Name – Durdle Door
Brewer – Dorset Brewing Company
Classification – 'Weymouth' bitter
Strength – 5.0% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Deep, vibrant copper. A decidedly 'classic bitter' look.
On the nose – Gorgeous rich malts and a nice hop-derived citrus saltiness.
On the tongue – A robust, full bodied and creamy beer, packed with fruit-laced character.
On the subject – Dorset Brewing Company continue to impress me with this 'Weymouth' bitter, so called due to the locally sourced ingredients which remain a key element of this brewery's ethos.
On the market – A healthy localised presence continues to extend beyond borders, but online (at the brewery's own web store for instance) is the best bet for those further afield.
On the whole – 8/10
On the whole – 8/10
I haven't seen one for a while, but to the best of my knowledge the UK confectioner Cadbury still produces a chocolate bar called 'Fruit And Nut.'
Those of you who aren't familiar with the product should be able to work out the basics from the name itself.
Now, summoning up all the powers of your imagination, I'm asking you to imagine a version of this chocolate bar which features no chocolate whatsoever, and which also comes in liquid form.
Now imagine that this copper coloured free flowing liquid has a fairly strong alcohol content.
Are you picturing it?
If so, what you're looking at is Durdle Door.
It's the non-chocolate, non-solid, Cadbury's Fruit And Nut of the beer world.
And let me swiftly add that this effectively makes this ale a very delicious, 'special treat' kind of drink, and one which (in fairness) has a great deal more of a salty, high-citrus dryness than my rather crude analogy might suggest.
But there's no doubt that 'nutty fruitiness' is the main feature of this brew, and those two elements have been pitched perfectly against each other in a way that really does evoke the feel of the aforementioned bar of cocoa loveliness.
In fact, this taste test made me aware of a huge inconsistency which is currently at work in our world. You can find chocolate flavoured beers all over the place these days, but I've yet to come across any beer flavoured chocolate.
Surely this represents a gigantic gap in the market... (Consider it copyrighted from this moment on!)
Anyway, I digress. You'll search long and hard before finding any chocolate flavours in Durdle Door, though there are faint traces of toffee and treacle to detect if you can ever manage to pull your focus away from those unstoppable nuts and fruits, which are forever shape-shifting between delightful hints of orange peel and pecan pie, to sumptuous swathes of cooking apple and roasted almond.
It's good stuff.
It's not the weakest bitter in terms of its ABV, and there is a sense that more than a couple of these might liven up your evening in all manner of interesting ways (or leave you slumped in a sorry heap). Add to this the robustness and the immediacy of the flavours and the proud fullness of the body – and you've got yourselves a pretty mighty drink experience.
This is the last of the Dorset Brewing Company beers I've had to sample, and I've been very impressed by the sense of freshness and the skilful composition of their range.
If you don't know this brewery yet, you might want to add it to your 'to drink' list without further delay.
These are very fine beers indeed.