Day 10 – #12BeersofXmas 2015

Day 10 – #12BeersofXmas 2015


Brewery – Five Towns Brewery

Location – Outwood, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The Drink: Summerisle

ABV: 6.2% – 500mL

Style: Red Rye IPA

Other info: Surprisingly fiery Red Pagan IPA, loaded with American Hopes, BBE: Feb 2016

Sometime in June of 2015 I was sat in the Harewood Arms lamenting the death of cinema icon Christopher Lee and how their should be some form of tribute to him.  Within minutes Five Towns fired back with the artwork as it was tribute beer was already under way.

In a complete pisser of a day when I got back into Manchester the news broke that wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes had passed too.

Being a fan of (horror, sci-fi) films, wrestling and music this year has been particular heavy on the loses of those that had an impact on my life…

B.B. King

Terry Pratchett

Leonard Nimoy

Scott Weiland

Gunnar Hansen

Roddy Piper

Wes Craven

and then today, in a moment of horrible, morbid serendipity Lemmy goes and croaks it too, so as a quick ham-fisted tribute…


So on to the drink; a slight fizz upon opening, it pours clear red-orange with a white head which dissipates around the rim of the glass while drinking.

The smell is a lovely potent smell of hops, citrus and a bit of spice and the taste is just as powerful. A tingle stays on the lips after drinking, smooth in the mouth it is a mass of hops and orange, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was some chilli in there that was adding to the bite.

Five Towns are one of my favourite breweries at the moment; their beers, small and big alike are all of a high quality and many agree as for the two years of its incarnation, the Salford Beer Festival has awarded (by public vote) beer of the festival to the brewery; Raven King (a coffee porter) in 2014 and Art Decade (a mango/peach IPA) in 2015.

Seek them out.


Thanks for reading.


Live Long and Prosper.


Day 9 – #12BeersofXmas 2015

Day 9 – #12BeersofXmas 2015


Brewery – Cheshire Brewhouse

Location – Congleton, Cheshire.

The Drink: The Smokehouse Porter

ABV: 6.2% – 660ml

Style: Smoked Porter

Or to give it the full description: Slightly smoked, salted caramel, chocolate, sticky toffee pudding porter.

Ingredients: Water, Malted Barley, Whole Flower Hops, Yeast, Dates, Cacao (Willies Cacao; Venezuelan Black 100% Rio Caribe Cacao).  BBE: Dec 2015. Limited to 450 bottles.

Slight fizz and pours a rich dark brown with an off-white, creamy head that is retaining as I drink it.

The aroma is a has a definite sweet fruit pudding in chocolate sauce twang to it with.

The tongue is tantalised with a small about of carbonation; very, very light, like a well known former Rowntree’s favourite.

From now on it is very hard not to simple quote the rest of the notes on the bottle, I mean it even uses the word unctuous, it is indeed like drinking some decadent dessert.

This is one of those drinks I would classify as a “converter” – for the person that doesn’t like dark drinks or only knows the Irish nitro stuff then give them this and wait for the inevitable reaction of surprise and wonderment, accompanied with a hard to hide smile of something that tastes good but with the proviso of “I couldn’t spend a whole night on it…”

I could spend a whole night on it – if I’d bought another 2 bottles I probably could too and then I’d just float to bed…



Thanks for reading.

Enjoy your holiday in lieu (if entitled).


Day 8 – #12BeersofXmas 2015

Day 8 – #12BeersofXmas 2015


Brewery – Vocation Brewery

Location – Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

The Drink: Naughty & Nice

ABV: 7.5% – 750ml

Style: Chocolate Stout


In my Golden Pints of 2015 I gave Mark an award for best blogger and I gave Vocation two awards; best new brewery in 2015 (while others were hypnotised by the razzle-dazzle-flashing-of-the-cash of another brewery) and for best can which I gave to their Heart & Soul, though it may well have been for their Life & Death and I was either getting confused in general or that everyone else was giving their award to the latter and I was being brainwashed, either way they won best can by most bloggers I read.

They could easily have won best branding too but I’m not giving too many awards to Yorkshire, you’ve got to have some standards.

So with apologies for the lateness, how do you review a beer that you drank 24 hours ago when “tired”


Mark Johnson @ BeerCompurgation has done the hard work for me.  And also far, far better than I ever could.



Thanks for reading.


Beer Number 9 on the way…

Day 7 – #12BeersofXmas 2015

Day 7 – #12BeersofXmas 2015


Brewery – Saltaire Brewery

Location –  Shipley, Bradford, West Yorkshire.

The Drink: Saltaire XS Imperial Stout

ABV: 8.9% – 330ml

Style: Imperial Stout

Happy Boxing day everybody, it is time for Connor’s favourite style of drink…



The bottle opens with a fizz but pours with nearly zero carbonation, a small tan corona of a head forms and stays till the end.

