Name – Loxley Ale
Brewer – Milestone
Classification – Golden Ale ("...with a hint of honey")
Strength – 4.2% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Rich, warm walnut. Like the dashboard of an old Jag.
On the nose – Aggressive, potent malts. Darkly sweet.
On the tongue – Mixed nuts and mixed fruits fighting it out with Errol Flynn-style panache.
On the subject – Newark, in Nottinghamshire is really on the march in terms of the beer trade. Milestone Brewery in the capable hands of Ken Munro, and The Real Ale Store in the equally capable fists of the mighty Richard Banks are both in play here in this article.
On the whole – 7/10
Being originally from Nottingham myself, I was quietly hoping for good things from this 'Robin Hood' themed brew.
Having just recently finished off the bottle, I must say that I spent a while afterwards kind of gazing at the empty glass, trying as hard as I could to work out the identity of what quickly became known as 'that' flavour.
Somewhere just above the nicely nutty principle flavour theme, and just below the steamed Bramley apple which flourishes abundantly in the upper end of the flavour scale, there lies lurking some characteristic that I just could not identify.
At least, not for a while.
Whilst I was racking my brain, I began to wonder whether it really was a flavour that I was looking for, and that my puzzlement might instead be connected to the body of the beer, which in itself has a slightly unusual feel, a bit like heavy water (of the non-nuclear variety) which feels like it might benefit from a touch more oxygenation to excite and enliven it - if only by a small degree.
But then, it occurred to me.
It was a flavour, after all. And this flavour had been hiding there, challenging me from the very first sip to solve the riddle of its identity.
As soon as I had identified it, it was happy to burst suddenly into the open and proceed to thrill me with it's subtle but undeniable appeal.
It was gooseberry, incidentally, if you're wondering.
Not raw gooseberry (though I'd love to taste that in a beer) but rather the sort you would find in a crumble or a pie.
But it's right there in the mix, no question about it. It's much more evident than the 'honey' mentioned on the label, and it brings to this ale a quite unique personality.
Did this beer offer forth those 'good things' that I was hoping for...?
Well, I reckon it might just have done exactly that.
But I also suspect that I'd need to try one or two more of these to be absolutely sure.