8 Aug 2010

Hobsons Manor Ale (4.2% alcohol)

This is a strange one. I've had other Hobsons beers in the past and enjoyed them, but this beer has a slightly unexpected aroma of dampness. Damp like an autumn walk – not wholly unpleasant, just not the freshness you'd expect. A dodgy bottle perhaps? (Following on from my previous post on context, I should point out I sampled this beer after the Little Creatures, in case the contrast in flavours had an effect.)

A strong flavour of roasted peanuts then comes through in the aroma and in the taste. It's an almost overpowering satay-type flavour, perhaps with a touch of lemon or orange zest.

Then something else interesting: I nip into the kitchen, top up my glass (from the same bottle) and eat a square or two of Green & Blacks Maya Gold chocolate. The beer is transformed. More creamy, coffee, caramel-type flavours, generally more rounded in character – and that peculiar dampness is pretty much undetectable.

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