Humpty Dumpty are a Norfolk brewery and I’m ashamed to say that’s about the sum of my knowledge. I’ve not come across their beers making it all the way down here to London, although a quick glance at their Christmas beer pumpclips do make me wonder if I’ve seen them on Pump Clip Parade.
Oh yes, there they are.
15, by contrast, has a very restrained and tasteful label. Despite being a 9.0% ABV barleywine, it could almost be described as ‘understated’!
It has a candy sweet aroma; raw glucose syrup masking some subtle and light fresh strawberry notes, with a restrained but definite alcohol heat lurking.
In the mouth, it’s a different story – a big, slightly resinous but muddled hop bitterness that runs throughout, with just a little slightly caramelised sweetness slowly appearing. More fruit notes with slightly sour red cherries, and enough alcohol warmth to let you know it’s a barley wine. The finish is very dry, tending towards acidic.
I’m honestly not sure what to make of this one; it’s a big powerful beer but it’s lacking a balance or complexity – it actually reminds me of my first attempt at a barley wine. I’m aware that it’s been sat in the beer fridge for a long time, but this is precisely the sort of beer that should be able to deal with that.
2 stars, I’m afraid.