I trundled down to the Johnson Arms with three friends in tow for the first day of their beer festival. The first days beers focussed on the Blue Monkey brewery, which is one of my favourite breweries. It was good to see that the Johnson Arms was very busy including a large contingent of the University of Nottingham Real Ale society.
Here is my brief review of the Blue Monkey beers that were available.
Blue Monkey Original (3.6%). It is a dark amber/copper coloured ale with a thin head and sweet nose. Fruity chestnut flavours can be tasted in this smooth drinking beer, which finishes with some tobacco. It is perhaps a bit too sweet to drink lots of and I would like a bit more bitterness at the end. A nice beer, but usually I expect more from Original - 6/10
Blue Monkey BG Sips (4%). BG sips is a pale golden beer with a thick creamy head. It is a lovely hoppy ale with very nice floral and citrus (grapefruit) flavours. The body is light and it is very easy drinking. 8/10
Blue Monkey Evolution (4.3%). Light amber colour with a malty nose. Grassy flavours can be tasted as can floral tones. It has a good bitterness, but is not as complex as the batch I tried at the Notts beer festival. 6.5/10
Blue Monkey 99 Red Baboons (4.2%). Dark ale with malty gingerbread, and slight coffee flavours. It is a very smooth beer which has a warming character. 7/10