This month's arrival was waiting for me at the end of a thirteen hour (!!!) shift which included presenting a wine tasting to 40 people; so as you can imagine I was pretty exhausted. They say alcohol is a depressant, but I certainly wasn't depressed when I found what was inside.
Cotswold Lager, 3.8%
It's not often I see a lager in my case but given the hot weather we've had (somewhat) recently it was a lovely surprise. Cotswold is very pale straw with a fine stream of bubbles and a thick white head. Smelling of fresh grass and lemon rind, this is a fantastic example of how lager can be a simple thing of beauty. Sharp, racy and precise with flavours of citrus, grass and herbs and a beautifully dry finish.
Salopian Brewery's Dead Drop
This pretty much leapt out of the bottle. As soon as the cap came off the room filled with aromas of mango. In the glass, those aromas were followed up by pine, toast and the slightest touch of paprika. Weird I know. This, much like their Bulletproof beer, is a real powerhouse. Lashings of tropical fruit, an underlying warmth and a mouthfilling, almost viscous texture make this a serious brew.
Tatton Brewery - VIPA, 6.3%
With the letters IPA in the name I thought I had a pretty good idea what this beer was about before I'd even opened it. I was pleasantly surprised a malt heavy nose of caramel, earth and vegetation. On the palate however it lived up to it's initials. A constant toasty base note gives rise to guava, candied orange, red berry and a spicy finish. Best thing about it? Despite being 6.3%, it goes down so easily!
George Wright Brewery - Drunken Duck, 3.8%
Boasting an award winning brewer in Keith Wright, George Wright have been producing beers since 2005 in both cask and bottle. The Drunken Duck is labelled as a 'Pale Citrus Dry'. They've pretty much nailed it on there. Bright and fresh with all manner of citrus flavours from waxy lemon rind to juicy orange and a touch of pink grapefruit. A long bitter finish with a touch of dry spice make this a proper lip smacker.
Williams Brothers - Pavlov's Dog,
A big ol' ruby ale, Pavlov's dog, while not as fiery as some ruby ales, delivers huge flavours of stewed red fruit, pudding spice and a strong aroma of red berry, touch of cherry and a little bit of mocha. I've come across Williams before having sampled their fantastic Joker IPA, so when I saw the brewery logo on the cap when I opened my case, it came as a wonderful surprise.
Prescott Brewery - Grand Prix, 5.2%
Prescott Brewery are based in Cheltenham and affiliate themselves with the famous Prescott Hill Climb. With all the beers taking their names from some aspect of motor racing, Grand Prix is a beautifully dark amber, almost verging on a bronze-like colour. Strong scents of bread, yeast and nuttiness. A strong beer but beautifully smooth with bags of malt flavour. There's an uplifting hoppy finish to round it off beautifully.
This is just part 1 of this months 12 bottle case - even I couldn't drink 12 bottles and write about them coherently. Part 2 to come next week!