It’s been a bit of an Oakham ales week this week. Which is never a bad thing.
My drinking of Oakham ales mainly took place in The Cambridge Blue, with the Live and Let Live thrown in for good measure.
I started off with a Red Neck at the wonderful Cambridge Blue early Sunday afternoon, after the Christmas lights switch-on ceremony at the Grafton – I needed a beer after the Santa Show. (No, really, it was actually quite sweet especially if you have kids. Even though I don’t). The Red Neck was an amber beer full of wonderful sherbet flavours (I swear there are Cascade hops in there) and was quite a strong 5.2%. This was my sort of beer – but the conditioning wasn’t quite as its best, it was rather flat, so that was the only thing letting it down.
The next Oakham ale was in the Live and Let Live. This pub is tucked away on Mawson Road and I don’t visit as often as I perhaps should – it’s a traditional pub with loads of characters, lots of wood furniture and old décor – it’s a hidden gem. I had a Scarlet Macaw which was incredibly peachy and hoppy, really effervescent with a lovely big cream foamy head, and served at a great temperature. Perfect. It went down a treat. Such a refreshing beer. Nice pump clip, too.
I finished off my Oakham week back in the Blue. I heard there was a new brew available, Baby Belma, brewed with the brand new Baby Belma hop in the Yakima valley in the US, and it was exclusive to Oakham. Cool. So me and @pintsandpubs were the first people to have a pint (him) and a half (me) of the stuff. It was copper coloured, really hoppy, and the flavour changed after a few seconds to that of slightly rotten fruit. That sounds bad – it really wasn’t. If you have tasted the durian in Southeast Asia, the large, spiky fruit that is banned from many places due to its pungent smell, you will know what I mean – the flesh smells rotten, but actually tastes, well, surprisingly good. The finish was really well rounded, with hops and warming malts. Lovely. I went back for more a couple of days later. Get it while you can.