Yellow Hammer stood out on the Sainsbury’s shelf like a woodpecker drilling into my brain, the bold yellow type urging me to pick it up.
My first O’Hanlon’s ale poured a light golden colour with a delicate head. It was pretty lively with a slightly yeasty aroma that many bottle conditioned ale seems to have.
This was followed by the fresh floral scent of Cascade hops, which preceded a golden malt taste that was fresh and sweet. I was right in the mood for it and it came up trumps with a nice balance of hops, malt and sweetness to refresh my palate.
This is a zesty little number, the malt is subtle and it has the character you might expect from the small, lively bird it’s named after. This is a beer that could really hit the spot in a refreshing way.
This beer brings up a question I’ve been meaning to ask for a while: ‘bottle conditioned’ or ‘not bottle conditioned? It’s a debate that every now and then rears its divisive head. This is a nice beer, and I’d certainly have it again, but how much better is it because it is bottle conditioned? (I’d genuinely like to know!).
I’m not sure I like having to take great care and attention pouring this when I’m dealing with what is essentially a light, refreshing golden beer. If I wanted this on a summer night I’d prefer to slightly chill it and not have to worry about sediment escaping the safe confines of the bottle.
That sediment makes a big different if it does end up loose in your glass of beer (a little bit of which did near the end).
Regardless of that this is a good beer that I’d love to try on draft in a beer garden and will definitely try in a bottle again (pouring with more due diligence this time around!).Tags: beer, Bottle Conditioned, competition, golden, sainsburys
July 31st, 2009Beer Reviews
Hogs Back Brewery T.E.A (Traditional English Ale), 4.2%
Currently sat round Jack’s house playing 1 Vs 100 on the Xbox while having a few real ales. Tomorrow we’re hoping to head over to Greenwich to check out the Meantime brewery but in the meantime (pun definitely intended) we plan on doing a few reviews tonight.
This TEA was recommended to me by Fletch a few weeks ago so when we were down at Waitrose picking ales I suggested to Jack that we give it a whirl. Aside from Fletch it comes well recommended having won the 2000 Best Beer in Britain award.
I have to say that this beer is really smooth, tasting initially a bit like a strong continental lager and not as strong as many award winning ales. The soft initial flavour gives way to a fantastic hoppy aftertaste which I would imagine was responsible for putting it in line for the award. It is bottle conditioned and has the quality you expect for a bottle conditioned ale.
Jack says this is one of the top five ales he’s ever tried and that he would not be embarrassed to give a bottle to his old man at Xmas. Top referral Fletch.Tags: 4-5% ABV, Best Beer in Britain, Bottle Conditioned, Hogs Back Brewery, T.E.A., Traditional English Ale, Waitrose