Ten Bottle Conditioned Ales from Pen-lon (Part 2)

07 Oct

To recap from my previous Pen-lon blog. I bought ten bottle conditioned ales from the Pen-lon brewery. I have already written up my tasting notes for the first five of these – Lamb’s Gold, Tipsy Tup, Cardi Bay, Heather Honey Ale and Chocolate Stout. The conclusions so far have been very favourable, so let’s see if the final five beers lived up to the expectations generated by the first five.

These five are stronger than the first five, and we start with Stock Ram, a 4.5% stout. Black in colour (of course), the taste is strong, nutty and malty. The finish contains a hint of smoke and the aftertaste is warm, dark and chocolatey. Superb.

Next is Twin Ram, a 4.6% IPA. The colour is darkish orange, it’s very lively with a huge head. The smell is fruity and hoppy. The flavour is strong, hoppy and spicy with a dryish, bitter and peppery finish. Great stuff!

We break the 5% barrier with our next bottle, the 5.2% Gimmer’s Mischief, which is described on the label as a ‘premium ale’. The label also informs us that a ‘gimmer’ is a young maiden ewe. It’s a yellowish-orange in colour with a quite sweet, somewhat honeyish taste with distinct hints of orange. The lightly hopped ending of the taste gives a rounded, bittersweet finish.

Staying at the 5.2% level, Ewes Frolic is a cloudy orange coloured lager. This beer produces no head on the pour, and I was concerned that maybe it had turned in the bottle. The taste, however belied this. It is Smooth, hoppy and very good.

Finally, the strongest of my Pen-lon purchases was Ramnesia (these names do little to dispel the stereotype of the Welsh fascination with ‘dafad’*) at a very respectable 5.6%. The colour is a luscious red. The taste is smooth and fruity with hints of toffee and pepper. A short burst of malt at the finish gives way to a short, bitter aftertaste. This is good beer.

That completes my tour of ten of Pen-lon bottled beers. I can honestly say that there isn’t a single one of them that I wouldn’t happily drink again. Usually, there’s one which lets the side down a bit, but not here. These beers are carefully crafted and I had ten completely different taste experiences. I can say that drinking these ten bottles over a period of a few days gave me one of the most consistently enjoyable drinking experiences I’ve had in some time. Heartily recommended – all of ’em.


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Posted by on 7 October, 2011 in Bottled Beer


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3 responses to “Ten Bottle Conditioned Ales from Pen-lon (Part 2)

  1. Ale Evangelist

    7 October, 2011 at 18:42

    EXCELLENT! Those are really some very pretty beers in the picture, and I’m envious that I can’t try them here in the States!

    You know, some of my favorite styles were invented in the U.K., and I was kind of disappointed when I went to Scotland in 2007 with the preponderance of Tennant’s Lager everywhere I went. I stopped at Fyne Ales at the top of Loch Fyne and spoke with a marketing guy named Charlie for a good hour or so about the brewing and drinking culture in Scotland. He was explaining that the culture there is much like the mass-produced beer culture here with Budweiser and Coor’s, etc. He said they’ve been trying to get their cask conditioned beers in the public eye more, but that it’s been an uphill battle.

    Do you find the same thing in the south, or is there a thriving real ale culture which can easily be seen?

    Thanks for the mouth-watering post!

  2. Alebagger

    17 October, 2011 at 15:27

    The situation in England is rather different to that in Scotland (or Wales, for that matter). It’s easy to find real ale in England. The 2012 Good Beer Guide has 523 pages covering England, 47 for Scotland and only 25 for Wales. This is not just the result of an English bias. It refelects a real difference in the beer culture of the different nations. It doesn’t mean that you can’t find good pubs and excellent beer in Scotland and Wales, because you certainly can, but you’re going to have to look a whole lot harder.

  3. Ale Evangelist

    17 October, 2011 at 15:46

    Wow! Well, that’s a great situation in England. I hope CAMRA makes real inroads into Scotland and Wales at some point, then!


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