2014 Swindon Beer Festival   2 comments

2014 Swindon Beer Fest early barrels

It was a hard day at the Swindon Beer Festival, my friends. To start, I opened the surgical wound again sometime in the night (although there seemed to be no reason to shout for help this time). With Jackie off to work, I needed only add an extra bandage and hike over to the STEAM museum and start drinking.

I was disappointed a couple of times, but that is the luck of the draw when you wait till the last day–some of the offerings are going to run dry early and there’s nothing that could be said that could change it (a note that should be mentioned to one or two whingers I heard along the way).

2014 Swindon Beer Fest back of STEAm

I stuck to dark beers until my lunch break and then planned on settling into an afternoon of perry and cider tasting but those that interested me most had already been pulled from the shelves. After two very good perries and a blackberry cider, I returned to my beer plan which was entirely black beers (stout, porter, and mild).

Mr. Love and Justice tuning up

Mr. Love and Justice tuning up

The original notes, unedited, follow:

Bridestone’s Chocolate Stout 4.6%: muddy like coffee sediment, good mouth

Slater’s Smoked Porter 4.8%: as described*, a bit thin on mouth but refreshing

Old Sodbury Mild 3.9%. Cotswold Spring Brewery: the fantastic bitterness of a goody powder, finish that blends into clay-like dust at the sides and back of tongue, also astringent…coffee grounds

Hammerpot Oyster Pond Stout 4.2%: because Hop Kettle’s Cocos Porter barrel was finished. Disappointing light cola stout.

Lunch break with the Hammerpot…

Mr Love and Justice -- old guys channelling REM and Echo & The Bunnymen and Lloyd Cole without irony or pathos

Mr Love and Justice — old guys channelling REM and Echo & The Bunnymen and Lloyd Cole without irony or pathos

Sandford Orchard Pear Shaped Perry 7.5% — I was warned about this one being ‘quite dry’ but that usually mean ‘not sweet’ to me while this one was just high in alcohol. Very nice almost like a sweet to dry wine.

Mr. Whitehead’s Blackberry 4.0%: Fanny’s Bramble keg was dead, but this is still a spectacular tipple…loads of fruit albeit more like sweet grapefruit juice than blackberries (they were actually sweet this year due to the heat, so points for the luck of the draw).

Lilley’s Bee Sting Perry 7.5%: low barrel yeast flavour (starting to get a buzz, here, so this doesn’t make sense to me, either) that I don’t remember from pull taps. Sort of like the leathery/chemical aftertaste of aged tequila.

Corinium 1 A.D. Porter 4.4%: Trying to use up my beer tokens at this point, this one leaves an even 2 quid. Another coffee-ground brew but quite nice.

RCH Hewish 3.6%: 80 pence for this 1/3 pint of mild but nicely viscous (foam from the gravity pour). I have completely lost sense of smell and the perry rounds obscure little I do have. I think I could do this again.

Plain Ales Inncognito 4.8%: best stout of the day (most “stout like”) plus I spent the £1.20 of my beer tokens. Result.

The Long Walk Home

The Long Walk Home

*Slater’s Smoked Porter (from Swindon 28th Annual Beer Festival tasting notes): Dark chestnut in colour. Beechwood smoked malt and German Noble hops give a spicy smoked flavour.

Posted 2014/10/25 by Drunken Bunny in beer festivals

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