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No school today

I decided to follow my own advice from the other day, and last night I drank my way through the Fuller’s Brewery Tour selection pack – starting with the weakest and working through to the strongest.  It’s a good job it was a Friday and not a “school night”, because I needed a lie in this morning – one thing that this little exercise proved was that I’m too old for this kind of thing!

Although the selection is called “Brewery Tour” it contains just 4 beers out of the 12 that are described on the Fuller’s website.  Mind you, they are a good selection of the most popular of Fuller’s beers, and they offer a pleasant way of spending an evening of drinking beer.  All of the beers would probably be more enjoyable in their draught form, but in our area the only Fuller’s beer that we see regularly is London Pride – the others are a bit of a rarity.  Here are my views on the 4 beers in the pack:

Chiswick Bitter (3.5%).  This is a style of beer that I really like – a good drinking bitter – what is often called a “session beer”, as it’s the type that you can drink a number of during a session.  This one is light and refreshing, with a crisp taste and a slightly flowery hop aroma.  This one slipped down very nicely with a dinner of beef casserole.

Discovery (4.5%).  This is another light and refreshing beer.  Described as “blonde”, it is indeed very pale, with a light hoppy aroma.  It is smooth, gently bitter, and very flavoursome.  Served cold, it would be a good drink for a summer’s day (if we ever get one).

London Pride (4.7%).  Probably the best-known of all Fuller’s’ beers.  It is a nice well-balanced beer  – and by that I mean that it has a good bitterness, but a little bit of sweetness as well.  The notes on the packaging mention a “zesty, grapefruit character” which I’m afraid I didn’t get – maybe my untutored tastebuds aren’t capable of detecting such subtle nuances.  Fuller’s claim that this is the No. 1 selling premium ale – and perhaps it deserves to be, as it is a very nice drop.

ESB (5.9%).  This is quite a leap up in strength from the other beers, and is a stronger beer than I normally prefer, though I don’t mind the odd one every now and again.  To be honest, this doesn’t taste like a 5.9% beer, although it is full-bodied and full-flavoured – fruity, but a bit sharp – as the label notes say, it tastes a bit like marmalade – and I also agree with the “long satisfying finish”.  The bottle notes recommend it as an accompaniment to “a wide variety of dishes including beef, lamb, game and mature cheeses” – I can vouch for the fact that it goes well with a mature cheddar.

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