I have been looking out for this since I saw it as one of the 'other' ales when I first discovered the local micro-brewery that is Nutbrook. I was rather made up when I found it in stock when I popped in at the beginning of their beer festival back at the start of summer and promptly bought the last bottle they had - or I would have bought two. I then sat on it for a while and now it has come time to review and drink it. It is, of course, the rather cleverly titled More (drink more, see) and you may be able to tell that I am looking forward to it!
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As is becoming something of a theme on these reviews the initial impression one gets from the aroma is coffee and chocolate with a bed of malt. There's a swift head formed but it swiftly goes as well with some decent but not overmuch carbonation. That chocolate becomes more coffee like the longer one gives it a sniff and the dark red colouring is easily seen in the glass. Perhaps not clear in the image above due to it being taken in our kitchen with my phone but that's just something to chalk up to not having a smart smart phone. Point is, as it ever was, that the ale was lovely red ale. This was all good given how long I have waited for this in the first place and set me wondering why I only bought the one. Actually, that's easy to answer, I hadn't been paid for my examining work and wanted to buy some Responsibly and a pint glass too.
Taste was worth waiting for, there's no missing the punch of the alcohol but this is not delivered in a crass way, there's an element of class to that 4.8% ABV. Like gentleman crooks using violence in a focussed and effective way whilst minimising fuss and avoiding being sociopathic - so imagine something political. Oooh! Like those protesters sitting in at Fortnum and Masons last year or so, they used violence to gain entry and then just simply sat down. Point was made and no criminal damage was actually done, yes, that's like this alcohol, does the job without shouting about it or getting all caught up in the moment. It is almost a pleasant use of force, if such a thing can be said to exist in the first place! The opening is that coffee chocolate that seems to be found in many of the ales I'm having at the moment but is sufficiently different that it doesn't get boring. Indeed, this is like a mocha coffee I've had at work when I managed to get the machine working properly rather than the luxuriant style of chocolate one associates with milky beverages and decent bars of pure chocolate. This rather nice opening than gives way to the malt like a nice person out in the street stepping aside when you're in a hurry or holding the door for you or even like a bus that waits when it really ought to have gone because you were late. With it there's a hint of bitterness, maybe a rueful acknowledgement that you could have done to let the car out of that last junction or offer thanks to someone you simply let do the decent thing instead. From there you're on a dark chocolate wave to the aftertaste, like taking a log flume in Swiss 80% chocolate.
Once there you find yourself in a soft and friendly place, the steam rises nicely from a selection of hot beverages and there are people smiling and ready to talk to you. There's no big hit of hops, that at this point would be like a crowd of rowdy but happy football fans chanting about a victory with no desire to cause upset but just a little bit too much noise for the situation and the place. There's a modicum of sweetness, but not the cloying saccharine notes of Bourbon Stout (here - if you dare), as it remains firmly rooted in the bitterness area of beer tasting. Indeed, the overall impression by this point is of barley in a lovely, very summery way, that would work well in most seasons but, perhaps, the fresh spring days when you need something less heavy or the middle of a heatwave when the thickness of this ale would be a little too much.
Consider a Reddit style verdict: 8/10 would drink More again.
Enjoy this best of an evening after eating, not going out for a session or planning on drinking much, this is one for close company and friends sharing a conversation or simply one another's company watching a film on the TV. Maybe you have a DVD in, maybe someone brought some wine, whatever. You have all eaten, the children are asleep and it may or may not be getting dark out. As the film unfolds you crack this open and sup in companionable silence, have a bit of craic as it finishes then dig out another bottle. Repeat to your satisfaction.