|So the story goes....|
First up was the cheapest of the trio from Blue Monkey. Silverback will set you back just £2.15 from Meadowhead's finest and it's an impressive 10.5% ABV. Initial molasses gloop but then a pleasant roasty, toasty taste and a lengthy boozy warmth in the aftertaste. A tad of bitterness and carbonation to make this a drinkable winter warmer. Not complex by any stretch but friendly enough to invite the monkey back.
Ratsputin from Rat Brewery of Huddersfield is the lowest in alcohol at a mere 8.5% but cost the most at £3.49. This one would surely win the award for the best-named beer and also for the menacing art work. This was clearly different to the other two in that had quite an over-ripe, fruity taste, a likely result of the barrel-aging, not unpleasant just different and, not surprisingly, less booze in the after-taste. Peaty whisky hints too. The colour was quite distinctive, dirty treacle maybe. Funny one but fine.
|A Black Rat|
Finally, Moscow by Ashover is 9.5% and will set you back a convenient £2.50. Since setting up, Ashover have steadily improved and now have a reputation locally for producing very good beer and pocket-friendly prices. Coffee hint, toffee and molasses. Liquorice but smooth and warming, yes. (There is also a raspberry stout from Ashover with a hefty ABV that's worth a go).