Product Type: Thwaites Beer
Newest Review: ... often. I love having a 'half' of this at the pub because they have some lovely Wainwright stem glasses to serve it in, and somehow it t... more
Member Name: grahamt
Advantages: A great thirst quencher for long hot summers....
Disadvantages: ...pity we haven't had any recently!
I have been greatly enjoying the BBC's TV series, Wainwright's Walks. Alfred Wainwright is uniquely associated with the glorious Lake District of Cumbria through the series of books that he wrote describing the wonders of the various walks across what must be without doubt some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. Julia Bradbury has been retracing his steps, following his guidance and reading his commentaries along the way.
His chatty, friendly, amusing narratives have guided millions of ramblers to the summits of the various peaks for over 50 years. A memorial to this great man can be found in Buttermere. But now brewer, Daniel Thwaites, based in Wainwright's home town of Blackburn, Lancashire, has produced its own memorial, a Golden Ale which bears his name.
A 500ml bottle of this brew will cost you around £1.80 from most supermarkets which stock it. I got my bottle from our local Waitrose, a good source for out-of-the-ordinary products though a little on the pricey side at that. The bottle carries a label on which is drawn in the typical Wainwright style a picture of our Hero, taking his ease on top of one of his peaks, possibly Haystacks, where his ashes are scattered, and gazing out over the panorama he loved so much.
This is a very reasonable strength beer at 4.1%abv, not quite a premium ale but a little stronger than a session beer. Thwaites describes the beer as a Golden Ale and, pouring it from the bottle, you can see why this might be appropriate. Certainly lighter than a traditional bitter, it is, nevertheless, not as pale as most golden ales, which usually approach the colour of a Pilsner Lager. The strength and colour, though, firmly place this in the category of a drink to savour on a warm summer's day. What a shame we haven't had many recently!
Even carefully poured, the beer generates a decent enough head, which lasts well into its consumption. Careful pouring, though, isn't necessary other than to avoid over-foaming, as this is not a Bottle Conditioned Ale (BCA) and so doesn't contain any yeast residue in the bottom of the bottle.
The immediate aroma is flowery with a hint of citrus. In the tasting the citrus comes through a little more strongly but what is most noticeable is the definite sweetness that is far more apparent than would be found in a bitter or probably even in a typical summer golden ale.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't unpleasant. I don't favour sweet beers but here Thwaites seem to have got the balance absolutely right. Any more and this would have been too much but in the mouth the sweetness recedes and allows the hoppiness and citric acidity to come through. The taste lasts well in the mouth and the aroma envelopes the nose as the ale warms.
This is a beer that I defy anyone to say the don't like. Even me, someone who loves a pint of the traditional English Bitter, could not get tired of this. It doesn't matter if you are a hard-and-fast lager drinker or even someone who really doesn't drink beer at all, you will love Wainwright.
Summary: I beautifully tasty golden ale to commemorate the life of Alfred Wainwright