I for one think Ascot Ales should be given a royal charter. Delighted by the quality of the brewery's Cascade-hopped Alligator Ale (4.6%) and the properly bitter experience of its Anastasia's Exile Stout (5.0%), it was with a spring in my step that I hurried after work yesterday to the Gunmakers to get a load of the Anastasia's Imperial Stout.
Well, I say 'a load'. At 8% I had no more than a half of the stuff and that after some of the very finest Timothy Taylor Landlord I've ever had and the what-should-be famous sirloin steak with fried potatoes. (On a side-note, both Tandleman and Jeff Pickthall have noted on their Twitter feeds that Landlord has hit a terrific run of form lately - I agree. Anyone know why?)
As you can see from the picture, it had a super espresso crema of a head and, as ever at this fine pub, was in the most splendid condition. The rich roasted coffee, bitter chocolate combo is just sublime and the booze sets it all up as an intense winter treat. It is without doubt the equal of Stone's superb - but much stronger - Imperial Russian Stout and, on cask, was served from my preferred dispense method. It was a helluva treat and a sign to me, off the back of my previous experiences, that Ascot is a brewery to watch like a hawk.
They know what they're doing.
Keen observers will note the picture above is not of me. There was one taken of jesusjohn - equally handsome, I might add - but sadly it clearly illustrates the moment where this glorious beer trundled into that corridor of uncertainty between glass and lip and cascaded down my jumper. Not a good look for a beer writer with delusions he's also a member of the human race.
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