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Full sett

I’ve mentioned before that when we buy beer, we often buy the “selection packs” that are usually on offer from the supermarkets we buy from.  Actually, although I say “we”, it’s my wife Sarah who does the shopping, and she is really good at finding some out-of-the-ordinary beers, as well as some of the old favourites.  Anyway, these selection packs are a good way to sample a range of beers from the same brewery.  Two in particular that we have tried a couple of times are the Wychwood Brewers of Character Collection (consisting of Circlemaster, Fiddler’s Elbow, Hobgoblin and Wychcraft) and The Badger Sett (consisting of First Gold, Fursty Ferret, England’s Gold and Poacher’s Choice).  I’ve mentioned most of the Wychwood beers many times in this blog, and the ones I haven’t yet mentioned will no doubt get mentioned soon.  I realised that although I have written about a few Badger beers – such as Tanglefoot, Golden Glory and Hopping Hare – I haven’t mentioned any of the four in the selection pack – so here goes (just a few words about each):

First Gold (4%).   What I enjoy in a beer – a “nice bitter” beer at a strength suitable for having a few.  The bottle notes claim it is “perfect with traditional English roasts & pies” and I can quite believe that, although I drank this on it’s own.

Fursty Ferret (4.4%).  Once you get past the fairy tale on the bottle about how it got it’s name, this is a very good beer – it must have grown on me as I was drinking it – I usually jot a few notes down so that I can remember what a beer was like (important when I’ve had a few of an evening), and my notes on this one started out as “pleasant enough” and ended up with “yummy”.  I’m not sure I can put my finger on exactly what it is about it that I like – it has a taste that is malty, and maybe a bit reminiscent of chestnuts or brazil nuts.

England’s Gold (4.6%).  Pale and with a flowery – elderflower I think – smell and taste.  Refreshing bitterness – very Spring-like.  I enjoyed it, although I’m generally not keen on “flowery” beers.

Poacher’s Choice (5.7%).  Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.  Very sweet, toffee, almost sickly taste – very little bitterness.  The taste reminded me of cantaloupe melon, but when I checked the bottle it said damsons and a touch of licorice.  The bottle notes claim that “the robust flavours combine well with game dishes and mature cheeses”, but I think I’d struggle to find a food to match it with.  Possibly an end-of-night drink in the winter, but I certainly wouldn’t want more than one.

I didn’t drink all these beers one after the other in one session – I once did that with the Fuller’s Brewery Tour selection pack, and had “a bit of a head” the following morning – I think I’m getting too old for that kind of thing these days!

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