the ablution block

21 December 2007

April Beer of the Month: O'Hanlon's Royal Oak

Way back in April I was sleep deprived, and spending more time thinking about beer than actually tasting it. What I did taste (the likes of Kilkenny, Export Dry and a couple of Sam Adam's fruit beers) was about as appealing as getting up for Ted's midnight feeds.

One beer stood proudly - head, shoulders and beef-bellied torso above the rest: O'Hanlon's Royal Oak, a splendidly complex ESB.

I remember how tired I was in April (I'm almost that tired again now) and, frankly, I'm amazed that I had the capacity to actually string a senctence together. (note: real writers may suggest I've not quite achieved anything worthy of being called a sentence).

Anyway, here is my Royal Oak experience:
Tasted 26/04/2007. 500ml bottle from Rumble’s, Wellington. Pours an almost bright Doc Marten Cherry Red, with a very light tan airy head. Delightfully fruity nose: raisiny port notes mingle with a sweet whiff of lemonade. A hint of caramel, especially in the empty glass. Very soft in the mouth, and quite light, with just a touch of barley sweetness, more fruity esters and a toasty dry finish. Oaky notes linger on the palate, and I’m not pulling your leg here! Bitterness is very subdued, hop flavour almost non-existent besides a mild peppery spice. This one has really stood up to the travel and the shelf time. Excellent ESB, with all the complexity of a good single malt whisky. It really makes me want to have another look at their Port Stout.

I have since re-looked at the Port Stout but not yet actually got it to my lips. Sometime soon... perhaps?

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  • Royal Oak is a fantastic pint, I would love to try it on draught. Port Stout im not so keen on, it either tastes like a passible mild or very tired. I cant help but think that the ingredients that go into it should produce something far more complex.

    By Blogger Kieran Haslett-Moore, at 14:58  

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