Name – Long Days
Brewer – Badger
Classification – Premium ale
Strength – 4.5% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Deep orange amber.
On the nose – Miraculous. Ultra top note confectionery sweetness. Like nothing else. (I couldn't stop sniffing!)
On the tongue – Very sweet. I can't really expand on that. You'd better read on...
On the subject – Hall & Woodhouse, brewing under the Badger name, pretty much have an entire corner of the UK's bottled beer market all to themselves. Most people my age grew up with them, but that can be said for people of just about any age, as this is brewery can trace it's roots back to 1777. That statistic never ceases to thrill me.
On the market – You already have several at home. But if, somehow, you don't (or if you've misplaced them) simply go to any nearby shop, or try the brewery's very own online store.
On the whole – 6.5/10
On the whole – 6.5/10
“How to be diplomatic?”, he pondered.
The reason he pondered on 'diplomacy' and not 'vitriolic indignation' was because he knew that today's beer wasn't horrid or poorly crafted, it was just very unlike the sort of beer he normally desired.
He's me, naturally.
He's referring to himself in the third person partly because he's ashamed by the stubborn limitations of his own tastes, and partly because he doesn't relish the idea of dishing out lacklustre reviews to beers which mean only to bring delight.
This beer is shamelessly well-intentioned. It's good-natured, upbeat, and you can tell right away that it would never hurt a fly.
Flies wouldn't hurt it back either, I suspect.
Actually, I'm fairly sure flies would love it.
And that's not me smuggling in a barbed comment, it's just that this ale is packed with the sort of natural, cottage garden, honeysuckle and peach sweetness which not only flies, but all manner of God's creatures would doubtless go generally bonkers over.
But not humans.
Or if so, not quite so enthusiastically.
Well, not this human anyway.
And the reason I wouldn't go bonkers over it is perfectly straightforward.
This beer is just too, too, too, too sweet.
That was four 'toos' and it still doesn't feel like enough.
It's a sweetness which reaches almost entirely beyond natural ingredients, and begins to tread upon territory usually reserved for boiled sweets or perfumed candles. So striking is it, that in some ways this beer could be seen as a pretty bold statement. The proudly raised fist of a non-conformist. A candy-coated act of outright rebellion.
At one stage I actually sat marvelling at the courage of the brewer who had stood by and allowed the relentless slide toward sweetness to continue as far as it eventually did. How he or she summoned-up the will to suppress the loud cry of 'Stop!' I will never know.
They must have realised that by encouraging this beer further and further into the sweet ever-after, they were simultaneously narrowing the margins in terms of its appeal. I mean, I'm absolutely certain there's a market for intensely rich floral and fruit sweetness in ale (the reason I'm certain is the continued dominance of Badger in the mass bottled beer market) and it's only fair that all taste should be catered for by the industry at large. But, by heavens, my tongue seems truly determined never to allow me to discover the joys of drinking such fluids.
Well, it's certainly in no hurry to allow it at the moment, put it that way.
Badger, though, continue to serve the sweet-loving brigade with unbridled enthusiasm, and I commend them for that with all sincerity. There is such a sense of pride in the drinks they produce, and they know exactly what they are doing.
I just wish I was able to share in the rewards of their passionate endeavours.
I can only hope that some day I will be.