They say…

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


From the cellar: Castle Eden Challenge Ale

Castle Eden brewery


ABV: 5.5%
Origin: Castle Eden, Durham, England
First published: 8 January 2001

Another review from the  written for the pioneering Oxford Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit. For more about Castle Eden and what happened to it, see the introduction to my review of Castle Eden Special Ale.

The beer challenge run by the Tesco supermarket chain continues to put interesting and imaginative British beers on the shelves. Durham-based Castle Eden apparently got commended for this beer, described as “dark amber coloured with a clever twist of orange”, in the Autumn 2000 competition. Flavouring beer with orange is such a clever idea lots of other brewers have thought of it, but this brew, which is not bottle-conditioned, turns out to be a paler colour than “dark amber” might suggest.

There’s a lovely initial bouquet of flowery hops, summery fresh orange peel and, more distantly, fresh varnish and mown grass. In the mouth the orange-peel flavours are underlined by a certain oiliness of texture, making it very smooth on the tongue; underneath the aromatic fireworks is good pale malt and a late-emerging hoppy edge to give a tangy swallow and a moderately sustained tangy-fruity finish.

Some British beers taste of oranges anyway – usually in the form of dark marmalade, but the refreshingly light and zingy orange here is unusually effective, even if ‘clever’ isn’t quite the right adjective.

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