Posts Tagged ‘Suffolk’

St Peter’s Ruby Red Ale

Company info:
St Peters Brewery


Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 4.3%
Standard drinks: 1.7

Cap type: Non-screw

Cost: I picked this up for $7.99AU

Label info: ‘A rich, red ale with subtle malt undertones and a distinctive spicy hop aroma from Styrian Goldings. Brewed with skill and patience in one of Britain’s finest small breweries.

Historical notes – St Peter’s Brewery is located in a medieval hall in a remote and beautiful corner of Suffolk. There our beers begin their lives deep below the brewery with water drawn from a pure source – as it has been for over 700 years, essential for the full flavour and pure character of all St Peter’s beers.
Our beautiful flask-shaped oval bottle is a faithful copy of one produced c.1770 for Thomas Gerrard of Gibbstown, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The original is now kept at St Peter’s Hall and is a rare example of an oval Eighteenth Century beer bottle’.

What the label really means: If this brewery hasn’t put Suffolk on the map, it sure has been well and truly placed on my mind-map of ‘must see’ places. I gotta see that medieval hall. I gotta see that magical mystical well from which the water is drawn. It’s created an ethereal-like vision for me that I just can’t shake.
I also love knowing that this bottle is a tried and true shape, and has been for such a long time.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: …And speaking of that beautiful flask-shaped bottle….wow. This is the most beautifully designed bottle I have ever seen in my entire life and I simply can’t ignore it when reviewing this bottle’s label. Just holding this bottle makes you bow down and worship St Peter’s Ruby Red Ale as the most awe-inspiring beer of all time before the lid is even cracked. It is…just…wow. I can’t explain this. It fits neatly in the hand and just seems so right. It’s like watching a butterfly emerge from a pool of baby vomit, or a small Chinese man massaging your scalp – it’s just beautiful.
The label, in all its minutely displayed goodness supports this bottle with great enthusiasm. Its sits aloof, staring out to sea without the faintest hint of concern for the approaching ship sure to run aground on those jagged rocks dead ahead. There’s a little bird on the label, possibly a black-bird, a golden key enthroned in its chest. It chirps with a beauty that rocks me awake like church bells in a cemetery. There’s a ring of gold around the label but I don’t even notice it and I go back to holding this bottle in my hand, caressing its sweet, sweet neck ever so gently, rocking it to sleep and mouthing the words to ‘Islands in the Stream’ to an absent crowd.

I give it a label rating of 9 out of 10.

AROMA: More chocolatey than any other beer I have ever sniffed. This is very enticing.

Taste: GLASS – Very chocolate-like in texture and mouth-feel with an ever so subtle coffee bitterness that arrives as an after-taste like the postman who forgot to deliver that Lowes catalogue on the first route. It’s very enjoyable, very flavoursome, very hearty, and very full-bodied. It’s reminding me a little of Kilkenny in taste, without the creamy thickness.

I give it a beer from glass rating of  8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE –
That distinct chocolate taste is there, minus the delicious aroma. It’s good but it’s not quite the whole experience. But, this is completely forgotten when you’re reminded that you are holding the coolest damn bottle in the whole damn world. This beer needs to be consumed from the bottle, I don’t care if I am missing any damn aroma. Hold, drink, caress, sigh. Repeat. 

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Definitely beef…perhaps a gently marinated steak.

Best season to appreciate: A genuine Winter-Warmer. The only difficulty I had reviewing this beer was that the room temp was 25 degrees +. It just didn’t seem right.

All-nighter beer? While I could hold this bottle all night, drinking it all night would be a little more difficult. I think it’s a bit too heavy…but the first couple would be amazing.

Other: My apologies for being MIA last week. I had an ulcer on my tongue that prevented any true tastings taking place. But I am back now and tonguey good.



Adnams Innovation

Company info:
Suffolk, ENGLAND


Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 6.7%
Standard drinks: TBC – Listed as 3.4 UK Units

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: Beer supplied by the good folk at Dunnottar Wine and Spirits

Label info: ‘Adnams Innovation is a distinctive beer to savour; intriguingly hoppy & golden in colour, with an ABV of 6.7%. A delicious beer to celebrate Adnams’ innovative production techniques, based on a distinguished heritage.

At Adnams we prefer to leave our footprint in the sand, not on the environment’

What the label really means: I find it interesting that Adnams have listed the alcohol content as part of their label description. It’s like they ran out of adjectives and just decided to go “Hey if we haven’t yet sold ya, it’ll get ya drunk real quick like! Carn, take a sip!”.  Unfortunately, Adnams don’t mention any of their ‘innovative production techniques’ or anything on their ‘distinguished heritage’. This is the kind of stuff I’d love to read. I don’t need to know that it is 6.7% in the label description – I can simply look to the bottom of the bottle for that!

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is all black with embossed text. The only clear text is the gold word ‘Innovation’. If you look very carefully you can make out the text on the label to read ‘A very distinctive limited edition beer brewed to celebrate achievement in blending state of the art technology and craftmanship an innovation in English beer brewing past present future’. On first glance I loved this label. I loved the simplicity, yet also the underlying complexity as I discovered the hidden text. What I’m not convinced on is the use of gold…a long time pet hate of mine. But, I do have to award much kudos to the good folk at Adnams for the embossed text. Take a look at a bottle and you really can’t resist giving it a couple of strokes. It feels real nice like.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.

AROMA: Delicious! It’s wheaty and hoppy and very freakin’ enticing.

Taste: GLASS – It’s a bit darker in colour than I imagined this beer would be and that’s only the first surprise. My second comes when I take a sip and find it to be an incredibly smooth ale. Carbonation is barely noticeable which is a good thing as it lets me concentrate on the flavours of this full-bodied brew. It’s definitely got an all-mouth flavour that is very appealing. It’s hoppy in presentation and feels like it’s a second cousin to amber ales with a slight bitterness. This is very easy to drink and the higher than average alcohol is not noticeable.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE –
Just as tasty, and just as loving, if not a little more so. It’s a very comforting drop and holding this beer in my hand just feels good. My fingers caress the neatly polished embossed letters and the bottle is just a good size to grip. Good stuff Adnams and Co.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this along side Millencolin’s old classic ‘Penguins and Polar Bears’

Accompanying food: Ok this is yet another ribs, coleslaw and fries kind of beer. I’m talking pork ribs with a bourbon-based sauce. Bring it!

Best season to appreciate: I’m a little torn over this one. Innovation is going back very well and I am drinking it on a warm Summer evening. But, roll on Winter when you’re tucked up beside a fire place and I think this would also work a treat. The perfect post-snow shovelling beer.

All-nighter beer? This sucker is so smooth I can’t see myself getting sick of this any time soon. An all-nighter all-right!