Saturday, 14 May 2011

Day 87, Beer 87 - Badger's "Tangle Foot"

Today's Beer

Name - Tangle Foot

Brewer - Badger

Classification - Premium amber ale

Strength - 5% ABV

Verdict - At A Glance

On the eye - Rich, mango/orange. (Which, ironically, is also a bit like how it tastes at times)

On the nose - Floral cake mix malts and soft citrus hops.

On the tongue - (See 'On the eye') Okay, I'm kind of kidding, but this is a typically fruity, floral and consequently sweet Badger ale.

On the subject - A mighty presence on the British beer scene, Badger have spent hundreds of years building a wide and loyal following. This ale is among their best sellers.

On the market - Everywhere. Only specialist stores might avoid this due to it's well established popular appeal. The brewery has a decent online store.

On the whole - 7.5/10

Full Review

I can't be too savage with this beer because it's really not anywhere close to being a bad ale.

In fact, it's far closer to being a very good ale, but I have to be honest, this taste test has forced me to face up to an inconvenient and potentially controversial truth.

I have an issue with Badger beers.

There. I've said it.

Now to clarify...

Badger beers are packed with character, of that there is no doubt at all. In fact, a Badger ale can be identified fairly easily among the creations of all other breweries - and this in itself is a heck of a feat. They are truly ales of distinction.

But it is the manner by which they achieve this distinction which bothers me somewhat, and it's purely a question of personal preference.

In short, Badger beers are nearly always fruity and floral by definition, and I'm just not all that excited by the way in which they emphasise these themes with such unceasing regularity and conviction.

Predominant sweetness is the result, and again, I'm naturally more inclined toward the dry side of the scale when it comes to ale, so all in all - I'm sort of built to have trouble with Badger beers.

What frustrates me about this fact, is that it is perfectly obvious that Badger brew quite wonderful ales, applying very high standards to the process and taking great care with the blend of fine ingredients which they source and include.

I just wish my taste buds would allow me to enjoy more of the Badger party, instead of forcing me to lurk by the buffet like a killjoy.

For those lucky folks who are able to fully enjoy it, this beer drinks like a Victorian cottage garden - complete with shrubberies, berry bushes, wildflowers, orchids, apiaries and fully ripened tree fruit.

It really is very well executed, easily enough for even me to notice. The fact that it's one of the UK's best selling bottled ales adds further weight to the theory that this is pretty good stuff.

I just wish this sort of beer was my cup of tea.

But then, I stopped putting sugar in my tea a very long time ago.

I guess that sort of sums it up.


Curmudgeon said...

I like this - for a Badger beer it is relatively dry and also has a noticeable alcohol kick for a 5% beer. It's the Golden Champion and Golden Glory that really are sweet and sickly.

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

PC - Yes, it was when I worked out that this was among their driest brews that I realised just how predominantly sweet their range really is.

I have the two beers you mentioned waiting in the queue... it might be tough to avoid using the 's' word again.