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Thread: Hope over experience

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    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
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    Default Hope over experience

    Have you ever waited for ages to sample a particular beer, and been underwhelmed when you finally tried it? Here in the Low Weald, beers from Thornbridge Hall are as rare as hens' teeth, so when our local Waitrose stocked them I was delighted. At the weekend, I settled down to drink a bottle of Jaipur and Kipling, both beers that the cognoscenti rave over.In both cases,the beer was highly carbonated,so much so that the flavour and aroma were muted. As a control, I had a bottle of Westerham's Viceroy IPA, a beer that I am familiar with, but hadn't drunk for a while, mainly because of the cost.Here, the beer was naturally conditioned, and the level of carbonation much gentler, with a consequential depth of flavour.
    Am I being obtuse in prefering my bottled beers to be "real ale in a bottle"? I accept that natural conditioning can be spoilt by the hands of a less well trained brewer, and that it probably doesn't improve bog standard sub 4% ABV ales, but firms as proficient as Thornbridge Hall should be able to carry out the process to perfection.
    Good beers, but inapropriately presented.Ii'm still waiting to try them from the cask (and preferably on gravity!).
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

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    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    I haven't found too many bottled beers spoilt by high carbonation and I don't have the knowledge to know why certain beers fail to live up to their cask reputation when presented in bottle form but, in answer to the original question, I thought the Wye Valley HPA my mixed Christmas case was something of a let down. I still haven't managed to sample it from the cask; I knew I should have squeezed another round in at Birmingham's Wellington!
    Hopback Summer Lightning is another which I feel loses something in translation to bottle.
    Others may occasionally appreciate the conversion to bottle where I've noticed that the abv can sometimes be quite different - cbob Harvest Pale rises (cask to bottle) from 3.8% to 4.3% and Adnams Broadside from 4.8% to a whopping 6.3%.
    I hope you manage to find Thornbridge on draught soon Wittenden, Kipling would have been in the running for my beer-of-the-year and I also enjoy the occasional Jaipur, even if some PG cognescenti have been less impressed.

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    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittenden View Post
    At the weekend, I settled down to drink a bottle of Jaipur and Kipling, both beers that the cognoscenti rave over.In both cases,the beer was highly carbonated,so much so that the flavour and aroma were muted....Am I being obtuse in prefering my bottled beers to be "real ale in a bottle"? I accept that natural conditioning can be spoilt by the hands of a less well trained brewer, and that it probably doesn't improve bog standard sub 4% ABV ales, but firms as proficient as Thornbridge Hall should be able to carry out the process to perfection.
    Don't know if you saw these articles on carbonation and bottle conditioning first time round on Zak Avery's blog, but you might find them illuminating:

    http://thebeerboy.blogspot.com/searc...%20conditioned

    The second article highlights the fact that Thornbridge don't re-prime their bottles, so the technique they use might have something to do with it. Also some brewers filter the beer before re-priming, which must surely affect the end product.

    From a personal perspective, bottled beer very rarely does it for me, even though I'll invariably have some in stock. What I have found is that batches do sometimes vary enormously, once to the extent I questioned whether it was the same beer.
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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    Veyr few bottled beers have impressed me. The best ones have been from Brewdog and American craft brewers, which suit carbonation better.

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    Inndigestion Strongers's Avatar
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    I purchased a couple of bottles of Pride from Tesco last year and didn't like them at all. First and last time I've paid for ale anywhere other than a pub.
    WE ARE THE BREADMEN - UP THE BEES

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    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinko View Post
    The best ones have been from Brewdog and American craft brewers, which suit carbonation better.
    I have to say that the last one to really impress me was BrewDog's '5am Saint'.
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aleandhearty View Post
    Don't know if you saw these articles on carbonation and bottle conditioning first time round on Zak Avery's blog, but you might find them illuminating:

    http://thebeerboy.blogspot.com/searc...%20conditioned

    The second article highlights the fact that Thornbridge don't re-prime their bottles, so the technique they use might have something to do with it. Also some brewers filter the beer before re-priming, which must surely affect the end product.

    From a personal perspective, bottled beer very rarely does it for me, even though I'll invariably have some in stock. What I have found is that batches do sometimes vary enormously, once to the extent I questioned whether it was the same beer.
    Thanks for the link:nothing is ever simple in the world of beer. I tend to agree with Zak regarding the differing effect of carbonation: I must read his blog. I'd always rather drink real ale in the pub, but the bottled stuff fills a gap,and some isn't too bad!I probably wasn't fair in using Viceroy IPA as my control, as it is, as far as I know,purely a bottled beer.
    I'll keep on looking for Thornbridge beers, no doubt returning to Waitrose to stock up on Jaipur...
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

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    Palookaville hondo's Avatar
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    "Do I know where hell is? hell is in hello"

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    Humble Wordsmith ETA's Avatar
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    Pseudo-science, or just plain bovine faecal matter?

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    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    Oooh, almost a built-in yard-of-ale rush. Should have the lager boys frothing at the mouth, literally.

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