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Beer Advent Calendar Window Fifteen - Red Hot Poker

As the start of the post-craft year of 2016 begins, I can't wait to get back to good wholseome beer with good wholesome brewers. You know what phrase I want to revitalise next year - microbrewery. Everyone now is a macro or a craft, macro or a craft. I want next year to be the return of microbrewery. Are you a macro? No. Are you craft, then? No wafflefodder, we're a microbrewery but still making some damn tasty beer. 

Tatton Brewery from Kuntsford are not at Indy Man Beer Con. They aren't subject to SABMiller bids. They won't be forming some part of an extensive Cheshire Beer Expo 2016. They are one of many making consistent beers in cask and bottle that seem to be unfashionable. Part of me wants to love this year old Red Hot Poker that has made it into my Beer Advent Calendar (it is their Christmas beer,) but part of me expects to hate it. 

"That's what it's about isn't it? I mean, that's what it's always been about..." 

Tatton Brewery - Red Hot Poker 6%

It's an absolutely lovely clear amber (don't let the picture fool you), like the head of John Hammond's Jurassic Park staff, with little redeeming head. The nose has an interesting mixture of orange jelly and pork gelatine; then comes quite a floral spice mix blend, like a candle rolled out exclusively for Christmas. The taste is a little stale at first, tasting rather tart with an unbalanced amount of ginger and clove. But as it settles it develops into quite a fruity little number, cherry-like at times with plenty of nutmeg in the aftertaste. It isn't boozy and the rather thin body means it goes down well. But it's tasty; bitter when it needs to be and spicy in a manner I like my festive beer. There's a nice woodland berry flavour to round off a decent Christmas beer. I only seemed to take five or six sips in the first half hour of pouring, but after it has settled I drink the rest remarkably quickly, enjoying it very much. 

Surprisingly good? Yes, I think that's fair, but another win for solid made beer. 

Mince Pie pairing rating: 7/10 - there's enough fruit and spice in both to compliment each other well 

Best paired with: White Christmas - you expect to hate it, but actually... 


Tatton Brewery said…
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Tatton Brewery said…
Bloody hell! Is 2016 really going to be post-craft, or is that just a Christmas wish? Anyway, thanks for the review. We would be happy to let you have a fresh bottle - I suspect the "pork gelatine" character comes with age, which is generally undesirable for filtered beers. Cask is currently available in all good pubs near you - depending on the definition of "good", and "near", I suppose. Anyway, it's a cracker. Christmas cracker. Geddit? If you use that one, there'd better be a cheque in the post...

What you tasted (pigginess aside) is what we designed. That is art of real brewing, in my opinion. Bandwagons? Wheels fall off.

P.S. Err... "Kuntsford"? Not the approved spelling, though I am sure it has been used on occasion.

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