I’ve had a few since last I wrote on good brews. Here’s what I tried, in varying lengths:
Old Tom’s Original Ale
I was excited about this one because it was lauded as one of the world’s finest malted ales. It has won numerous awards in Britain, so I understand that they are quite fond of it. Plus, it’s named after the brewery’s original cat. What’s not to love there?
All in all, this drink had a decent strength to it, but little complexity. There was a hint of what tasted like an English toffee to it. At 8.5% ABV, it was worth a drink. Nice and dark, but simple. All around, I’d give it a B. Certainly enjoyable, but it doesn’t capture one’s interest the way some others have.
This was also an English Ale, and weighing in at 9.0% ABV I was expecting it to pack a punch up front. It surprised me, with a smooth drink from start to finish. The mouth feel was enjoyable and more noticeable than Old Tom’s, and the taste was more complex with some hints of fruit and nuts. Of the two English Ales, this would be more of a go-to for me. Easily an A.
Shiner Ruby Redbird
Despite my bias against wheat beers, I decided to give this brew a shot because I enjoy most of Shiner’s repertoire. I had this one paired with a warm pizza. Even though I pulled this drink straight from the fridge, it felt warm on the palate. It has a fruity, grapefruit taste that comes on strong, with some gentle hoppyness in the after-taste. There were some notes of what I think may have been all-spice or ginger. This beer had no head to speak of. At 4.01%, it was far from a strong drink, but paired decently with the pizza. I didn’t especially like it, but it was drinkable, and easily so. It makes for a perfect pizza beer, and was more complex than Goose Island’s offering on the last go-round. All in all, I’d give Shiner’s Ruby Redbird a C. Not great, but not bad either.
Until next time, enjoy!