Friday, 27 April 2012

Meet the Brewer

Timothy Taylor was for a long time Mr T's favourite brewery- his first real ale experience, graduating from Boddington's. I believe he used to describe Landlord as like a "Solero in a glass", and for many years had a desire to get their wheat sheath tattooed somewhere (yes... a bit dramatic in my eyes too, but youthful enthusiasm shouldn't be mocked!). So after BarT'at tweeted about a 'meet the brewer' evening for Timothy Taylor, earlier on this week, we just had to visit.

We arrived just before 6 after shovelling in a quick tea at home, and started off the evening with tick number eight.

8: Spring Ram, Okell's, 4.2%
A beer served on draught, some citrus flavours and a bit sweet. It was nice. As a rule I don't use nice as an adjective, but I think that is appropriate here. To me, it was drinkable but I had little to say, either it doesn't have lots of flavour or it was too subtle for me. Perhaps my lack of beer tasting experience is beginning to shine through.

Shortly afterwards the evening began. Not everyone there was attending especially to meet the brewer, as we were, but nonetheless, patrons took part. The brewer turned out to be a sales rep, but he was knowledgeable, honest and he brought several tasters around along with samples of malt and hops that were used in the beer. So, the samples were as follows:

9: Golden Best, Timothy Taylor, 3.5%
Described as a session ale. Apparently brewed with Golden Promise barley. My taste-buds started to come back! I thought it tasted of toffee, maybe Werther's Originals.

10: MJ Fortis, Ilkley, 4.1%
Not a Timothy Taylor offering, but I was in need of another drink so opted for a half of this. My first dark beer of the challenge, a stout, and what a choice! Strong flavours of coffee and chocolate, and a woody/smoky taste. Really enjoyed drinking this, had so much more depth than the last few beers I ticked. Perhaps a mistake though, because it messed with my taste buds for the next Timothy Taylor sample.

MJ Fortis (left) and Ram Tam (right)
11: Ram Tam, Timothy Taylor, 4.3%
We were told that this beer wasn't made from a dark malt, but that actually the colour and flavour comes from added caramel. At least they were being honest! It was a tasty beer, but despite having an almost identical appearance, it paled in comparison to the lingering flavours of MJ Fortis.

12: Landlord, Timothy Taylor, 4.3%
The famous "Solero in a glass"... well... we couldn't taste mango ice cream, maybe the recipe had changed, but it was certainly an enjoyable beer, again caramels, toffee, and buttery flavours all combining to make a very drinkable pint.

I guess these types of evening are quite common, but I haven't attended one before and thought it was pretty ace. Clearly I need more practice to understand the subtly different flavours, bitterness, aromas and feel of beer. And I need to develop my vocabulary to help my descriptions. Any help would be appreciated!

But for now, I will plod on with the arduous tasks of ticking some more beers.

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