March has been a magic month for beer at monkey mansions. I've tasted some quality cask and bottles and picking out a stand out beer from each category has been no mean feat. The quality and range of beers that I've had has been superb, particularly those beers that formed part of The Three Judges Mild, Stout and Porter Festival.
There were some stunning examples of each style on show and during the past couple of weeks I've paid more than a few visits to the 'Judges to indulge myself in some serious research of some beautiful beer. The best beer from cask I've had this month is a tight one to choose. The pint of Summer Wine Brewery's Apache I had in the Bow Bar in Edinburgh had a powerfully punchy and delightful hop profile which went down a treat. Bank Top's Port O Call was another beautifully made and superbly conditioned beer and the Big City Jamaica Stout (which is part of Wetherspoons' latest beer fest) is a great example of a lovely beer being made by a surrogate brewery that ticked all the right boxes.
However, the pint which I kept wanting more of was Summer Wine Brewery's Resistance Mild. It was a terrific example of a tasty and satisfying Mild. It had some chocolate, fruity hops and some roast on the nose and was followed through by subtle chocolate notes and traces of roast caramel in the mouth. It finished fairly dry with a lingering bitterness. Summer Wine Brewery is a brewery that I'm seeing more and more of when I'm out and I've been impressed by the punchy flavours and tastes of their beers. They clearly are on a roll at the moment and if you catch sight of one of their beers, give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
|10 out of 10 for the 10|
My bottled beer of the month was an easy choice. It is Danish brewers Mikkeller and their beer 10. I was simply blown away from the first mouthfull to the last drop. It takes it's name from the 10 hops that are used in the making of this beer and each of them have already appeared in Mikkellers range of single hopped beer. There are Warrior, Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, Nugget, Tomahawk and East Kent Golding hops in this beer along with three different malts (Pilsner, Cara-Crystal and Munich). With so many flavoursome and full bodied hops in the mix, this could have easily turned into a hop bomb mess but Mikkeller's skill shines through and this is quite simply, an absolute stonker of a beer. It's big, bold but beautifully balanced and destined for inclusion in my 'best of' list at the end of the year. If you haven't tried it, do what you can to get your hands and mouth on it. It really is that good.