Wednesday, 13 June 2012

#42: Tom and Gerry

More catching up on my notes here, with two recent acquisitions in Robinson's Old Tom and Weihenstephaner Vitus. Also, cheers to the Beer Nut for the tweet that was my first plug.

Let's go with Gerry first then. Weihenstephaner Vitus weizenbock, my first of this style, though I'm very familiar with weizens in general. I was expecting a beer that was darker than a normal hefe, maybe even a dunkel, but what I poured was a pale lager-coloured ale with a fluffy white head, good fizz. On the nose, it's typical hefe-weissbier stuff - banana, clove and bubblegum, with a strange lemon sherbert tang and malty bread yeast. It's well-balanced and interesting. Fruity hefe flavours are on the tongue too, with sticky sweetness from the fruit and caramel malt balanced well by a grassy freshness. It's maltier than a hefe, and in the case of this brewer, nicer. The 7.7% ABV lends a delicate alcohol heat while the whole thing manages to stay refreshing and drinkable. Good stuff, but maybe not something to rush out and buy as soon as possible.

Robinson's Old Tom is also on the slightly stronger end of the scale, with 8% ABV. It's a dark ruby red ale that downright refuses to entertain anything like a head, with a very strong chocolate malt aroma with backgrounds of sweet candy, bubblegum and spice rum. Golden syrup and toffee apple are hinted at, while hops appear as subtle berry and cherry notes. On the tongue, toasted bread with toffee and caramel malt are balanced by green apple and dark fruits with a mildly spicy, bitter hops finish. It's full bodied and lightly carbonated, with a very slight dryness from the alcohol. Good stuff, something different I reckon.

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