Total Score: 7/10
This has been a long time coming given that I am cantankerous, old… well not old in age but old in spirit… and a boozer – perhaps the booziest of boozers as I have a blog about beer. So there you have it – many reasons for me to wrap my gob around a nonic pint of what I imagine will be a classic no-nonsense “I remember the days when…” Yorkshire-brewed English Bitter (i.e. malty with next to no hops and flat as a tack carbonation, an English pub beer if you will). Cheers to all the Old Farts out there!
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint just as God, the Queen and Blighty intended.
A: Presents with a clear (almost hazed) copper body and a thin foamy off-white head that quickly dissipates to nothing – a typical English Bitter appearance then – no surprises but also nothing that elevates this above the pack, and TBH I prefer a bit of cloudiness in my beers, though stylistically EB’s aren’t supposed to have yeast cloudiness. 7/10.
S: Hints of Diacetyl (a buttery character for the uninitiated) upfront, this is quite acceptable for the style, along with a toffee/biscuit base and fruity/floral hops in the background. A real English Bitter with little in the way of detractions… or distractions even. 7/10.
T: Upfront fruity and floral notes lead into a dry cracker mid-palate, then a sweet toffee/caramel malt layer that then leads into some buttery character and finishes with a light hop bitterness. There’s a decent amount of complexity going on here, perhaps too much (I’m looking at you floral/dry cracker notes) and indeed the Diacetyl in the glass adds to this complexity. 7/10.
M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied with a light but not English pub flat carbonation. 7/10.
D: What a solid chap this Old Fart is! With some typical flavours you normally find in an English Bitter, although I did find it a little distracting with the floral and dry cracker notes. At times it felt a bit muddled and not really sure of where it was headed, however there are plenty of things working in its favour: Diacetyl, fruity hops, toffee/caramel malts. Certainly this is one of the better Bitters I’ve had recently (never mind it is the only Bitter I’ve had recently). 7/10.
Food match: I’ve got a friend I would like you to meet, his name is: Stew.