Thursday, 23 July 2015

Woodfordes Welly

Don't judge a beer by its bottle

Woodfordes Wherry



3.8% (draught)
4.5% (estimated for Homebrew)

When after years of patronising old man boozers with yer dad, he suddenly pipes up and says Woodfordes Wherry is his favourite beer of all time, you tend to sit up & pay attention. He had never mentioned this Norfolk Ale in all that time. Not even once, like it was some dark & secret pleasure. 

Having enjoyed the fragrant pleasures of Woodfordes Wherry on draught the day pops made his revelation, sat outside in the grounds of a country pub with birds chirping on a crisp spring afternoon (an occasion approaching Beer Nirvana), I approached this homebrew offering with more than a modicum of foreboding, not wanting to knock ol' Wherry off its pedestal. Especially as it wasn't brewed by me, but by my brother in law. Would it fall short in its homebrew incarnation?

It was one of those brewing projects that overshoot a special occasion & need a couple more weeks to mature. Christmas in this case, stretched into mid January “for safety”. A couple of take home bottles therefore sat in the wellies in my car boot acting like a winter refrigerator. I needn’t have worried. Without any doubt this is the best homebrew I have ever enjoyed. I hope it wasn't the wellington boot technique that made the difference. I guess life is made up of such idiosyncrasies though. I should call it Woodfordes Welly.

The aroma is fruity with that indefinable ‘homebrew’ essence (where does it come from? Nobody kows!). The bitterness/ sweetness is perfectly balanced. The whole beer is poised on a knife edge of perfection. Its not too gassy but the vitality of the flowers provide a crispness and lucidity (I think this is what the over- gassing of lesser ales is attempting to captivate).

The beer was bottle conditioned so there was a light yeasty residue & overtaste which is actually quite welcome. The beer has a warmth, and the alcohol content is sufficiently high (the brewers claim 4.5% on homebrew, but its 3.8% on draught). The beer is not abrasive or overpowering at all.

And so I am gloriously transported on wings of gracious corvids, back to Lincolnshire, to that crisp spring afternoon outside amongst the ancient oxygen of benevolent trees, with the ambrosia of Woodfordes Wherry chirping on my tongue.

You know when you’ve had a good homebrew because you forget youre drinking homebrew. The brewer becomes the ghost in the machine & the brew shines through. If you want to make a good homebrew, choose Woodfordes Wherry maltings.

Marks /10
9.75 (loses 0.25 for yeast sediment & overtang)

North Utsire

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