JD Wetherspoon Real Ale and Cider Festival 2011

As I have tried several beers at the JD Wetherspoon Spring Real Ale and Cider festival I thought I probably should write a post about them – it would be a shame if my notes about the beers I’ve tried should get lost amongst a blurry beery haze…

JDW Taster Tray

JDW Taster Tray

The festival started on 23rd March and runs until 10th April and there are about 50 beers to try (they put a selection of about 10 festival ales on at any one time). The great thing about this festival is that if you get a taster tray you can buy 3 third of a pint glasses for the price of one festival pint, around £2.20, so you can try lots of different beer, yay. The bar person also writes the number of your beers (from the taste guide) on the tray mat so you don’t get confused as to which beers you’re drinking! I’ve tried 14 beers so far in The Regal, Cambridge (no cider as yet though..). Here are the beers:

Triple FFF Ramble Tamble, 4.6% – An amazing beer. Lovely and sweet with a subtle sherbet hoppy flavour. Beautiful. One of my favourites. Had a couple of these.

Wychwood Elderwych, 3.8% –  Hmmm, a bit too elderflowery. And I actually do like elderflower. Quite refreshing. But nothing compared to their lovely Wychcraft ale.

Otter Hoppy Otter, 3.9% – This one got better the further down the glass I got. Didn’t really taste or smell of anything initially, but became smoother and sweeter in a subtle kind of way. I like Otter beers generally.

Ballast Point Calico Amber, 5.2% – Oh what a beer. So American, dry hopped flavour and aroma, full of Cascade and Centennial hops and more. So good I had to buy some more.

Shepherd Neame East Anglia Pale Ale, 5% – This was a very pleasant golden ale, full of vanilla flavours, creamy and a nice frothy head. Would drink again.

Roosters Angry Yank, 5% – I didn’t really take to this initially, but the Cascade hops became more pronounced the more I drank and it actually became quite moorish.

Oakham Taipan, 4.9% – What joy. Of course Oakham didn’t let me down. My beer of the fest so far. Citrussy, fruity, Cascadey, light and breezy – my kind of beer. Oakham are great.

Butcombe Mendip Spring, 3.8% – Poured with no head.  It was OK, tastes of the south west and other Butcombe ales (which is always nice) but couldn’t taste the Mount Hood hops disappointingly.

Everards Early Doors, 4.5% – Disappointing. No aroma, no flavour, watery, no sign whatsoever of the Cascade hops. Shame.

Titanic Tug Light, 4% – Pleasant golden mild, lots of rich hoppy flavours. Very nice beer from this great Staffs brewery.

Holden’s April Shower, 4.3% – Lovely, light, hoppy and easy drinking. Even my sister who doesn’t drink real ale liked this one and ‘could actually drink this again’. Praise indeed. A beer from another great brewery.

Acorn Challenger IPA, 5% – An ESB but quite dull and not full of the expected flavour for its strength.

Feral the Runt, 4.7% – An Australian beer. Eggy aroma and didn’t taste much better, quite unpleasant. The worst beer of the fest for me, I couldn’t actually finish it.

Caledonian Doc Kennedy’s Lipsmacker Lemon Ale, 4.3% – Quite sharp and acidic with some honey and lemon. Quite pleasant though.

So that’s it so far – will add more beers onto this if I visit a Wetherspoon’s pub during the remaining few days of the fest!

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent report on the festival.A good insight to many fine real ales.Will be making regular visits 2 the site.

    Cheers Loise

    • Cheers Mark, glad you enjoyed it! Keep up the good work yourself!

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