Friday, 1 January 2016
#12EssexBeersofChristmas The Eighth Day
The Twelve Essex Beers of Christmas
New Year's Day it is, and I'm sure that by now this morning's hangover is a thing of the past and you're already thinking about the beers you'll be drinking this evening. Will you be drinking a beer that you know well, an old favourite that you've had many times before or perhaps sloping off down the pub for a pint of the usual?
As it's the first of January today I'm urging you to do something different.
That's the thinking behind the Tryanuary initiative, that urges you to get out there and try beer that you haven't had before, visit a brewery that's near you, or perhaps a bit further away, that you haven't been to before, and pick up some new beer to try. Get out and visit those great pubs you've heard of and always meant to get to, if not now then when? It's all about doing something positive for the industry and broadening your horizons at the same time, you might even find a new favourite, and if you do then why not let everyone know about it? All you need to do is post something on Twitter using the #tryanuary hashtag. Give it a go.
As for me, there are a still some Essex breweries I've not visited, beers I've not had, and lot's of pubs still to check out, and I plan to spend some time roaming the county doing my own Essex-centric Tryanuary trail. I'll report back on this blog as I do, so keep checking these pages to see what I find.
Tonight's beer is from a brewery I've had before, one I've already featured on these pages, but it is a new beer to me.
The Eighth Day:
Maldon Brewing Company - Rudolph's Red 4.3%
This is Maldon's second outing of three, and it's the only Red Ale to feature in this seasonal selection although they actually produced six beers with either a Yuletide or Winter theme, making them the most Christmas focussed of Essex brewers.
Pouring a deep ruby red with dark amber highlights but no real head to speak of, it has a malty red berry aroma exactly as you'd expect from this style. It's quite bitter, surprisingly so as I was expecting it to be a little smoother, and this dominates the whole of the taste with little of the strawberry bootlace sweet or blackcurrant wine gum taste I was expecting. I put this down to it being a bit too cold so I'll warm it for a minute or two before I continue.
So I've watched a few minutes of the World's Strongest Man Final, with Savickas going for the world record deadlift and failing (see, I really do this on the day) and the beer's had a chance to warm a bit and it's taken on a slightly different character. There is some berry fruit there, cherry, redcurrant and a touch of blackcurrant, but also a caramel chocolate note under the malty bitterness which I rather like. The finish is a bit disappointing however, just a thin jumble of those flavours that doesn't actually go anywhere or add anything to the beer, and that's a real shame. It's not a bad beer by any means, I just don't think it's one on Maldon's best, but that's the risk you run with a lower abv Red Ale.
If you want to find out more about the Maldon Brewing Company then follow this link to their website. The home page gives away what my last beer selction from them is, and you'll see why I'm saving that for later.
If you'd like more details on Tryanuary, you'll find the home page here and the Twitter page here. Get exploring.