Beer Swap Review – Part 1 of 2

3 12 2009

Well, I thought I had better post something here after a week or so’s worth of inactivity brought on by a general feeling of yuerk! (That’s a technical, medical term…trust me I work in a hospital).  Nothing enough to stop me going to work but more than enough to reduce my functionality down to basic motor skills at all other times.  This status quo seems to have no intention of abating on its own so I’m making a concerted effort to force myself to do ‘stuff’.  Kill or cure, if you like.

So what better way to try and break this fug than with beer and, as the deadline for posting about the goodies I received fast approaches, Beer Swap beer at that.  As I have previously posted my benefactor in this wonderful, Twitter led, endeavour was Simon (AKA @WindsorBeerFest) who hails from the Windsor area or Doon South as we call it up here.  As a result I received the following brews:

Dr Hexter’s Healer – West Berkshire Brewery, Yattendon, Thatcham

This pours as a lovely caramel amber colour and caramel is what you get on the nose along with orchard fruits and pleasant, balancing hop freshness.  The fruit remains through to the tasting where the hops add a citrus edge to proceedings and the caramel, whilst still there, takes more of a back seat along with some nuttiness.  There is a bitterness to the finish which proves to be quite refreshing.  I could quite happily sit drinking this during the course of a session but it’s not something I’d actively hunt out.

Rebellion White – Rebellion Brewery, Marlow

OK, wheat beers are something of a no go area for me after some very bad experiences of plainly awful examples which raised their ugly head in Newcastle during the late ‘80’s.  So, other than the occasional bottle of Hoegaarden, I’m very much a novice with this style of beer, anyway here goes.   As expected the beer pours cloudy but it was darker than I had imagined, looking somewhat like a real cider in the glass.  Despite the bottle telling me I would be able to smell cloves I have to say, whilst they may have been there, I got more of a general, mixed spice aroma.  Taste wise, another surprise, in that there wasn’t as much of a citrus hit as I was expecting.  Rather the spiciness was to the fore, predominantly ginger and a tongue tingling pepperiness.  The citrus was there but it was rounded (almond/vanilla in there too) rather than sharp.  Ultimately I really enjoyed this and found it to be very refreshing and way better than the Hoegaarden I’d been fooling myself with.  I’ll be putting this on the wish list of supplies in time for Barbie season next year, that’s for sure and I’ll be on the lookout for other wheat beers to try too.

To be continued in part 2 where I’ll give my views on the remaining beers and the Beer Swap experience as a whole.