Leatherbritches Brewery is based in Smisby in Derbyshire. They moved there from near the sadly now defunct Green Man and Black’s Head pub in Ashbourne (of which more in a later rant) in 2011. These three bottles were all bought in a shop in Ashbourne, and are attractively labelled with images of fictional Rotters. Let’s start with Leatherbritches Cad. I’m sure I should know the face that looks out from the label, I know the other two, but I’m afraid I don’t recognize this one. If you can enlighten me, please leave a comment below. (See comment below!) Cad is a 4.0% brown ale, perhaps a best bitter. On the face of it, this is a fairly straightforward beer. There are bags of dry malt to start with followed by a hoppy finish. You have to dig a bit for the subtler tastes. There’s a touch of toffee in there, and the more you get down the glass, the more prominent becomes the roasted flavour in the malt. The malt certainly dominates here. The beer is drinkable and good, but perhaps lacks a bit of excitement. Leatherbritches Bounder sports an image of Terry-Thomas playing… well, just about every character he ever played. The label describes this beer as a ‘Premium Extra Pale Ale’. I hate that word ‘premium’ as used by brewers. It’s just a noise, it means nothing. All it does is fill a small space on the label. The rest is accurate enough, this is a very pale beer. It’s lively and pours with a foamy off-white head. The taste is smooth, floral and fruity with a tiny hint of cream and a nice dry bitter finish. Although the same ABV, 4.0%, I found that Bounder is better than Cad, definitely. Leatherbritches Scoundrel has the late massive boozer Oliver Reed on its label. Ollie is seen here in his younger days when he was indeed a dashing and handsome fellow. Here he appears in his role of Bill Sykes in Oliver!, the musical adaptation of Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist. The beer is described on the label as a ‘Premium (oh dear) Dark Ale’. Yes, it’s dark, pouring an attractive deep red colour. It’s just a tad stronger than the other two at 4.1%. The head is a little thin, but that means little. The first impression is that this beer is quite sweet. There’s clear roasted malt, too with a slight hint of treacle, or possibly caramel. Nice and drinkable, but again, it lacks a certain excitement. I wouldn’t condemn any of these beers, in fact I would say that they are all pretty good, but if pressed to make a choice, I would plump for Bounder over the other two.
Words and images are my copyright, please respect that. All you have to do is ask. Thank you.