Bolster’s Blood (5% ABV, bottle)
Gosh. Hugely overconditioned — it took several minutes for the thick beige head to subside, but it did leave excellent lacing! The beer’s very dark, with red edges. Bready, caramel malt on the aroma, with a hint of smoke. On the palate, that sweet, but not overly sweet, backbone remains. There are black cherry and Christmas cake flavours, currants, sultanas, and a hint of coffee, with a gentle bitterness on the finish. Complex and satisfying. Perhaps one for a winter fireside rather than a warm day in June!
Buy it: I got mine via the Pilchard Press, in St Ives. It’s also available on the brewery’s website.
Cove beer range
Beacon (4.2% ABV, can)
The first of the Cove series of craft beers, Beacon is hazy golden, with good carbonation and a white head that stays well. Quite a hedgerow hop aroma, with some grassiness and light citrus. On the palate, it’s well balanced with lemon and orange coming through against a backdrop of quite assertive biscuit malt. A hint of dryness, too. Refreshing a clean, this is a good showcase for British hops, in this case Jester and Harlequin).
Buy it: I got mine in Johns, St Ives. It’s also available on the brewery’s website.
(2nd July, 2020)
Midnight Skinny Dipper (4.2% ABV, can)
Very dark, with a thick, foaming, tan head. On the nose there’s rich, dark malt, treacle, and a suggestion of berry fruit. Big roasted notes on the palate, too, with a bit more bitterness than I expected. I thought there might be a greater lactose character, but it’s more about bitter chocolate, that treacle, and a decent bitter finish. There’s a slightly lactose note right at the end, along with some coffee. More of a stout for me than a milk stout, but a decent brew, nonetheless, and a treat on a cold autumnal evening.
Buy it: I got mine in the Red Elephant Beer Cellar, Truro. It’s also available on the brewery’s website.
(21st October, 2020)