My first thought walking into Wetherspoons on a Friday evening usually revolves around trying to decide which of the many beers on offer I’m going to have. My second thought is usually wondering why they have so many different ‘unavailable’ at any given time, thereby narrowing the choice considerably. My third thought, some time later after realising that either I’m invisible, or the bar is seriously understaffed, is usually along the lines of, ‘Help ma Boab! Just pour the slops from the drip tray into a tumbler for me, I’m spitting feathers here!”
The folowing review, fortunately, does not concern such desperate measures. A modicum of patience, and I was soon the proud owner, albeit temporarily, of a cool pint of foaming ale.
Daniel Thwaite’s Brewery is located in the Lancashire town of Blackburn where they’ve been brewing ales using traditional recipes since 1807. They’ve remained a family concern and one of the larger, independent brewers in the country. I learned this from their website. I also learned that they’re “a vertically integrated company.”
Does this make any difference to the beer? Does it make any sense, even?
They brew a range of cask ales, kegs, lagers and cider, but the one I’m discussing is a beer which was originally brewed by another, now defunct local brewery. It was reintroduced on the 6th of June 1994 to mark the 50th anniversary of D-Day. That beer is Lancaster Bomber.
“A very easy drinking rich amber beer with an inviting malty aroma. It has a finely balanced hop character with a prominent floral hop aroma and warming aftertaste.”
This beer pours a deep and dark rusty-red colour which is crystal clear and topped by a half-inch or so of thinnish, tan-coloured foam. The head soon dissipates and leaves only the suggestion of a lace effect on the glass.
The aroma is predominantly malty, mainly sweet and biscuity, but there’s also plenty of grassy hops poking through. There’s a faint woody tone, and lots of pleasant, fruity notes – mainly dark, but possibly apples too.
It’s medium-bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and the initial taste is all about hops. Grassy and floral, there’s a fair smack of bitterness to this beer, but the soft malt character soon kicks in. The fruit isn’t as noticeable on the palate – it’s all about the contest between hops and malt. There’s a bit of to’n’fro-ing going on, but neither really dominates. it finishes on the dry side, with a creeping bitterness in the aftertaste.
At 4.4% ABV, this is a classic session ale. It’s neither too complex, nor too pretentious, but is still a pretty impressive brew. It’s not the most memorable of beers, but it’s one of those that you enjoy without really thinking about it, yanno? Easy-drinking and very satisfying, it’s a beer that you could happily drink a few of and, as it’s only 4.4%, not get too squiffy. It’s also the type of beer that compliments pub grub beautifully – not overpowering or gassy.
Would I drink it again? – Yes but, don’t know where – don’t know when.
1. Thwaites Brewery
2. How Inuit Eat
3. Lancaster Bomber | Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC | BeerAdvocate