They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Friday 9 December 2011

Ilkley: New Beers, New Look

Ilkley's back in my 'awesome books'.... not that they were ever in my bad books. They've moved up from my 'good books' to my 'awesome books' because they've started bottling my favourite Ilkley beer: Lotus IPA, as well as their Stout Mary.

Ilkley Lotus is a 5.6% IPA, and I really love how informative their bottles have become. The label states: "Malts - The finest Marris Otter and Crystal, Hops - Cascade and Summit, Water - From the Yorkshire Dales". It's things like this which us beer geeks are interested in, and something we'd love to see on more beers.

The beer itself has a fantastic fruity aroma of orange, lemons and apricots with just a hint of biscuity malt in the background. The taste is a riot of ripe juicy fruits - bittersweet and incredibly easy drinking for an almost 6% beer. Now I'm not one for telling you how good a beer is in comparison to another bee..... oh, no wait I totally am that guy! I had a bottle of Goose Island before this bottle and this is sooooo much better! Plus it's in a bigger bottle! Woop Woop!

Next along the 'new in bottle' chain comes Ilkley's Stout Mary - a 4.5% Oatmeal Stout. The bottle states: "Malts - Pale Malt, Roast Barley, Chocolate and Crystal, Hops - Galena and Bramling Cross, Water - From the Yorkshire Dales." It's not as dark as I'd have expected but each to their own.

A really nice roasted malt and burnt rubber aroma. (I sometimes find burnt rubber in my stouts, and people say it sounds really unappetising.. but that's how it smells, and I'm not trying to put it across as a bad thing.) The flavour is rich and creamy. Big on the burnt malt roasted bitterness but light in the finish, which is really good as it doesn't feel like it's filling you up - a problem I'm finding recently drinking pints of stout.

A point I will mention is that if you doubled the strength of this beer you'd get a perfect Imperial Stout.

Two great accompaniments to the Ilkley range in our shop then. I also mentioned about the new look too though. It looks like their going back to the bolder more colour prominent labels, which is fine by me, I prefer them. I'm not really a fan of the taller bottles (shown left in comparison to the ones above) that are coming into the shop at the moment though. Decide for yourself, but it seems Ilkley rethink their bottle branding every 6 months and continue to improve and develop the brand, which is either - quite expensive, or a passion to produce the best beers they can!

Once again: Look British - we're awesome at making beer.


  1. Have you been holding your pint glass a little too tightly or was it made that way?

  2. It was indeed made that way anon - By Lees :)

  3. Ha, that old excuse ;-)

    In all seriousness your recent beer mixing antics have inspired me to indulge in some interesting taste experiences over the last few months. Some ended up better than others...

  4. Mate, when their Brewery Society opens again in March , we'll take a trip over. It's a good evening, been to three this year! They are a massively underrated brewery - not only that, but when you get talking to Stuart and Chris, you realise they are really progressive (such as keg, seasonals etc), despite Ilkley's public 'traditional' image.

  5. I've spoken to Stuart quite a bit about his beers and he's clearly really passionate about what he does, it's refreshing to see. The Brewery Society sounds like a great plan Leigh.