Thursday, 11 December 2014

Beer Review: Premier Bitter

Not the first choice for the beginning of winter, I know, but I thought an interesting one and, you know, the fact that the brewery is in Lancashire will mean that it always holds a place close to my heart. Tonight, I am reviewing the rather straight-forwardly named Premier Bitter from Moorhouse's who were introduced to me by my wife a long time ago around a birthday without me quite realising what they were about and then featured heavily at Hallowe'en (here), because reasons. This is now, in part, rectified.

So, yet another jaunt begins into the world of a man who can wax far too lyrical about ales but who, nevertheless, does not care and does it anyway. When I die, this will no doubt make as good an epitaph as any. In the meantime, dare you follow beyond the link?

On opening this rather finely designed (and quite oddly out-of-period) bottle there was little in the way of drama. No nonsense, down to earth and stalwart were therefore the obvious conclusions to be drawn. If it had been brewed in Yorkshire one may have concluded that it was being standoffish or just boring and northern, but its Lancastrian pedigree means that I am assured that this was simply down to modesty and fine breeding. Ahem. Sorry, I shall be less partial from here on in! On pouring there was a brief but pretty vigorous head that was very much down to be being in the bottle - I know this effect well from my own brewing adventures - and so I was a little disappointed at the idea that this may be a tad artificial in nature.

At 3.7% ABV this is the sort of ale one might choose when out on the tiles (don't do what I did and choose something of strength like Molotov Cocktail, here, because that would be stupid) and, equally, one for a decent curry night. And why not? The aroma maintains a good handful of hops in there - putting me in mind of Bramley Cross or a weakened strain of Citra - full of fruit without that usual citrus edge one gets in the lighter and more bitter ales.

Indeed, on tasting the main impression is left by a light malt rather than the bittering hops and there is a distinctly creamy texture to the brew. Now, I know that some people really like this creamy texture and that it calls to mind what some ales are like pulled from the taps in public houses across the land. It is not to my taste. I can report that this is a faint cream, one that I can stomach and take with the rest, but it is perhaps more likely to make this one a bit more of a hit with people who aren't me. And there is a lot of that about. The overall impression is of a faint but full fruitiness and the aftertaste isn't terribly bitter, odd given the name.

In short, this is an ale to repeat, enjoyed as part of a session or as a pint of choice across a barcrawl or an evening, rather than savour. A good one for a night out, or in, with friends and a film or just friends across an evening. It will remain dependable, drinkable, tasteful and the strength will allow for a good companion for that time without stabbing you in the liver later and the brain before that. In short, no nonsense, but also none of the drama that I enjoy in my ales.