(George Dawes – Shooting Stars sometime in the mid-to-late Nineties)
Christmas is coming everyone, so look suitably afraid. Clutch dear your wallet, sanity and sense of perspective – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Fortunately Adnams are here as ever with their seasonal range of salves and balms for our frayed nerves.
Full disclosure: I tried Adnams Old Ale back at the start of October, but it’s still on tap now and the weather is absolute dog-muck so get stuck into the Old Ale whenever you can find it.
Not available in bottles*, Old Ale is indeed a lovely find when you come across it.
Arriving a lovely dark mahogany brown with a tan head that lends an antiquey-vintage sort of air to it, it certainly looks like an “old” ale.
The nose is solidly yeast-fruity, suitably sizeable and jam-packed with singed raisins, dark chocolate, leather and oaken wood. This is a big aroma and gets your brain in tune for the massive great big taste that’s about to give your mouth a damn good seeing to…
Thud, a 25Kg sack of maltiness drops into your mouth and fills it admirably; fruit, wood and dry complexity washes in after – all happily rolled over and over by a stout and business-like carbonation.
At the swallow the fruitiness and wood linger for ages whilst a workman-like bitterness starts working your on saliva glands and taste-buds in preparation for the next big gulp (don’t sip this beer – it’s for lovely big mouthfuls and not delicate pecky-sipping)
The after-taste of Old Ale seems to go on forever and just makes you want to drink it in quantity – which you can at 4.1%…hooray!
Old Ale goes so well with hearty roasted food…it really is just the perfect winter pint.
If I’ve done my job your mouth should now be watering like mad; it’s now up to you to sniff yourself out a couple of three pints of it…it’s one of my recommended ways of getting through Christmas…
(*Glory be, you can order Old Ale in mini casks, ploypins or whatever they call them these days. From the Adnams shop and maybe online. Have a look, I would if I were you…)