New brewery to tell you guys about! Sadler’s Ales is family-orientated, spanning 5 different generations – proudly forming the key part of Sadler’s Ales’ foundation over the past 100+ years.
Quick beer update: I stumbled upon this whilst getting groceries from a local supermarket. Established in 1900, this brewery strives to produce great quality craft beers. Five different generations of the Sadler family, based in the Midlands, have been part of this beer-company’s journey. The bottle itself is really interesting; it has features on it including a diagrammatic flavour profile, food pairing and sensory experience.
One unique feature of Sadler’s Ales was the way in which they describe their beers. It had an imaginative 5 point coding of the beers, including three sense descriptors and a hopped and a malt grading (see below for the examples)! For people that know what type of beers they enjoy most, this is an easy way to help distinguish brews that they are more likely to enjoy, whilst helping novices begin to understand tasting profiles! Here are a couple of pictures from the back of the labels showing it’s flavour profile.
I’ve now sampled two different beers from this brewery. The first was ‘Peaky Blinder’. Marketed as a “Black IPA”, I try this style of beer quite regularly. Not being a huge fan of dark brews, I attempt to trick my palate by mixing up my typical IPA, pale ale and lager regulars, with a darker beer thrown into the line-up. ‘Peaky Blinder’ pours a pitch-black beer, almost blending in with The Sub background. At 4.4% ABV, it was quite light in alcohol content to some of the recent DIPAs (double IPAs if you are unfamiliar with beer-language!) that I’ve been drinking. “Brewed with five hops and malts” was the description on the logo with the accompanying text “Dark and delicious, yet refreshing and hoppy.”
The first thing I noticed upon smelling the top of the beer was a deep malty scent. Having recently been to a beer tasting experience, I was taken right back to that moment, where the malts were opened in front of me and I took in the deep, roasted aromas. This was reminiscent of that precise moment. The dark flavours came through on sampling, almost like the burnt topping of a piece of bread taken slightly too far in the toaster. I initially had this beer pre-dinner and wasn’t particularly excited at this moment in time. It was too dark and bitter for me at this point, with little to compliment this. I felt that this beer lacked complexity compared to previously sampled black IPAs.
Then dinner arrived and “half” of the tall beer glass still had some beer left. I say half being slightly optimistic. The dark roasted notes from the beer complimented my evening meal. Maybe this might be the way forward for me to sample more bitters! So overall, I shall take that as a small victory!
Rating: 2.0/5. ‘Peaky Blinder’ initially I had rated lower, but upon sampling with food, I was actually staring at the beer thinking “I might like you”. I didn’t have enough beer left to make a true judgement on it though – so I might just have to try it again!
Side note regarding ‘Peaky Blinder’: despite Sadler’s Ales being primarily a beer brewing business, the name ‘Peaky Blinder’ has now been expanded to include other alcoholic products – including whiskey, gin and rum! Certainly something to keep everyone happy.
Next up is ‘Hop Bomb’. I’m not going to lie, out of the two beers, it was the first that was put into the shopping basket. With a name like ‘Hop Bomb’, there was no way that I was going to miss this beer. It is an IPA and has an absolutely perfect logo, truly reflecting the beer’s name: hops (a key ingredient in the beer brewing process) with the exploding text of “Hop Bomb” bursting out! At 4.6% ABV, the percentage differences are near negligible when comparing the two beers.
The beer itself pours very light – which also goes hand in hand with its “sight rating” of extra pale. On inspection I had to remind myself that this was an IPA, as from the outside, this light golden beer looked more like a lager. Another striking feature about this beer was the fact that it was SO bubbly! Streams of bubbles flowed towards the medium-sized white foam head. Look at these bubbles!
This beer has a good range of sweet malts, lifted by Amarillo and Citra hops. Fruity aromas rose from the glass. The first sip revealed a malty-biscuit flavour initially, which later gives way to subtle caramel notes. Further complexity was found in this bottle as there was a strong hit of citrus, which developed on the palate the emptier my glass got! The beer was incredibly light – almost lager-esque, just like the beer visualised on pouring. Wow, this was good!
Rating: 3.75/5. ‘Hop Bomb’ met, exceeded and smashed initial expectations. It had a great taste of citrus, which I love in a light beer. This would make a fantastic beer with a barbeque or outdoor event. A definite must-buy when the summer comes (if it ever does! It’s still snowing despite being halfway through March…)