Sunday, 14 February 2010

Castle Rock Harvest Pale

I have always enjoyed finding a pint of Castle Rock, Harvest Pale. It is a quaffable pale ale, 3.8%, crisp and bitter with liberal use of American hops. It has won numerous CAMRA and SIBA awards and it is rare to find it in less than tip-top form. At £2.10 in the Vat & Fiddle, the brewery tap, it is an absolute winner.

At the weekend, I learned that it is now available in a bottle. Brewed out to 4.3% to give a bit of extra oomph to counteract the carbonation necessary for a bottled beer, I found it to be yet another winner. The increased strength balancing the biscuit sweetness of the malt and a distinct dry bitterness - again from liberal use of American hops. From the clean, fresh taste it is clear that top quality ingredients are used and the flavour is consistent with the cask version. I believe it now has a national listing in both Morrisons and Tescos so should be available on a supermarket shelf near you.

As a slight aside, the bottled beer is brewed and bottled under license by Marston's in Wolverhampton. Its provenance is clearly stated on the bottle. I am more interested in what a beer tastes like but should I care more that such a great beer is getting a wider distribution supported by a giant like Marston's as there is insufficient capacity at Castle Rock to bottle the beer ?

2 comments:

haddonsman said...

I struggle with this beer. I used to find it crisp and biscuity. Now... it seems to be shallower than its heyday in 2003 (when it was known as Trammie Dodger).

And I still drink it when I cross the border back into Notts. But it seems to lack a certain something nowadays...

Sho Nuff said...

Pictish Brewer's Gold...

Nuff said?