Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Drinks Review: Sharp's Abbey Christmas Cornish Beer

After being presented with the old Yorkshire staples of Black Sheep & Timothy Taylor, as well as this new boy, it was a no brainer to try Sharp’s Cornish interpretation of Christmas.  This dark beer has been referred to as a ‘stout’ but given it isn’t particularly thick or bitter and has a sweetness to it, it feels like drinking a mild.

Back in the Middle Ages a flowering plant named ‘Yarrow’ was used to flavour beer, when Cornwall had a shortage of hops. Many centuries later, Sharp’s head brewer Stuart Howe has used this very ingredient in ‘Abbey Christmas’. This has helped to produce a beer, not too dissimilar from what medieval monks would have produced at the time.

I often find that Christmas themed beers serve their purpose of ‘here today, gone tomorrow’, just like the festivities themselves. However, this beer is subtle and balanced in its flavouring. Drinking it brings to my mind, thoughts of a brewery who have gone back to the drawing board multiple times to perfect their Christmas gift.

That festive feeling may be beginning to fade, but there is still time to ring in the New Year like our medieval mates. No bald noodle necessary.

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