Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Beer Advent Calendar Day 5 and 6- Magic Rock (various) and Buxton Brewery Buxton Gold

Good evening readers. As promised on Day 4, today's advent calendar post is a combination of some brief reviews from the beers I was able to try at the Magic Rock event at the Cask yesterday, combined with tonight's beer, Buxton Gold from Buxton Brewery.

Day 5
Magic Rock- a relatively new brewery based in Huddersfield- showcased all of their beers at the Cask Pub and Kitchen as part of a special Meet The Brewer event. Having been to one of these before (for Mikkeller at the same venue) I was disappointed that I wasn't able to stay for the talk itself, as it seems that the team from Magic Rock really take time to go through each of the beers and describe the processes that led to their creation (at least based on reviews from the events in Brighton recently). Based on the pictures from the Cask's twitter feed, it was a very good evening. Regardless, I still had some time before my prior commitment to sample a few, and based on the quantity I have opted to post small "capsule" reviews below. The picture included is of the first beer, Curious NZ.

Magic Rock Curious NZ (pale ale with New Zealand hops
Appearance: pale golden; whispy, foamy head
Aroma: light citrus hops, light malt
Taste: light, fruity hop taste; very bitter finish
Conclusion: enjoyable, highly recommended as first beer or to break up a session, bitterness might offend some

Magic Rock Dark Arts Stout (stout)
Appearance: deep black, light brown head (retains well)
Aroma: bitter chocolate, light smell of coffee beans
Taste: rich malty flavour, slight bitterness in finish, coffee is more noticeable
Conclusion: bottle and cask fairly similar, lovely warming stout with plenty of body

Mikkeller+Redemption Mild Interpretation (amber ale)
Appearance: copper colour, light brown head (good retention)
Aroma: malty, slight "golden ale" smell (sulfur)
Taste: malt, light hop bitterness and fruitiness in finish
Conclusion: nicely balanced drink, not harsh at all in the finish, very drinkable

Magic Rock+Dark Star Rock Star (brown ale)
The one that I was looking forward to trying, collaboration from two fantastic breweries. Unfortunately decided that the other new beer on offer, "Bearded Lady", was a bit too strong considering I was on my last drink!
Appearance: dark brown colour, 1cm of foamy beige head
Aroma: predominantly hoppy, light citrus with some malt in the background
Taste: sweet, fruitiness of the hops comes through, biting bitterness in the finish
Conclusion: great beer, like an amped up version of "Mild Interpretation". Highly recommended

Phew, that was a lot to type out in the end! Now, onto Day 6....

Day 6
Buxton Brewery have garnered a lot of positive attention from other beer bloggers, so I feel it's right that I should throw my hat into the ring and offer my two cents towards their beers. Buxton Gold is a 5.2% bottle conditioned golden ale brewed with an enticing selection of hops, including Nelson Sauvin, a personal favourite of mine. Therefore, I was looking forward to this beer quite a bit, hoping it would live up to the hype. The beer pours a rich golden colour with a thick white head- clearly the bottle conditioning has done its job well! The aroma is incredibly subtle, almost indiscernible- bit of malt coming through and some aroma hops (particularly the Nelson Sauvin). The taste is quite light- the Nelson Sauvin and the Amarillo hops can be distinguished more now- and the bitterness is pleasing. Definitely doesn't seem like a 5.2% beer at all, which is always a positive thing! In conclusion, Buxton Gold is an interesting, light beer that reaches much further than its "golden ale" description with some stellar hop inclusions. Definitely need to seek out their other offerings, which include an imperial stout and a black IPA. Interesting times ahead!

Regular service will be resumed from tomorrow. Another beer, another day. Until next time....

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