So it’s that time of year when afficinados of real ale traipse up to nottingham castle to sample the delights of the nottingham beer festival.
For the past couple of years I’ve made sure to book the first thursday of the festival off of work to make sure I get a nice relaxed chance to sample the ales. And this year was no exception. Starting off at the Malt Cross with a jacket potato to make sure the stomach was amply lined we wandered up to the castle to work through the barrels.
Being me, I decided to stick to the darker side of beer and make the most of the stouts and porters on offer. So the following were drunk: (numbers relate to the festival programme, and any spelling errors are down to trying to type on an iPhone while drinking).
284 Mallinsons – porker porter – little thin for me. Roasted taste, good starter.
63 Bottle Brook – paranoid – def a porter in my book. Good solid porter but let down by no uniqueness. Would be good for a session though as a litle lighter than most.
135. Driftwood – Bolsters blood. Another good porter good strong taste but doesn’t linger too long. Only slightly chocy to me, but that’s me.
84. Brown Cow – Thriller in vanilla. Very nice. Vanillla touch just right. Goes lovely with oysters. And chilli sauce.
Waen blackbery stout. Awful didn’t even finish raster (Updated: – Please see the comment below from the brewery. I’m more than happy to accept that it was a bad cask, and hopefully I’ll get to have a try at a later point).
707. Nook brewhouse cherry stout. Very smooth, very slight hint of cherrymess but not overpowering. Litle thin but very drinkable.
622 – Brewdog – paradox. 10% very strong. Lovely taste of whisky, a nice big sherry cask? Lovely taste but too strong really for a festival sup. Quite Jammy almost. Wish they had offered this in 1/4 pints, as 1/2 pint was a bit too much. Despite offering it around I had to pour some away :(
699 – muirhouse – jolly roger stout. Very nice. Decent taste that cut through the prevous, just the right amount of bitterness and fruiteness for a stout.
341 – Potbelly – Pigwash. Good honest beer. Almost coffe like bitterness. Liitle acidic for me.
430. Tempest. Smokehouse Vanilla porter. Nice and smooth with a slight
after taste. No obvious vanilla notes, but that might be due to all the previous beers
So another succesful Nottingham beer festival. The only improvement I’d like to see from Nottingham Camra is a few more seats. Maybe some of the long bench style seats you get at german beer festivals? The little round ones they offer now seat too few people.
The outstanding beer for me was the brewdog paradox, I’d love to settle down at home with a bottle of that to last the evening, but it’s not a beer for drinking with others. For a night out drinking I’ve definitely go for Brown Cow’s Thriller in Vanilla.