View Full Version : The Good Stuff - Thornbridge and Dark Star's Coalition Old Ale

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22-06-2011, 17:32
Visit the The Good Stuff site (http://goodpeopleeats.blogspot.com/2011/06/brewed-in-2009-coalition-old-ale-7abv.html)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KXuZLM5cjaM/TgIk8j4ulTI/AAAAAAAABog/ygCcKyjashY/s320/071.JPG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KXuZLM5cjaM/TgIk8j4ulTI/AAAAAAAABog/ygCcKyjashY/s1600/071.JPG)Brewed in 2009, Coalition Old Ale (7%abv) is the result of a collaboration between the Thornbridge (http://www.thornbridgebrewery.co.uk/) and Mark Tranter from the ever-excellent Dark Star . (http://darkstarbrewing.co.uk/) I first tried this beer a few months back, at one of our fabled bottle-swaps, courtesy of those kind chaps Andy and James of SummerWine Brewery (http://www.summerwinebrewery.co.uk/). As I sat and tasted mine, I was very aware of how I'd probably need another chance to try it to really form an opinion of it; I certainly wasn't expecting the kind of beer that it actually is. Not sure why, I just expected something darker, smokier, and stronger in alcohol.

Luckily, Hopzine Rob (http://hopzine.com/) and Baron Orm (http://www.theormskirkbaron.com/)rushed to my aid, and I managed to get my hands on another bottle - and I'm glad I did. Coalition Old Ale is an exercise in subtlety; a real class act. Firstly, there's that colour - hazy Amber, bright and...well, vibrant. Not the look of a beer dormant since 2009. The lasting, substantial head is the only giveaway to the age; slightly tobacco-hued, not quite white. The taste is softly sweet, with only the slightest hint of resinous wood (pine?) floating around underneath.

There's a little spice - Cinnamon, perhaps - and then comes along those flavours you'd more typically associate with 'Old Ales'; some raisin, some bitter cherry, a hint of almond. The finish ramps up the bitterness, and the beer ends up with a really satisfying Orange note, drying the palate and making it a surprisingly moreish beer. The alcohol is only gently warming, and Coalition is well worth seeking out if you can. A beer to be sipped and savoured, for sure.

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