Monday, 22 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
21. By The Horns Brewing Co. - Prince Albert 5.5%

By The Horns is another brewery based in Wandsworth, rivalling Hackney, a borough almost diagonally opposite it on a map of Greater London, for breweries in the capital. In 2011, Chris Mills and Alex Bull, in their twenties and reformed fizzy lager drinkers (but let's face it, aren't we all) who had developed a taste for good flavoursome beer. It's a familiar story but, to cut to the chase, they put in the work, did their research and are now the owners and operators of their own 5.5 barrel brewery. They are trying to brew flavoursome beer to please all drinkers, both novice and enthusiast alike, and from what I've tasted of their output then they've succeeded. They also have this sensible attitude, and I'll quote directly from their website here: 'We enjoy beer whatever beer machine it is served from, be it Cask, Keg, Bottle or Boot!', and let's face it, in the end it's all about good beer.
Prince Albert, named after Queen Victoria's Consort, and not a genital piercing, was originally brewed to celebrate the (current) Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June 2012, a good excuse to brew a Munich Dunkel and tie it in with a little royal heritage. It was re-brewed as a pseudo-Oktoberfest beer in October, using British, German and New World hops, and German ale yeast. It pours a dark reddish-brown, very much the colour of Tawny Port, with a creamy, dense beige head, with an aroma of chocolate, burnt toast and warm rubber. Initially smooth and creamy over the tongue, a bite of bitterness and carbonation follows sharply behind. The taste of dark chocolate covered thinly sliced green apple is supplanted by some burnt toast scrapings and a sprinkling of crushed walnuts. This beer is punchy, rough and soft all at the same time. The finish has a little bitter chocolate with some almond milk notes, a slight vinous quality and some lovely date stickiness.
This is a rather tasty little beer, and I'm rather delighted by it. I've had a few Dunkels and they can be quite thin and lacking in flavour but this is a little cracker, look out for it, even if you have to wait until October until you get some.

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