beer reviews Somerset

Have Moor ever done a bad beer?

pembury.jpgThis is the question I ask myself in a semi-sozzled state, having had to try all of their beers currently available in the Pembury Tavern.

Moor Beer is a microbrewery based just outside Bailey’s old manor in Somerset. Their website paints a picture of a charmingly amateur set-up, but there is nothing amateur about their beers. The Peat Porter is a lovely drop, sour and roasty in all the right places. Milly’s Mild, at 3.9%, slips down extremely easily but without being watery — a fault of some other milds.

But the piece de resistance is undoubtedly the 7.3% “old Freddy Walker”, champion winter beer of Britain in 2004. This is a staggeringly complex beer that I feel defies classification. I say that because I was convinced I was drinking some kind of imperial stout, only to find that Roger Protz classifies it in the “Old Ale, Barley Wine, Vintage Ales” section of “300 beers to try before you die“.

It smells of sherry, fruit and coffee. In the mouth — rum and raisin fudge, with a coffee finish. Sounds a mess, and if any of the components were changed, it probably wouldn’t work at all. But it’s absolutely gorgeous. You can have a sip, and still taste it 10 minutes later. Having now had this a few times, including at the Great British Beer Festival, I can say for sure that it would certainly be in my top 20, were I foolish enough to draw up such a thing.

The intriguing sounding JJJ IPA was “coming soon”. Moor say:

Double IPA was just not good enough – we needed a triple IPA. Triple the gravity, triple the colour, and more than triple the hops.

Sounds exciting. Has anyone tried it?