It was my last weekend at home and the Mrs was off on a four day horse riding expedition around one of the most picturesque places in England, the North Yorkshire Moors, (which you can read about here), so instead of sitting at home on my own and twiddling my thumbs for the weekend I decided to go on a little adventure of my own to that other magnificent area of the English countryside the Lake District.
Not long after my arrival and typical of the English Lakes, it started raining I had just got back from the local Inn, before it started, after a couple of pale local brews which really hit the spot, the way back included a river crossing via stepping stones where I narrowly avoided a complete dunking! My favourite of the two beers was a beer called Scafell Blonde, I can’t remember the brewery but it’s local and the beer was everything you’d expect from a sub 5% pale ale, refreshing and hoppy, and very drinkable.
Anyway before I called it a night I fancied a night cap and decided to raid the stash of bottles I’d brought with me. I brought a selection of beers some Cumbrian some not Cumbrian but the one I chose tonight combines the essences of two of my favourite places in the United Kingdom. The English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands.
May I introduce to you, the very Cumbrian, Aether Blaec 27 Year 2010 by, the Hardknott Brewery.
I’m always excited to try Dave & Ann’s beers, they hand craft all their beers including hand bottling some of their beers. Which has to take a decent chunk of determination and patience, but one of my favourite things about the Hardknott brewery is they also like to brew “out of the ordinary” beers and this is one is certainly no exception.
It’s a lovely full bodied stout aged aged in a 27 year old Speyside w
hisky cask. Darker than the darkest of nights it has rich, luxuriously silky mouthfeel and is topped off with a velvety cappuccino head.
Initially I wasn’t getting much Whisky but it had just come out of my cool bag and after a few minutes warming the sweet and alcoholic whisky notes became more prominent after a few minutes more all I could smell was the essence of a warming nip.
I’m not a whisky drinker but the dominant whisky element to this beer is really quite pleasant its warming, slightly spicey woody undertone compliments the sweet dark chocolate stoutiness beautifully, perfect for a rainy evening in a tent where ever you might be but more so in Cumbria itself. The Speyside Cask influences this beer a lot but don’t let that put you off, this is one well rounded and perfectly balanced beer, and despite its strength is a thoroughly enjoyable drinking experience.
Another cracking beer from one of my favourite breweries, I just wish I’d bought two of each as I reckon it’s one of those beers that will just keep getting better with age. Now I’m really looking forward to trying it’s big brother aged in 28 year old Speyside whisky casks!