I went on the first day of the Victoria’s October beer festival to try some of the ales they had to offer. The theme of the festival was CAMRA Champion Beers of Britain (and runners up) plus Local Favourites. In total about 60 different ales would be available over the weekend.
After a brisk walk to Victoria I was after something refreshing to start me off.
Kelham Island Brewery Pale Rider (5.2%). This infamous Sheffield beer was an obvious starting point for me. My history with this ale goes back many years and was my drink of choice in my days based in the city of Steel. This batch of Pale Rider is quite different from what I would normally expect. It has a nice floral nose, but it has a heavy malty finish. Flavours of caramel can be tasted, but it is lacking bitterness at the end. It is also missing the citrus flavours normally associated with Pale Rider. This is a very full bodied malty version of Pale Rider lacking in bitterness, and it is much poorer than I would expect. 6.5/10
York Brewery Yorkshire Terrier (4.2%). Dark Amber beer with a very unusual nose – cream like tones. It has a malty flavour but is lacking in hops and character. 5/10
Castle Rock Meadow Brown (4.8%). Light Brown ale with a coffee nose. For an ale of this colour, it has the strongest flavour of coffee I have ever come across. It is very smooth drinking, but too much coffee dominated for me. 6/10
Dark Star American Pale Ale (4.7%). Golden beer with a thin head. Very very hoppy with slightly floral and grassy flavours. 6.5/10
Oakham Attila (7.5%). Golden beer with a slightly floral nose. Very sweet flavours which make this beer too rich and sickly. Extra sugar must be added, making it too sweet. 4/10
Amber Ales Chocolate Orange Stout (4.0%). A very black ale. The first half of the flavour is orange fruit (a bit like Terry’s Chocolate Orange) that then goes to chestnut and coffee flavours. It is quite hard to drink a pint of it. 6/10