Friday, 5 July 2013

Beers Of London Series: 42. East London Brewery - Orchid 3.6%

Beers Of London Series
42. East London Brewing Company - Orchid 3.6%

Set up in February 2011 by husband and wife team Stuart Lascelles and Claire Ashbridge-Thomlinson, the East London Brewing Company is based in Leyton, London E10, right next door to the Lea Valley Nature Reserve, just off the Lea Bridge Road.
Stuart previously worked as an industrial chemist, but after twenty years he decided that he was ready for a new challenge, so with his wife on maternity leave (they had a four month old and two year old children at the time) a micro-brewery became the chosen path. Within six months they had brewed their first beer, the ELB Pale Ale (which incidentally was the first beer of theirs that I had, at the The Southampton Arms in December 2012), and they haven't looked back since.
Their current line-up of beers include the aforementioned Pale Ale, Foundation Bitter an Amber Ale flavoured with a blend of English and New Zealand hops, Nightwatchman a chestnut coloured 'smoother beer', Jamboree a Golden Ale brewed with English hops, Quadrant an Oatmeal Stout brewed in collaboration with National Homebrew Competition champions Graeme Coates and Tom Dobson, and Orchid, which I'm having tonight, a dark Mild lightly spiced with vanilla.
It pours a deep, rich milk chocolate brown with a thin beige head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is a delightfully light mist of good quality chocolate, ground coffee and the faintest dabs of vanilla adding a beautiful sweet note to the proceedings. Quite thin over the tongue, there is however a prickly buzz of carbonation that picks and prods in a rather friendly manner and this leaves behind a flavour of watery milk chocolate and maybe a little meat juice that slowly melts into an absolutely delicious milky sweet vanilla. This is like having your tongue gently bathed in a fresh milky vanilla pod liquid, the chocolate and coffee flavour all but forgotten, and this continues long into the finish albeit becoming a little more lactic at the end.
This beer carries its beauty in its subtlety. Even though the aroma is big and bold up front, its the finish that makes this a truly stunning beer. Take some time out to find it.

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