This has big smells from the opening, mainly chocolate, some coffee and roasted and spicy notes, it reminds me very much of a Christmas pudding smothered in dark chocolate sauce (which I’ve never had but now will try).


This is a perfect fireside drink from the small alone, sadly it is being drunk it mid-afternoon as Salford, Rochdale, Leeds and Hebden Bridge even more sadly succumb to flood waters.

It is a big round drink in the mouth, smooth and silky and does not taste that strong at all.  You know it is a stout, you know it is the imperial kind but it is the epitome of dark liquid silk, which I suppose means if all sex lubricants tasted like this then we’d have to got back to spit and a bit of force, a tactic employed when it comes to dismantling Lego.

It tastes just like it smells too with a bit of bitterness and more malts coming through but you can’t shake that lovely rich chocolate pudding flavour.

This compliments a 3rd helping of leftovers very, very well.

Thanks for reading.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Day 6 – #12BeersofXmas 2015

Day 6 – #12BeersofXmas 2015


Brewery – Weird Beard

Location –  Facking Laaannndddaaannn mate.

The Drink: Black Christmas

ABV: 4.5% – 500ml

Style: A Cranberry Christmas Stout

Other information; BBE: Aug 2016, Batch: 0221.


I love Weird Beard.  Their general demeanour nationally is great, they come across as fun rather than overly serious or super studious which means that they are accessible and approachable while also letting the beers speak for them.  Plus their little beer specific skull logo is a stroke of genius, just the right side of adult to not be pointed at by moralists that they are targeting children with their demon drink.

As I write this I’ve just got back from the pub. I drank this bottle while watching the Wizard of Oz, had a few sips of others drinks and I’ve had a pint in the pub.  This is the most sober I have ever been come 10pm on a 25th December night since I was 15.  I’ve just eaten more instead.


The bottle opens with a big fizz and it pours a dark brown with a slightly off-white head that fades but is still present at the end.

Aroma is roasted, with a small of berries.  That will be the cranberries, which it certainly tastes of, along with the ubiquitous roasts and an ever so slightly sharp characteristic.

It feels light on the palate, low carbonation and has a very rounded mouth feel and a mellow after taste.

Hopefully I managed to do this review without plagiarising the bottle notes…

Thanks for reading.


Seasons Greetings.

Day 5 – #12BeersofXmas 2015

Day 5 – #12BeersofXmas 2015


Brewery – Five Oh Brew Co

Location –  Prestwich, Manchester

The Drink: Farmhouse Stout

ABV: 6.5% – 330ml

Style: Farmhouse Stout (obvious really)

Other information; BBE: 24/12/2015, Suitable for Vegans, Bottle Art by @muk_art


I’m thinking that Five-Oh are probably Manchester’s smallest commercial brewer at the moment, who knows, I certainly don’t, what I do know is Jamie knows his beers as well as his music.

To experience both, head to the tasting rooms in the cellar The Beermoth on a Friday/Saturday afternoon.  As an aside I do wonder if they are slightly quieter now they opened the wonderful Cafe Beermoth?


The bottle opens with audible fizz and pours giving a strong tan head that retains for the entire glass emptying fun.

Pitch blank in colour, the aromas are hoppy, malty and roasted.

The carbonation dances around the mouth, especially on the tip on the tongue.

The taste is roasted coffee and bitter chocolate and considering it is early and I’ve still not showered it went down very quickly.  Lovely drink.

Does it Djent? Again I don’t know but my burps from drinking this certainly do.


Thanks for reading.


Have a fun Night(mare) Before Christmas.*



*Remember Tim Burton did not direct this film, he hasn’t done anything decent since 2005 with Sleepy Hollow & the Corpse Bride.

Day 4 – #12BeersofXmas 2015

Day 4 – #12BeersofXmas 2015


Brewery – Six O’Clock Beer Co

Location –  Manchester

The Drink: Written Warning

ABV: 8.5% – 330ml

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Other information; BBE: Aug 2015, Gyle: B0016, Made in Manchester with Hops from Stockport

A rather rare bottle from the Six O’Clock people, brewing out of their own kit in the BlackJack Brewery, there beers are generally found around the area and especially at The SmithField (Top 3 pub/bars in central Manchester)

Another bottle that opens with a slight hiss and pours with very few bubbles, the dark tan head breaking immediately but staying around the rim for the duration of the drink.

A thick dark brown liquid, it provokes the word obsidian in my mind because I love that word…


If I’m honest I’m not detecting much in the way of an aroma, like some viscous dark hole of a drink nothing much is escaping.

However the mouthful is luscious, all thick and silky and fully coats the entire palate.  Heavy on the roast, a little boozy note features in the after taste.

Actually as the drink descends down the glass more of an aroma comes through, boozy hops being the best way I can put it.

This is a proper winter warmer, more so because my refusal to put the heating back on is prompting many dirty looks, not least from the cat.


Thanks for reading.


Have a Happy Christmas Eve Eve.