BlackHaddock (7410) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - APR 9, 2012
Hand pulled pint in a local pub 10 Nov 2011: Dark ruby red body, almost black unless held up to a light source: on top sat a head that was creamy in colour and texture.
The taste and smells were very similar, bittering hops (Styrian Goldings, Millenium and Nugget according to the website) and roasted/toasted malts (Crystal and Chocolate malts). The hops just about won the smelling contest, the malts triumphing in the taste, the beer being slightly malt sweet with some mild hop bitterness in the finish.
Easy to drink and the body strength hides the 5.4% ABV nicely.
foxo82 (902) - Bromsgrove (via Leicester), Worcestershire, ENGLAND - MAR 6, 2012
Bottle from Best Western Malt House Hotel, Stoke-on-Trent. Pours a dark, cloudy, cola brown with a small head. Cracking aroma of burnt sugar, syrup, malt, brandy sauce and Christmas pudding. The taste is bitter, hoppy and very long but, if I’m honest, not one I really enjoyed - Benylin cough medicine with a bitter aftertaste. It lacked the depth and range of flavour that its appearance and aroma promised. Nocturne (1992) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - JAN 22, 2012
500ml bottle. Dark amber with plenty of creamy head. Loads of lacing. Nice aroma with malts and some alcohol poking through. Lovely mouthfeel with some pronounced fruitiness and a bitter finish. My memory of the cask version was that the fruit shone through even more, but unless you’re fortunate enough to have this brew on tap locally the bottled version will certainly suffice. A beer I’ll return to many more times. TheCametron (2480) - CZECH REPUBLIC - JAN 18, 2012
Keg at Bow Bar. Dark red brown with off white head. coffee and fruity chocolate. Light hoppy dryness. Very nice. Benjii (3049) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JAN 16, 2012
On cask at The Bow Bar. Pours a very dark ruby colour with a thick, light tan head. Aroma of coffee caramel, chocolate and alcohol. Similar flavours of roast malt, coffee and chocolate. Very tasty and just a little dry to finish. Mild carbonation and an oily mouth-feel.
JohnRMurdoch (4917) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - JAN 16, 2012
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2012 Cask @ The Bow Bar. Rich dark brown colour, good head. Roasted coffee malt aroma & flavour. Sweet aftertaste. Not bad. AleManTom (195) - Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - SEP 4, 2011
Bottled from Goyt Valley Wine in Whaley Bridge. A splendid bottled ale, black coloured with a slight tanned head. Fruit aroma, malty, chocolate taste with a lingering bitter finish. niquillis (2752) - Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ENGLAND - AUG 21, 2011
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2014 On cask at JDW, Stoke. Pours dark ruby with a foam head. Some hops and dark fruits but a bit too malty for my liking.
On cask at Coachmakers, Hanley - 06/11/14. A fine example of a strong bitter must have been in much better condition than when I had it 3 years ago. downender (8687) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - JUN 30, 2011
Cask-conditioned at the Commercial Rooms (JDW), Bristol 30/6/2011. Dark brown with a slight tan head. Floral hop and caramel aroma. Sweetish, chocolate and toffee flavour with a contrasting and pleasant bitter finish. Good. DruncanVeasey (8239) - NUNEATON, Warwickshire, ENGLAND - JUN 21, 2011
The Baron. Deep ruby with a tight beige drum. Good aroma with berry skins, a dusting of cocoa, blackcurrant.. Fine and soft with a pleasant blackcurrant and orange tang, discreetly floral hops, cranberry hints. Bittering milky coffee, nut husk and well done toast finish. A grower. Good brew.