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Which Wych?

Wychwood HobgoblinFortunately, although being busy at work makes it difficult to find the time to write about beer, I can usually find time to drink the stuff, so I’ve got a backlog (of writing, not beer) to catch up on.  I was horrified to see that my last post was on December 30th, so I missed the whole of January!  Never mind – happy new year anyway!

I’ve been drinking quite a lot of Wychwood beer recently.  Over Christmas we got one of their “selection boxes” – Beers Of Character I believe they call it – 3 bottles each of Wychcraft, Goliath, Scarecrow and Hobgoblin.  I enjoyed it so much, I got another box – at least the Procurement Department (Sarah) did.

Wychcraft Blonde Beer (4.5%) – “thrice hopped” – 3 infusions of Styrian Goldings hops – but it doesn’t taste particularly hoppy to me.  It’s actually a bit dark for a blonde beer – golden maybe.  It has a light and fruity smell – not overly bitter, but a bitter-sweet, slightly syrupy aftertaste.  I thought it was a bit disappointing compared to the other beers in the selection, but drinkable all the same.

Goliath (4.2%) – I hadn’t tried this one before – the bottle claims “a collossal taste”, and it is a satisfyingly bitter, refreshing drink.  The weakest of the four beers in the selection, and definitely the most quaffable.  Dark amber/ruby colour and strong malty smell.  Styrian Goldings hops again.

Scarecrow organic pale ale (4.7%).  This is fast becoming one of my favourite beers.  I think it must have been re-branded, as it seems to be described on the Wychwood website under the name Circle Master – I’ve drunk Circle Master before, and suspect it is indeed the same beer.  Golden and light, with a sweet malty smell, but a sharp, bitter taste.  Made with organically grown English barley malt, and whole-leaf Target hops, which “combine to evoke lazy, hazy days of summer in this serenely satisfying golden harvest brew”.

Hobgoblin (5.2%).  A long-standing favourite, though a little strong for regular drinking.  A dark ruby beer with a slightly toasty smell.  Full-bodied taste, fruity, not an overly bitter taste, but a lasting bitter finish.  A regular in the beer cupboard.

I’ve also recently had some Fiddler’s Elbow (4.5%).  Made with a blend of wheat and barley malt, it is quite dark for a wheat beer, so clearly a bit of a mixture.  It has a strong malty smell and taste, a sharp immediate bitterness, and a lasting bitter finish.  A very nice beer.

I’ve got a voucher for a brewery visit – Christmas present from Sarah – so I’m really looking forward to sampling some of these wonderful beers at the source!

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