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Des de Moor
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Accredited Beer Sommelier
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"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
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"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Spire 80 Shilling Ale

Featured in BEER August 2009 as a selection from the latest Good Bottled Beer Guide. For more selections see previous post.

ABV: 4.3%
Origin: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England

80 Shilling Ale

Founded in 2006 by former Scots Guards musician David McLaren, and named for Chesterfield’s landmark twisted spire, this brewery has developed an interesting range of real ales in a bottle. Most of the beers are musically named — the Sergeant Pepper peppered stout is a great example — and no doubt David’s old career also has something to do with the surprising presence, among an already unusual range of ales,  of an extremely rare beast: a bottle conditioned Scottish . Originally brewed for St Andrew’s Day, it’s now become a regular, its label proudly adorned with the McLaren tartan.

This is a slightly reddish mid-brown beer with a little off-white head and a very toasty crystal malt tinged aroma with twig and cherry notes.  A very traditional Scottish toasty malt palate has tart, sappy and chewy flavours with hops (Styrian Goldings and Fuggles) around the edges. There’s more fruit and hops over toasty malt on a generous finish that ultimately turns dry with a touch of salt.

For more selections from the 2009 Good Bottled Beer Guide see next post.

Read more about this beer at

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