Beer #134 - W/C 18 September 2017
BREWERY // "Innovation, Passion, Knowledge"
Thornbridge Brewery is an example of wealthy backers working with skilled brewers to great effect. In 2004 Simon Webster and Jim Harrison decided to set up a brewery in the converted workshop of Harrison's house, Thornbridge Hall. Eschewing tradition they hired a young Italian brewer, Stefano Cossi, and 23 year old graduate Martin Dickie and instructed them that they wanted to create "a beer that's gonna take the world by storm". In June that year they brewed Jaipur, an India Pale Ale with new world hops which is credited as heralding a new wave of craft brewing in Britain. Cossi & Dickie have long since moved on (Dickie to found BrewDog) but Thornbridge brewers continue to release innovative, brilliant beers which have garnered them 100's of awards over that past decade. The brewmaster Rob Lovatt keeps an excellent blog.
BEER // Eldon takes its name from Eldon Hole, a legendary and evil looking chasm in the nearby Peak District which was once said to be the refuge of the devil himself. Eldon starts slowly- it takes time for your tastebuds to come to terms with the complex flavours within this mouth coating, smooth bodied beer. What begins as a regular (if delicious), roasty but perhaps one dimensional stout opens up to deliver a huge range of flavours. The 8% imperial stout has ashy, coffee bitterness which is countered by the addition of Demerara sugar to the brew and mellowed by raging on Bourbon soaked oak. Flavours to explore as the beer warms and develops include vanilla, chocolate and fudge. It's essential to drink a beer like this at the correct temperature- the subtleties will completely disappear if drunk straight from the fridge.
BREWERY // Thornbridge
BEER // Eldon
STYLE // Bourbon Oak Imperial Stout
ORIGIN // Bakewell, Derbyshire
ABV // 8%
TEMPERATURE // Cellar Temp - around 12-13C.
FOOD MATCH // Ribs. Rich camembert. Vanilla cheesecake. Dark chocolate truffles.
GLASS // Porter Glass. Snifter.