Friday, April 25, 2014

St George's Beerfest, Old Mitre

Ye Olde Mitre, near Chancery Lane (which we visited a couple years ago as part of the 25 London pubs tour), held a St George's Day beer festival this week, serving up at least half a dozen patriotically themed ales for the occasion. By the time we attended on Thursday night, there were only three beers left, but we dutifully tried them all. (Unfortunately, a table for four in the already-crowded upstairs bar had been booked for a party of 30+ city shirts, so after our beers we moved on to a more pleasant environment.)

Everards, Ascalon: a dark amber/fruity brown ale, which was pretty much odorless (although the smell of burning bread from the cheese toasties which are the Mitre's only food offering made it pretty hard to smell anything). On the tip of the tongue it was watery, almost bready, and only slightly more smoky and malty in the mouth; maybe a hint of overripe fruit (apple or pine rather than citrus). Then it was woody, yeasty, maybe almost a hint of mushroom earthiness and loam in the swallow. The aftertaste barely lingered, but maybe held a little spice, liquorice and soy. Overall this was more interesting than the insipid first taste suggested, but still meh. (**/5)

St George (I missed the brewery name): a light orange beer, with malty, grape jelly or tart satsuma aroma, a very intense first taste, sweet and tangy, a bit chemical, but not astringent; and smokier in the mouth, more malt than coffee, but pleasantly harsh. Finally it has a nice woody swallow, with lingering yeasty and citrusy aftertaste, all of which sticks around very nicely. Sadly this beer ran out after our first round, because I'd have happily had another otherwise. (****/5)

The Nottingham Brewery, Legend: a slightly darker, almost red beer with a good choppy foam. The fresh fruity smell led to a robust sweet and hazelnutty first taste, then built to a chocolatey, malty/almond in the mouth, and tangy cranberry and pomegranate in the swallow. It has quite a nice hoppy, barky aftertaste, but doesn't stick around for very long at all. (I had to taste it 4 times before I remembered enough to write it down!) An okay pint, but not amazing in anyone's book. (***/5)

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