I've been away awhile. Haven't much to write amount in truth. I had the privilege of working Christmas day in the lab, which proved to be more depressing than I thought it would be. I was kept busy with incidents of gastroenteritis, no doubt a result of poorly prepared Christmas dinners. I didn't get out to a single pub over the holiday season either. A couple of days before a roaring open fire in the windswept West of Ireland did my heart good as did a lively wedding just after New Year. There was little in the way of interesting beer to be had until a surprise delivery from the nice people at CAMRA arrived. It seems the lads at Realale.com fixed their delivery issues by using a courier that I suggested to them. So bottled real ale is flowing in my house once again. I grazed on the delivery over the last week or so and declare myself quite happy with it.
Hobson's Choice proved to be a golden ale I could really get on with. I have griped about English golden ale in the past, with good reason, but this one really bucked the trend with lip smacking bitterness, full body and rounded malt.
Cheddar Ale's Totty Pot started a little weak wristed but soon gave up the goods upon warming - treacle like roasted notes were the reward for not rushing.
Grumpling Old Ale was a solid, if uneventful ruby ale. Plenty of malt and fullness but fairly typical of many other ales. There are a lot of these ales in CAMRA deliveries, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying them.
Palmerston's Folly was unusual for a winter selection - a sweet ale with a decent dose of wheat made for refreshing drinking, but seemed incongruous among the heavier ales.
The most striking ale came from Wiltshire in the shape of Chimera IPA - heftily hopped with English fare and authentic at 7% abv. A fine beer with uncompromising bitterness and malt to match.
Deliveries are bimonthly now, instead of quarterly so I can look forward to even more tasty beer this year than last. True, there are quite often a dud beer or two to be had but on the whole my CAMRA beer instalment is well worth anticipating.