|You may not find a better location for a beer festival.|
|The beer of the festival, folks: Fuller's Imperial Stout.|
Belleville Trick or Treat, 5.4% - Pumpkin beers are tough to do well given that you're dealing with a range of ingredients that don't often make their way into beer. The classic pitfalls of the pumpkin beer style include excessive spicing or cloying sweetness. I'm happy to say that Belleville managed to brew a lovely take on the style. The beer pours lightly hazy gold with a fine, filmy white head. The nose has notes of fleshy pumpkin, pumpkin pie and nutmeg. Medium sweet with notes of dry, bready malts, further pumpkin pie and restrained cinnamon and nutmeg. It's light to medium in body with fine carbonation. It finishes lightly sweet with great balance between the pumpkin character and the spices. While it's simple to write off pumpkin beers as novelty, this offering shows you can make one that is balanced and drinkable. Good work. (Score: 3.7/5)
Other beers worthy of mention include:
Exeter Avocet, 3.9% - A classical British golden ale with notes of lemon rind, straw and bready pale malts. Effortlessly drinkable if not particularly complex. (Score: 3.8/ 5)
Hawkshead Windemere, 3.5% - A good and hoppy golden ale with a dynamic character of tangerine, lemon and peach. It finished clean and dry with slight minerality and crunchy pale malts. (Score: 3.8/5)
Twickenham Autumn Red, 4.4% - A well constructed premium bitter marked by toasted brown bread, dried berries and balanced, piney bitterness. (Score: 3.8/5)
Exmoor Beast, 6.6% - A rich, hefty porter with notes of toffee, figs, raisins, sweet bread and semi-dark fruits. A nice cold weather beer. (Score: 3.7/5)
And in a tie for best names...
|There's always something for everyone.|
Ulverston Laughing Gravy, 4.0% - It was a pretty decent bitter that hit all the right notes: grainy and bready malts, berries and other dried fruits, moderate leafy bitterness. I don't know what other people thought of the name, but I loved it. (Score: 3.6/5)
Many thanks to the folks behind this festival. You all continue to impress me with the range of beers and the consistently good conditioning. Cheers.