Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt 2012 – Bottom Ten

Beer Review

As i mentioned last week, I’ve been working my way through Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt collection, and here we have the bottom half of my results.

I’m happy to say that in general, the short-list has had a collection of pretty decent beers. With one or two exceptions, there’s no shame in appearing in this first list – there’s some very drinkable beers here.

When beers have had the same overall score, I’ve ranked beers with better flavour scores higher.

So, without further ado I present you with the 10 lowest scoring beers from the short-list.

20th – Lemon Head by Nethergate (4.0% ABV)

GBBH-8

Appearance: 4.0; Aroma: 4.0; Mouthfeel: 4.0; Flavour: 1.0; Total 13.0

A nice bright copper in the glass, with large soft drink like bubbles and a fine head. The nose is very alcopop – sweet, fizzy, lemon sherbert and lots of ginger. Not very beer like, but tempting nonetheless. The taste, however, is bitter and sour and earns the distinction of the first (and only) beer in the test to get poured down the sink.

19th – Bad Elf by Cotswold Brewing Company (4.5% ABV)

GBBH-7

Appearance: 2.5; Aroma: 4.0; Mouthfeel: 3.0; Flavour: 4.5; Total 14.0

A slightly murky, average brown beer with no head – it looks rather like an unremarkable homebrew. The aroma is better, malty with spices that are very christmassy. In the mouth, however, it’s over fizzy and the flavour is little more than bland malt with an unpleasant bitter undertone.

18th – White Lady by Cairngorn (4.7% ABV)

GBBH-3

Appearance: 2.5; Aroma: 5.0; Mouthfeel: 4.0; Flavour: 4.0; Total 15.5

Strangely clear and golden in appearance, for a wheat beer. Fruity nose, oranges, coriander, a hint of aromatic spice and a subtle malt undercurrent. Lots of champagne-like fine bubbles in the mouth, without becoming too fizzy. Nice malty sweet background to the flavour and a citrus pith tang leading to a dry but not bitter finish. Sadly, has that herby coriander twist that I personally dislike.

17th – Prodigal Sun by Williams Bros (4.1% ABV)

GBBH-2

Appearance: 4.0; Aroma: 3.0; Mouthfeel: 4.0; Flavour: 6.0; Total 17.0

Nice golden copper colour, with a thin but fine head. Not much in the way of aroma – sweet with a hint of berry fruit, and a little caramel. A medium body in the mouth, although a little on the fizzy side. Some toffee caramel and red fruits tangle nicely with the hops, giving a beautiful sweet/bitter balance.

16th – Poppy Ale by Wolf (4.2% ABV)

GBBH-6

Appearance: 3.0; Aroma: 7.5; Mouthfeel: 3.5; Flavour: 4.0; Total 18.0

A very pale ale, with a thin foam head. A nice floral, citrus aroma reminiscent of tangerines and melon. Fresh and slightly sweet in the mouth, the flavours start nicely but slowly develops an almost sour tang and a rather unpleasant bitter edge. Disappointing after an enticing nose.

15th – Dorothy Goodbody’s Blissful Brown Ale by Wye Valley (4.6% ABV)

GBBH-12

Appearance: 3.5; Aroma: 5.0; Mouthfeel: 4.0; Flavour: 5.5; Total 18.0

A deep copper colour, with a fine bubbled head. Not a big aroma, with just some faint malt and slightly caramel notes. Flavour is similar – unremarkable, slightly malty with a little bitterness. A pretty standard bitter, it’s hard to feel strongly about it one way or the other.

14th – Batemans Mocha by Batemans (6.0% ABV)

GBBH-19

Appearance: 3.5; Aroma: 5.0; Mouthfeel: 3.5; Flavour: 6.0; Total 18.0

Deep dark reddish brown, with almost no head on it. A really strong chocolate nose, a hint of coffee as well but no real beer character to it. In the mouth it’s a little fizzy, with sweet chocolate and the balancing bitterness coming from the coffee. It’s pleasant enough, but not very beery.

13th – Snowy by Cotleigh (5.0% ABV)

GBBH-9

Appearance: 3.5; Aroma: 6.0; Mouthfeel: 4.0; Flavour: 5.5; Total 19.0

Bright copper coloured, with little in the way of head. The nose is mostly roasted malt, which is unexpected from the look – it’s rather like sticking your head in a bag of malted grain. Sweet and pleasant in the mouth, a little sticky with more of that raw, unfermented malt flavour. It’s unusual, but not unpleasant.

12th – Scarborough Fair IPA by Wold Top (6.0% ABV)

GBBH-17

Appearance: 4.0; Aroma: 5.0; Mouthfeel: 4.0; Flavour: 6.0; Total 19.0

Golden with a thin, fine head. The nose is very understated – a hint of malt, a suggestion of green citrus but not much else going on. Big and foamy in the mouth, honey sweet at the front with a rapidly growing hop bitterness that becomes a little harsh towards the end.

11th – 99 Red Baboons by Blue Monkey Brewing (4.2% ABV)

GBBH-14

Appearance: 4.5; Aroma: 6.5; Mouthfeel: 3.5; Flavour: 5.0; Total 19.5

A nice deep dark reddish brown, with a lingering and fairly generous head. A sweet malty nose, with some underlying iron. Bubbles in the mouth, but without quite becoming too fizzy. After a touch of sweetness there’s a good belt of bitterness – it’s a nice Midlands bitter, but doesn’t really stand out as special.

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