitter in the aftertaste to very nice effect.  I can see why the kids go crazy for it.

Happy penultimate day of the year/day of #12beersofXmas…

Day 10: Curmudgeon Old Ale by Founders Brewing Co #12beersofXmas

Day 10 – #12beersofxmas

Brewery – Founders Brewing Co

Location – Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Drink: Curmudgeon Old Ale

ABV: 9.8% – 355ml (50 IBUs)

Style: Old Ale


Very little carbonation, it pours a dark amber/light brown colour, with a sticky off-white, creamy head.  Aromas of burnt caramel, toffee, molasses and alcohol.  A big, powerful tasting beer, alcoholic but not as strong given its ABV.  A mellow mouth feel given was to what taste like over brandied mince pies or Christmas pudding, so that would be fruits, sugars and the burnt caramels.  A bit of spice too.  Quite perfect to have by the fire just as the frost does indeed start nipping at the toes.  I just drank mine while having some pork belly, which had been in a tad too long, but it goes well with crackling.  A chocolate/orange bomb for dessert also complimented this drink, but given I’m back to work tomorrow I’m looking for any silver lining possible.

Happy Monday…

Day 9: Belgian Urban IPA by Tiny Rebel Brewing Co #12beersofXmas

Day 9 – #12beersofxmas

Brewery – Tiny Rebel Brewing Co

Location – Newport, Gwent (historically Monmouthshire)

The Drink: Belgian Urban IPA

ABV: 5.5% – 330ml

Style: Pale Ale


Pours, with very little carbonation, a crystal clear lightish amber/yellow with a small white head.  Aromas of various fruits of the citrus variety, pine and also a certain sweetness.  A slight tingle in the mouth, but overall clean, fresh and crisp.  Not massively hoppy and a bitter aftertaste with an overall taste of lemons and pines with a bit of orange thrown in too.  A good all round drink, just at this time of year I should really have gone with their Dirty Stop Out which is one of the best dark drinks out there at the moment.

Have a solemn, dignified Ramadan

Day 8: Slaapmutske Bruin by Brewery Slaapmutske #12beersofXmas

Day 8 – #12beersofxmas

Brewery – Slaapmutske

Location – Melle, East Flanders

The Drink: Slaapmutske Bruin

ABV: 6.0% – 330ml (30 IBE, 40 EBC)

Style: Belgian Ale


Opening to an audible hiss, wisp of gas and a small surge that I just caught in the glass this is a well carbonated beer.  It pours a cloudy medium brown with a strong off-white/cream head.  Initial aroma full of sweetness; toffee, caramel, treacle along with a maltiness and possible fruitiness too.

It is just as pleasing to drink, a bit bubbly on the palate but with more maltiness to go along with all the varying sweet flavours, nothing noticeably bitter in any part of the tasting and definitely dangerously drinkable for a rather strong ale.

Oddly I always assume that Belgian brewers are old as brewing, they merely modernise some of their brands/labels but Brouwerij Slaapmutske is a new brewery, which I suppose when you compare this to the taste of Belgium’s “historical” beers there is indeed something both Belgian but distinctly modern about this Bruin.

Tip-top Tet…

Day 7: A Mild With No Name by Billericay Brewing Company & Dominion Brewery Company #12beersofXmas

Day 7 – #12beersofxmas

Brewery – Billericay Brewing Company & Dominion Brewery Company

Location – Billericay, Essex & Moreton, Essex (via Toronto, Canada)

The Drink: A Mild With No Name

ABV: 5.5% – 500ml

Style: Strong Mild


This is a collaboration between Billericay Brewing Company and Dominion Brewery Company which I think is going to win the award for longest #12beersofxmas blog title.

A bit of a surge upon opening, it pours a very dark brown with a tan head, which did stop growing but remained for the rest of the drink.  Aromas of roast malts, toffee and oddly, cream.  Expiry is Jan 2015, crossed out and amended by hand to May 2015, which gave me a little chuckle as I thought of the person who was tasked with doing this correction.  The carbonation is low and it has a silky, smooth mouth feel, it drinks very much on the ground between a mild and a porter, nowhere near stout territory.

Minimum sediment, the roast, toffee and creamy smells carry over into the tasting, I’d say there is a subtle coffee hint too but there is also something else of which I’m not quite sure of.  Either way this is a very good drink, a triumph.

Happy Boxing Day…


Day 6: Padrino by Summer Wine Brewery #12beersofXmas

Day 6 – #12beersofxmas

Brewery – Summer Wine Brewery

Location – Holmfirth, West Yorkshire (historically West Riding of Yorkshire)

The Drink: Padrino Imperial Affogato Stout

ABV: 9.0% – 330ml (35 IBUs, 22 EBC)

Style: Imperial Stout


If I tell you that the side of the bottle states that this imperial stout is laced with amaretto, coffee and vanilla in kind of does half the job for me.

It pours pitch black with very little head, what there is a tan-off-white do and very little carbonation.  It has a massive coffee aroma with malts coming through too.  It feels smooth and velvety in the mouth and tastes of the afore-mentioned ingredients; creamy, sweet and almondy; much like the Italian dessert (Affogato, look it up) that it is named subtitled by.

Summer Wine won one of my Golden Pint awards for 2014 their 10.9% Barrel Aged Calico Jack Rum Imperial Stout as the best UK keg beer, I had it at Common Bar in Manchester and prior to that at Indy Man 2014 where I was fortunate enough to talk to the brewers.  That beer was aged two years, the brewer noted he wished he’d left it a further year.  It the opportunity arises to barrel-age the Affogato Stout I can see that winning another on my (slightly meaningless) awards in the future.


Happy Christmas…