Black Sheep Brewery

1742 • Glug M’GlugPathmaker

1742 (5.7% ABV, bottle)
I spotted this on friend Gary’s Facebook feed when he was away, eating in a presumably Whitbread-owned establishment as the name of the beer celebrates that company’s 275th anniversary (although, of course, it’s a while since it produced any beer itself). Interestingly, the bottle says brewed and bottled on behalf of Black Sheep at Lions Brewery, Hartlepool. There’s a rich aroma of dark, deep malts as the beer pours into the glass. There’s coffee in the ingredients list and a whiff of Camp Coffee on the nose. In fact, it’s Whitbread-owned Costa mocha in the mix, and, indeed, there is more of a mocha note on the palate, along with some vanilla and a slight smokiness. Gets more vinous towards the end. The flavours are good, but it’s spoilt a little by some excessive carbonation when I’m really expecting something smoother from a 5.7% stout. Otherwise, it really would be a cracking brew. (22-02-2018)

Glug m’Glug (6.2% ABV, can)
A “dark IPA” — not a black IPA. And a damn fine beer it is, too. It’s a very attractive, rich mahogany colour and keeps its head really well. There’s berry fruit on the aroma along with some toffee malt. The fruit — strawberry, raspberry — continues in the taste with light caramel sweetness and hints of red apple. With a smooth body, this is a really vibrant, enticing brew. (19-01-2017)

Pathmaker (5.6% ABV, can)
Named in honour of brewery founder Paul Theakston, there’s a huge hit of hop — juicy grapefruit with a resinous edge — on this lovely pale ale. On the palate there’s more balance than the aroma would suggest, but still a big zesty hop flavour, with balacing biscuit malt. The hops stay all the way through, leading to a satisfying bittersweet finish. (19-10-2017)

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