Origin: Hartington, Derbyshire, England
Date: 6 November 2000
Another review from the archive written for the pioneering Oxford Bottled Beer Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit. Whim is still very much in business, though now just producing beer in cask and polypin. This particular beer appears to have been retired.
“The last word in fine dark ales”, claims the label, not entirely convincingly. It’s a brewery-conditioned beer, quite lively, deep amber with ruby hints and with a small but extremely long-lasting fine-grained head. The aroma is initially very hoppy but with some citric and dark fruit overtones too.
The flavour is full and quite complex, notably sweetly malty but well offset by a firm hop character that begins bitter-cherryish and develops into grapefruit in the back of the mouth for a moderately long finish. While not a spectacular pint, the beer is certainly unusual in being rather difficult to place: with its dark colour and very malty palate it has a certain Scottish character, perhaps as a tribute to the nationality of its namesake, tempting classification as an 80/-, except that its full hop character places it firmly south of the border.
And indeed the brewery is located in Buxton, Derbyshire, though the same company now owns Broughton/Greenmantle in the Scottish lowlands so perhaps the influence has percolated south. Such a classification problem seems appropriate in a beer named after a lexicographer.