Thursday, 15 August 2013

Coalition Barley Wine - Thornbridge / Birrificio

Thornbridge have been quite prolific in the number of beers that they have produced over the past year or so, many of them being collaborations. Recently we have had The University Challenge brews, the Reverend and the Makers Summer Ale, the home brew winner and currently the staff at Thornbridge pubs are taking their turn to brew their own ale at Bakewell. Success has been varied at best. However, we knew that The Cross Scythes had been sitting on this collaborative rarity for a while and hoped for a return to quality and complexity. Birrificio were the co-conspirators in this case.

Coalition weighs in at 9.3% but does not taste that strong which has to be a good thing, mostly (the strength hit me 20 minutes later!). It has a beautiful amber colour with a thin white head and tastes of caramel and toffee. The fruit flavours add to but don`t overpower Coalition making it, all in all, quite drinkable. I only had a half but more would have been fine.

Thornbridge are often criticised for the price of their beer. Coalition cost £2.50 for a half which I thought was acceptable in this case, more so than the £3+ charged for some of their afore-mentioned `amateur` collaborations. If the beers are expensive then that is acceptable but only so long as the quality is as consistent. Pubs like the Rutland and The Broadfield also ask a lot for their ale but maybe it is time for Thornbridge to set another trend and have a house beer at their pubs that costs nearer to the £2.50 mark? After all, `Innovation` is a integral part of their slogan.

Mike`s Score - 8.5

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