Skip to main content

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... 


Comments

Tatton Brewery said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
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.

Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the

"They Had Their Issues, So..."

      There’s a set of garages to rent as storage units near my workplace. One of them is taken by a local florist that uses it to store flower arrangements for various events, that are more often than not funerals.   As such, at least once a week at 8am I will pass a car being loaded up with flowers arranged into heart shaped patterns or the letters M U M. It is a grounding reminder that, as I mentally grumble my way through the upcoming arbitrary grievances of my ordinary working day, a group of family and friends locally is going through the hardest time. It provides much needed perspective on days when I could do with being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.   These little moments explain to me why it is possible for us to share a communal loss when a celebrity passes away. Grief is often a personal and lonely experience, shared between a minority of people in your life. When a co-worker loses a relative or friend, it has little affect on me, bar signing of