Monday, 4 January 2016

#12EssexBeersofChristmas The Eleventh Day

The Twelve Essex Beers of Christmas

It's the Eleventh Day of Christmas, and I expect for some of you it was your first day back at work after a nice long break. If it was more of a shock than you were hoping then grab yourself a bottle, can or pint of something new, it is #tryanuary after all. If you are in Scotland of course, you'll be going back to work tomorrow. I hope you had a pleasant Hogmanay.

If you're at work and are thinking about beer, as I often do, why not consider going somewhere different for your lunchtime beer. If that isn't an option then why not try after work or on the way home. There are a few pubs close to where I am that I haven't been in for many years and one of two that I don't recall going in at all. These are the pubs I'll devoting one beer a week two in January. It may well be that I won't ever go in them again, but at least I can comment on them if asked. I'll be writing a blog for Andy at Tryanuary about my experiences, so look out for that towards the end of the month on his site. I'll let you know when.

My day at work was pretty horrendous, I hope yours was less hard work, but it's over now and time to open a beer.

The Eleventh Day
Maldon Brewing Company - Farmer's Christmas Stout 4.8%

This is Maldon's festive stout, a regular seasonal and one I've been looking forward to all year. This is a classic Oatmeal Stout, brewed with English Challenger, Fuggles and Goldings hops and exactly the kind of beer that you want when the weather turns colder.

This bottle conditioned beer pours a deep dark ruby red, so dark it's close to brown, close but not quite. Chocolate, liquorice and prune notes dominate the aroma once you've let it warm a while, in fact the closer to room temperature it gets the more pronounced it becomes, so you might want to let it warm a while. Full bodied and a touch coarse, this isn't a silky smooth beer but I think it's much the better for it, there is a dry toasty chocolate note that runs throughout with raisin, prune and the merest hint of blackberry lurk in the background but, as before, become a little more prominent as the glass warms in my hands. The finish has a thick lick of frothy chocolate mousse before it dries beautifully leaving the thinnest of milk chocolate veneers mixed with a hint of burnt toast. This is a delicious Christmas stout, I wish I'd bought some more.

If you'd like to know about Maldon Brewing beers, you can follow this link to their website or visit their micro-pub, the Farmer's Yard, in Maldon High Street.

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