Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt 2011 Round-up

I’ve now reviewed all the beers that are in the final of the Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt 2011. You can access all the reviews below:

What I think should win and what will win, are probably two different things. I’m sure the judges will have an eye, not just to how good the beer actually is, but on how well it will sell. I don’t see much point in Sainsbury’s listing a beer if it’s just going to languish on the shelves for six months. So what beer do I think will win a six month listing? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the two winners came from Golden Summer, Flying Dutchman, Bad King John, Golden Seahawk, Wye Not?, Worcester Sorcerer and Stronghart.

Spreading my bets with that selection I know, but I’m not one of the judges and I don’t know how they think. I just have a feeling that it’ll be a conservative choice, but I hope I’m wrong. I’d rather see Williams Brothers utterly lush Profanity Stout and Harviestoun’s hoptastic Wild Hop IPA as the two winners, as they were my favourites and the only two beers I bought more than one of.

The winners will be announced at an event on the 30th of September in London and I’ll be there! I’ve never been to this kind of thing before, so I thought I’d accept the invite, as it would be a good opportunity to see how this kind of event works first hand. Expect a blog about the final in early October.

Great British Beer Hunt: Two Hoots and Profanity Stout

We start today’s Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt 2011 reviews with the beer that I had the most trouble getting my hands on. It took three visits to the local store before I managed to get a bottle, so was it worth the wait…?

It poured a crystal clear golden amber from a clear bottle, the only entry in the beer hunt to be in one. The head was quite impressive to start with, but dropped to a covering fairly rapidly. The nose was quite immense, with aromas streaming out of the glass during the pour. It smell reminded me of rhubarb and custard sweets, but got less intense the longer it sat there.

Taste wise, it was a massive disappointment, it totally didn’t live up to the nose. There didn’t appear to be much in the way of flavour or bitterness, with just a tickle of the later providing any entertainment. The after taste was slightly drying and had more of the rhubarb and custard flavour that was evident on the nose.

I’ll admit that this isn’t my first Profanity Stout, I had one earlier in the week, so I knew what I was in for and boy was I looking forward to it. It poured an almost impenetrable black, just the merest hint of colour when held up to the light. A loose tan coloured head formed easily and dropped to a covering fairly quickly.

It smelt amazing, full on thick treacly coffee, with hints of bitter dark chocolate. I should at this point give a full and balanced review, but instead I’m just going to give you a few keywords: full bodied, thick, oily, coffee, bitter dark chocolate. It was utterly moreish, with fleeting hints of vegetal hops at the edges.

To be blunt, if this doesn’t win, then either the public have no taste, or the competition’s a joke. And to think this recipe was dreamt up by two students at the Hairy Twatt (I studied physics there once, I can call it that), hats of to you guys, I hope you both have long and illustrious careers.

* No photo for the Two Hoots due to the app on my phone throwing a wobbler and deleting them all…

Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt 2011

Sainsburys Great British Beer Hunt 2011

The 16 finalists of this years Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt should now available to buy in your local store and will be available to buy until the 27th of the month. The competition prize is a permanent listing in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide. The 16 beers available are:

Wild Hop IPA, Harviestoun Brewery
Caesar Augustus, Williams Brothers
Profanity Stout, Williams Brothers
Flying Dutchman, Caledonian Brewing Co
Ivanhoe, Ridgeway Brewing
Bad King John, Ridgeway Brewing
Stronghart, McMullen & Sons
Bishops Farewell, Oakham Ales
Wye Not, Wye Valley Brewery
Churchill Ale, Oxfordshire Ales Ltd
Golden Seahawk, Cotleigh Brewery
Full Bore, Hunter’s Brewery
Two Hoots, Joseph Holt
Golden Summer, Wold Top Brewery
Frederic’s Great British Ginger Beer, Frederic Robinson
Worcester Sorcerer, Sadler’s Ales

I’ve decided to buy each beer and review it, so I popped into my local store over lunch and managed to pick up 14 of them. Missing from my local store were the Wild Hop IPA and the Two Hoots Golden Ale, so I’m going to have to pop back and pick those up at some point. Not sure when I’ll get round to drinking them, but look out for reviews appearing on the site soon.

Update: I meant to say that these are all on special offer at the moment; 3 for £5.