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Beer – #210 – Morland – Old Crafty Hen (in a bottle)

Finishing then the shopping basket from the previously disastrous trip to the English shop – Morland Old Crafty Hen Brewed by Greene King in style of a  English Strong Ale  and that’s done in Bury St. Edmunds, England.

Moreland - Old Crafty HenGranddad Fredrick always used to refer to the place as St.Edmunds Bury, and it’s of some misplaced memory that I think of this as an ancestral home in some way, Go on it’s a long story.

This beer, described as a  distinctive malty taste with a satisfying, smooth raisin finish. This delicious dark amber ale is perfect for indulging yourself and your friends.

Granddad, a hat tip to you, a man who, unless I made it up, as a war veteran, could have had the full gun carriage funeral, a staunch man, bigger than life, to me always 11 foot 19 tall, and as a man who lived in and was nursed by my mother, some memories that just are things for no reason. A side story that I should write more about.

This, then, is a 500ml, pint of, a 6.5% ABV beer, being then about 3.3 standard drink units. Packaged in that way that a black label and gold lettering conveys gravitas.

Back then to the now, and it’s funny how a word or thought can carry you off in. Tonight I was taken back to a pub that we used to visit a fair bit, “Speakers Corner” in  Browns Bay, just over the hill, by the beach. Wherein I had a pint of the best “Old Speckled Hen” which I have always really really enjoyed,  more than the Marston’s Pedigree, for instance that they sell, and I chose, as it’s not my usual and you’d never know…. . However It’s not the same. We used to take the children on a Friday for “Seafood basket”, for one and  “Cheeseburger” with chips, for the other, for dinner, whilst I had the two pints (cough 3), and  then handing over  a few coins so they could to go to the dairy/shop opposite for ice cream. Good times.

The Old Speckled Hen tonight was, as always, good.  This though a new thing.

“and we’re back in the room” …………     Wet bready aroma on opening, Wikid head, a benchmark, if I was looking for one, and it’s a keeper, aroma settles to the vaguely bitter thing. However, It is neither  a dark pour, nor is is “raisiny” on the nose. #frownface

Very top heavy on the malt, making this really reaching for a balanced palate, a  bash in the tounge beer. It’s all up front and whoosh… But then as as a thing it’s got a bitterness note of course, and that comes with the style of beer, but it doesn’t have that ‘creamy’ mouthfeel.

I actually don’t not like this though, and would like to have a another, in the right setting.

As it warms it settles on too much of  a sour note, for me. You don’t need to be chasing beer at at a temperature that brings your the profile you need, or expect,  it should be near or at the mark from the fridge or the engine. Which is where I started to sound like I was 70 or wore a cardigan.

The pdybyah-o-meter says 7 good, as in good enough, and not a disaster good.

If I was out and about, and this was it, I would be ok with that. I wouldn’t be rushing up to shake anyones hand because of it, but this has enough in it to make you enjoy and uncover a few things, or uncover a few truths. With the ABV of 6.5 that’s be sooner rather than later.

It is really though, push and shove aside. not that pleasant a beer, there is a sourness in the length of taste. This i’m beginning to accept is the English style,. This then makes a bit of  lie about how much I’d like another, which I would . . . . ..   if I was sitting with you and chatting, possibly not, or leaning and preening and  looking at the ladies and playing darts, of course, yes, beer-goggles stand by…

What I think then is , for me, English beer, that “thing” , the “thing” that is reviled and laughed at, the comedic  “Warm beer, cold pies”  “thing”, when you look behind the curtain is a based on a bit of mystique. Don’t doubt me that the English “real beer” exists, Proper Cellar temperature, properly aged and fermented, CAMRA approved blue ribbon stuff, but its just that you don’t get it in a bottle in the NZ importer store.

Once upon a beer I might have defended the flag, but having had a couple hundred ‘craft’ beers the “English Beer” hilarious quip pains me. This particular beer pains me like no other, because it stands up and says “Sing when you’re winning” .

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