I got, as a wonderful present from my dear aunt Sheena [to whom this post is dedicated – hey chook!], three Beamish Brewery beers. And just in case you didn’t think there were enough <b>s in there, I’m reviewing their ‘Best Bitter’.
It’s unusual for me to look at this style of beer, because it can often represent a ‘middle of the roadness’ in a brewery’s oeuvre of beverages, but – even if only to say thank you to my aunty – I felt this was an appropriate time to scrutinise this bottled beauty.
Look The bottle strikes me, though I’m apparently not an expert on the subject, as a bit ‘hipsterish’. Maybe. But live ‘n’ let live, right?
A light orange, in the glass. Looks a bit too light, but it’s nice ‘n’ clear. Head disappeared quite quickly. 6/10
Aroma Lovely – plenty of nostril-penetrating power. Vanilla, malt and a little burnt sugar. I expected more fruit, but I’m far from disappointed. 7/10
Taste Ooh, very fudgy. I like that. Despite the vanilla fudge notes, it’s not too sweet. It’s balanced maturely with a fresh maltiness and an all-round-the-mouth bitter tippy-tap on’t’ tongue. Fairly light body, of course, but it’s not ‘watery’ or owt. Plenty of complexity for a ‘light one’. 8/10
Value Well, it was free for me, so must score an instant 10/10. I don’t know how much it costs because I’m too far away from where it’s sold. I will say, though, that I’d probably happily pay £2.25 – 2.90 for this. 10/10
Session Very happy session beer. It’s light on alcohol, and it’s not that this encourages any recklessness – of course not – but it’s a good one to chill with. It’s complex enough to savour, yet very easy to enjoy. As well as this, I appreciated more of the aroma as I drank on, such as the buttery and toasty elements, and I like it when a beer keeps on giving! 8/10
So there you have it – further proof, if any were needed, that ‘bitter’ and ‘lower alcohol’ don’t mean anything even close to ‘insipid’. I thoroughly enjoyed this, on a par with one of my favourite bitters ever, that I enjoyed on draught at the Ranch House in Morecambe – Stockport Brewing Company’s ‘Crown Best Bitter’. All that remains to say, apart from that you try some Beamish ales if you get the chance, is thanks again Sheena!
Final score: 78/100