Name – Original Bitter
Brewer – Davenport's
Classification – Amber Ale
Strength – 4.0% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Golden. 'Summery' even. Surprisingly light and lustrous for an in-house standard bitter.
On the nose – Subtle, earthy notes, with steamed date and walnut pudding lurking beneath.
On the tongue – Well balanced citrus hops, and an absence of gas which should get many other brewers worried.
On the subject – Davenport's long established home-drinking ethos – literally contained in a bottle.
On the market – Say no more! This brewer's considerable reputation is largely based on the concept of delivering straight to your door. The milkmen of the beer world. Their beers are also increasingly found in supermarkets and off licences.
On the whole – 6.5/10
On the whole – 6.5/10
Well, it's already day three, and the bottom line is this...
Any fledgling bottled beer website which dares to run longer than a week without making mention of Davenport's Brewery should, at the very least, be considered morally unsound.
And for those who don't know – here's why...
From it's inception just after the turn of the last century, this Birmingham company, under the inspired guidance of it's founder John Davenport, developed it's venerable reputation by actively encouraging people to consume their beer in the comfort of their own homes.
Bottled beer, therefore, is what Davenport's has always been about.
Even today, most brewers will draw attention to their bottled beers only after they have satisfied themselves that their principle brews (those available in pubs) have been satisfactorily showcased. But, after a hundred years, Davenport's are still more than happy to buck this trend with very same enthusiasm that they always have. To this day, their company slogan remains simply “Beer at Home.”
“That's all very well”, I hear you cry, “But what does it taste like?”
Well, my first foray into the considerable Davenport's roster seemed the obvious choice. Their “Original Bitter” is a surprisingly golden brew with an honest, earthy appeal. The first notable thing to catch my eye (after the colour) was the very welcome absence of bubbles – an attribute more brewers should be attempting to master. The glorious lack of effervescence allows the beer's muted citric theme to break through on the very first taste which, along with the finely pitched hops and malts, sets the tone for an overall drink experience which feels more dependable, trustworthy and reliable than either complex, challenging or aloof.
But then, I think that might be the 'other' secret of this greatly admired brewery. Not only do they have a history of bringing the good stuff to the doorsteps of the thirsty masses – but they also provide those masses with a drink that says “I'll never let you down.”
I ask you, what greater quality could an ale possibly have?