A mini-sesh betwixt The Rutland and The Sheffield Tap. What could go wrong?!
The Ruttie has recently upped its game on the ale front and it often has the Magic stuff. Also you can virtually jump into the bar off of the 43 bus thereby not getting a soaking, which is a worthwhile consideration in a British January. Rapture on cask was spot on, best we`ve tasted it for a while (certainly best this year . . . .!) but about £3.60 a pint. We were not big fans of Custard Pie either (£5.35 a pint) although you cannot complain at having the chance to try a Birra Toccalmatto/ Magic Rock kegged collab even if it is a wheat beer and so not a favoured beergeer style. Elsewhere, the bar was overloaded with Blue Bee so we buzzed off to The Tap.
My Marble Bitter went down swiftly, about 3 seconds in all, after I knocked my pint off one of those daft little tables with my size 10`s so I shot back to the bar to get a replacement and we moved seats leaving a reyt irresponsible mess behind. My Dark Star Hophead did not last much longer although this time the only floor it hit was that of my stomach, thankfully. What next? “One last pint……!?”Danny is a fan of Roosters (North Yorkshire) and so he appeared with a couple of pints of their St. Robert effort, which turned out to be a rare surprise, brewed in collaboration with PrettyThings of Massachusetts, USA. Neither of us were over-keen on what we were faced with - a dark reddish beer that looked like a propa old school Yorkshire beer (think Theakstons, etc.) whereas we were expecting something that looked light and hoppy akin to previous Roosters fare sampled at The Sheaf View. Never judge a book by its cover, etc.
Despite looking very straightforward, St Robert is a complex chap with lots to get your palate around and it took us a while to suss what we were supping. Here you have got a British beer with Belgian aspirations. Hops are not dominant (and any in here must be from this side of the pond) but there is sweetness, malt and rye. It has a well-balanced deep, long taste that belies its 4-ish% volume and we had to go back for more, making sure not to spill a drop!
Mike – 8.5
Danny - 9