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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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Brodie’s Passion, Red and Superior London Porter (strong version)

beer tastings 2011.
For more Brodie’s beers , see previous post. For background to these tastings see the review of Amarilla.
This beer  featured in
BEER August 2011 as part of a piece on bottle conditioned beers from London. Read about more bottled London beers.

ABV: 3.8%, 4.3% and 10%
Origin: Leyton, London E10, England
Website: brodiesbeers.co.uk

King William IV pub, Leyton, London E10, home of Brodie's Beers.

Out of 12 different Brodie’s bottle conditioned beers supplied to me as tasting samples, Passion was the one I picked to feature in a piece on London’s bottled beers for BEER magazine, and was also my Brodie’s choice for the tutored London beer tasting I hosted at the 2011 Great British Beer Festival. Passion is certainly not one of the world’s best beers, and not even one of the brewery’s best, but it’s certainly striking, and I’d chosen it because to me it captures much of the spirit of the Brodies’ approach to brewing.

The beer’s key selling point is that it’s made with significant quantities of passion fruit, picking up on the fact that some of the new American hops like Amarillo have distinct passion fruit tones. The aromatic fruity quality is well displayed on a delicate golden ale base — it’s a very pale gold beer, wth a white and persistently clingy head. The passion fruit aroma is overwhelming, but there are some spicier notes in there too. The palate too is luxuriant with juicy fruit, and lightly tart with good pale malt beneath. A fruity finish lingers with lagery malt and a dusting of light hop bitterness.

At the tasting it divided opinions with significant groups of people that either really liked it or really disliked it. Hardly scientific, I know, but I got the distinct impression that the former group were predominantly younger drinkers discovering good beer, while the latter were predominantly older, longstanding real ale drinkers.

Red is probably the best Brodie’s beer I’ve tried, a really unusual and very impressive take on an Irish-style ale made with Maris Otter pale, black and crystal barley malts and Styrian Goldings hops. My bottled sample poured a lovely rich amber with a big light beige head and a biscuity, estery aroma with notes of fruit cake, nutmeg, varnish, earth, chocolate and rum. A firm palate had chewy, nutty malt with burnt toast, chocolate and vanilla notes, rum again and slightly phenolic root beer hints. The sweetish finish was deliciously nutty and roasty with an almost brown malt cakiness and late touces of roast and ash. A very complex and satisfying beer.

The regular version of Superior London in bottle and cask weighs in at 7.2% ABV, an unremarkable strength for a porter a century or so ago but relatively hefty by today’s standards. I’ve had varying experiences of this beer and sometimes found it a bit rough. However, every so often the brewery bottles a special version at an even stronger 10%, and a tasting sample of this supplied by the brewery was much more impressive. A very dark brown, near-black beer with a deep beige head, it had a chocolate, rum, vanilla and sticky dark malt aroma with light fruit and spice. A smooth chocolatey plalate had espresso coffee, tangy raspberry fruit, ripe figs and an alcoholic kick, though with the vivid flavours very well integrated. The beer finished slightly tartly and more promptly than I expected, with more chocolate, medium roast, strawberries and coffee.

Read more about these beers at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/brodies/3911/

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