Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en readers!

As it’s the season of tricks and treats it was only appropriate for me to ‘treat’ myself to some seasonal beers. During the month of October I had been keeping my eyes out for some brews that I would be able to enjoy on the 31st.

Once fully decorated with animatronics, ghouls, zombies, witches and demons, the house I share with my partner is certainly the most noticeable on the street… We have life-size witches visible from the outside, cauldrons-a-plenty and scary clips projected on the windows for passers-by to endure!

I managed to purchase a variety of beers with a Hallowe’en theme from a couple of supermarkets and slotted them away snugly in my beer fridge – I allowed them their own dedicated shelf.

The 31st of October came, and Hallowe’en had descended upon the neighbourhood. It was a night with lots of frights via our decorations and sugar for the local trick-or-treaters (we had SO many, we were answering the door to a variety of weird and wonderful costumes asking for free stuff). Some say Hallowe’en is for children, but I defy anyone to disagree that Hallowe’en-themed beer is the best way for an adult to celebrate the spookiest night of the year. Combine these seasonal brews with a movie that my partner and I turned into a drinking game and you have got yourself a pretty good night!

 

HOBGOBLIN GOLD

First up was a beer I have previously enjoyed. Its full review is found within the beer playoffs. The reason I bought it once more is because I found it at the beginning of October and noticed the limited-edition Hallowe’en design on the bottle. Pumpkins and dark, mysterious woods set the scene and the Goblin’s axe was switched with a pumpkin wearing a jester’s hat. At the base of the bottle the tagline read “the season of mischief”.

20171030_1557131073116643.jpg This is a great beer; I much prefer it to the original ‘Hobgoblin’ beer by Wychwood brewery. With an ABV of 4.2%, it’s not overwhelming in strength and pours a light colour. It has a great mix of malts and hops, with a taste of caramel to go with it. Having had this beer before, I knew it was going to be good and it continued to deliver.

Rating: 4.25/5. ‘Hobgoblin Gold’ continues to be a fantastic beer and will be enjoyed many more times – special packaging or not!

 

 

TROOPER HALLOWED

This beer was a standout on the supermarket shelf; with the Grim Reaper as the primary logo and a tagline of “Inspired by Belgium, Made in England”. The name ‘Trooper’ comes from the band Iron Maiden. The lead singer, Bruce Dickenson, is a real ale enthusiast and helped develop this beer with Robinsons brewery. With subtle notes of lemon, this deep ale comes in at an ABV of 6%, meaning that you instantly get a taste that this is a strong beer. Interestingly, there was also a hint of banana.

20171030_181021399380348.jpg

Rating: 3.0/5. ‘Trooper Hallowed’ is a lovely beer, though probably not one that I would ensure I’d drink again. It’s a deep ale, slightly bitter for my taste buds, but I’m sure it will be enjoyed by many others.

 

LITTLE HORROR OF HOPS

This is a 4.9% ABV hoppy IPA which stood out clearly on the shelf due to its horror-themed packaging; a colourful label, with droplets of blood coming from the feature image. A beer promising a good hit of hops usually bodes well for me and this looked like it was going to be a great beer, but it was also described as a ‘rye beer’. I’ve had my fair share of ‘rye beers’ – a rye beer is where at least some of the malts is from the rye grain. Compared to a similar rye-less beer, ryes are often spicier, with a touch less bitterness. I’ve had mixed experiences with rye so far – so I was uncertain in the direction this beer was going to tilt.

Shipyard Little Horror of Hops
I absolutely love this glass – and the beer in it too wasn’t too bad either!

I popped the beer cap and poured it into my Game of Thrones, Targaryen glass (which instantly makes any beer look even better). It poured a deep amber in colour and citrus aromas came from the glass. Hops were plentiful in this beer and the citrus flavours crept through subtly too. Spice was limited, and a slight bitter edge was present, creating a balanced, well-rounded IPA.

Rating: 3.75/5. Best new beer of the night and will keep my eye out for future Shipyard beers – great Hallowe’en design too!

 

GANGLY GHOUL

The final Hallowe’en beer of the night – by this point I was asking myself “Why is all the beer gone?!”.  By Greene King, Westgate brewery. The logo and artwork for the bottle was brilliant – a ghoul with a tankard of beer! What better way to make friends with scary creatures at this time of year, than by sitting down and having a drink with them? That wasn’t necessary in this case though, as the green ghoul on the bottle actually looked quite friendly.

Dark as a swamp, this beer poured with little head and little scent. It was bitter. Unfortunately that’s about all I can comment on. Not a beer for me; the depth of flavour was lacking and there were no contrasting elements. Awesome seasonal design, but lacked imagination on sampling.

Gangly Ghoul
Cheeky gin in the background – honest it wasn’t me, I wasn’t mixing……

Rating: 1.5/5. For the ‘novelty’ factor, I’m glad I’ve tried it this Hallowe’en, but I won’t be looking out for it next year. I’ve had some other good beers by Greene King (they do a smashing IPA), so I’m not losing faith in the brewery – just this one wasn’t for me.

 

I hope you had a spook-tacular night and I am looking forward to hearing about any Hallowe’en beers that you found! Send me a message about your scary beers!

 

Dr Beer

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