Thursday, 29 September 2011
Leeds Beer. Beer from Leeds.
The first time they came in the shop was many months ago and we were all very exited about them, whisky aged beers were still a massive talking point in beer. (maybe they still are today, but at the time we couldn't get enough of them) I had one as quick as I could which, looking back, was a mistake because it had just been bottled a week previous and had not had time to finish conditioning in the bottle. As a result it was still rather flat and I was left a little disappointed. I certainly saw it's potential though and bought a couple more to leave alone for a few months. I know this one is old because it went out of date in June 2011 - a little early don't you think guys for such a strong beer? (it being bottle conditioned I had high hopes for aging)
Time, it seems, can do wondrous things.
Gyle 479 is a 9% Vintage Ale that has been aged in Bruichladdich casks. I only know this because I asked the brewers. If I had one beef, it was the fact this was not mentioned on the bottle. It just stated 'Aged in Islay Whisky Casks' - and that for me was not good enough. I'm sure 90% of the people buying this would be really interested in what sort of cask, what age of cask was used in producing this beer - it's what whisky cask aged beer is all about, just look at the Harviestoun range.
Rant over though, we'll look at the beer. It's certainly dark, but held up to the light it's clearly deep dark brown. Aromas of caramel, dark toffee (almost bonfire toffee), dark malts, hazelnuts, a touch of honey, a little spice and some smoke come forth from a seriously inviting brew.
As the carbonation has had time to sort itself out the flavours really come around. Immediately very fruity. Lots of orange rind and raisins. You get a nice bitter, warming alcohol tang from the strength of this beer, and it has great toffee/nutty Vintage Ale flavours. Rich and hearty, it's a really great beer. The whisky is certainly there, but it's light and it's really well balanced within the body and aroma of the beer. It's not as in your face (and throat) as many of the cask aged beers, which makes it quite refreshing, dry and moorish.
I have heard talk of more casks at Leeds Brewery. I've also heard that in the next few months they're bottling the 'Best' again along with their 'HellFire'!! - One beer I'm very exited to try again, and out of the bottle this time.
Drinking a Leeds beer from the past, and looking forward to Leeds beers of the future!
........and it's over 7.5% ;) one day left tomorrow...