I have mentioned The Maltings pub in York once before in these blogs (see here). I have had occasion to visit the pub again since I wrote that blog, and again found an interesting range of beers. Unfortunately, I hit peak time and found the corner I was sitting in to be very crowded and jostly with loud and noisome customers who thought every noun should be preceded by an obscenity. There are signs up in The Maltings declaring it to be a no-swearing venue. It’s not. One day, I hope to get to The Maltings at an off-peak moment and just sit and enjoy the beers and what I imagine would be a fine atmosphere in this charismatic building.
When last there, I did manage to buy two bottles labelled as The Maltings own brews. I’ll be honest here, I’m not sure if these beers are actually brewed on the premises or are brewed for them by another local brewer. There is no mention of ‘The Maltings’ brewery in the Good Beer Guide, either in the breweries section or in the entry for the pub itself. Nor is any brewing activity mentioned on their website.
It seems that the brewer (whoever he or she is) had a surfeit of raspberries when brewing the two beers I bought, a Raspberry Wheat Beer and a Raspberry Stout. These two were the only Maltings bottled beers available that day. The labels on the bottles are plain and look like they’ve come off a computer printer. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that.
The Raspberry Wheat Beer fairly exploded out of the bottle when it was opened, leading to a mad dash for towels by Lady Alebagger. It’s not usually a good sign when bottle conditioned ales leap out of the bottle, but there appeared to be nothing wrong with the beer itself, apart from the fact that a proportion of it was spread liberally over Lady A’s furniture. The ABV of this beer is 5.6% and it presents a cloudy orange colour, more or less what I would expect from a wheat beer with raspberries in it.
The initial mouthfuls of this beer were very gassy – hardly to be wondered at after its explosive entry into the world. The gas came out of solution within a few minutes and a more moderate texture followed. I have to admit that wheat beer is not my favourite style, so I may be a little biassed against it, but I found this beer to be fairly pleasant, though with that wheat beer kind of taste that I don’t really like very much. Ah, colour me fickle, I care not. Alongside the wheaty taste was a decent amount of spice and some distinctly fruity notes, though I’d be pushed to say that I could definitely taste raspberries. As with wheat beers in general, there is little sweetness in this beer, and after the swallow there is a good bitterness that grows in the mouth. One for wheat beer fans to try.
The second bottle was Raspberry Stout, at 4.4%. Cautiously, I opened this bottle over the sink, but the precaution proved unnecessary. The beer poured nicely, producing a good pale brown head. The beer is a very deep red in colour. Again, I found this one very gassy to start with, but the gas soon passed (ahem!). I’m not sure what I was expecting in this beer, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. It is dry and bitter, almost sour in flavour. There is some fruit present; again I would not say that I could definitely taste raspberries, and what fruit there was did not lend any sweetness to the taste. I found the taste of this stout to be drifting into the arena of the unpleasant and rather hard going, and I’m afraid that the kitchen sink drank a fair bit of it.
So, I find myself with two good reasons to return to the Maltings. Firstly I want to experience it outside lout-hour, and secondly I want to try more of their home-labelled beers. These two, however, I will not be buying again.
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