Tag Archives: Wold Top Brewery

2017 Advent Calendar – Day 16 – Wold Top Ditto

Photo Credit

To begin today’s post I just want to share a little message. If you haven’t already, go to Quality Craft Beer Store. Seriously. Go. They have the Winter Survival Pack from Torque (it’s amazing), the Old Ale from Nonsuch (that’s an exclusive to them), they’ve got a huge assortment of exclusive Beau’s beers (including New Lang Syne which I’ll write about soon) and their Russian Imperial Stout Bottle Imp. They’ve also got a variety of other awesome beers. I have to say that in the craft beer market today, Quality Craft Beer Store is killing it.

Now onto the point of today’s post. Today, Day 16, brings us a Doppelbock from the Wold Top Brewery in the UK.

Wold Top was founded in 2003 by farmers Tom and Gill Mellor. The brewery and farm are a family run business and is currently being run by the third and fourth generation of Mellors. Sitting on 600 acres of farmland, Wold Top focuses on brewing real ales and using tradition methods and quality ingredients. Being on a farm they have access to fresh ingredients that they can grow themselves. Those they can’t are only the highest quality.

They won best new brewery in 2003 and have continued to win awards for there beers over the years. Currently they have 21 beers that they brew and a solid team behind the brewing.

A Doppelbock is a German (Bavarian to be specific) style of beer first brewed in Munich by the Monks of St. Francis of Paola. Older versions of this beer had less of the sugars picked up by the yeast and converted to alcohol (attenuation) and as such were a lot sweeter then the modern-day examples of this style. They were considered more like a liquid bread for the monks rather than an alcohol beverage (though they did contain alcohol).

The term doppel (double) bock was coined by the consumers of the beer in Munich. Many commercial examples of this beer have a name ending in -ator which, according to the BJCP history, is to either pay tribute to the prototypical (considered the original) Salvator or to take advantage of the beers popularity.

The style itself is overall strong, rich, and very malty. It is a lager, meaning that it uses a different strain of yeast and undergoes a cold fermentation rather than the typical warm fermentation of an ale. Doppelbocks can be either dark or pale depending on the malt variation. The darker versions have a well-developed deep malt flavour, while the paler versions have slightly more hops and dryness on the finish.

This beer was brewed by Wold Top and named “Ditto” to celebrate the birth of twins between their marketing manager and brewery manager.

Appearance – Pours a dark amber with a thin, quickly fading, beige head.
Smell – Not a lot on the nose. Caramel malt and some sweet bread notes.
Taste – Bready malts, caramel sweetness, some raisin, and plum notes as well.
Mouth feel – Lighter bodied then I’d expect with low carbonation.
Overall – While this certainly does bring a very malt forward character, adding in some sweet bread, caramel and dark fruit notes, I find it to be a little on the weak side. The notes are there but they aren’t as deep as I’d expect from a Doppelbock.
Do I like it? – Yes, I did enjoy this beer, but I felt it was a little weak. It has a high ABV (7.0%) which doesn’t come through at all in the drinking. I think that this is a success in making this a drinkable beer. I had hoped this beer would be a bit heavier on the malt and body character, but it brought a little bit of lightness.

 

Day 19 – Wold Top – Shepherds Watch

It’s been a pretty darn good year for beer here in Winnipeg this past year. We’ve seen a number of breweries open, the types of beers we are getting in the Liquor marts continue to expand, and we’ve got a lot more to look forward to in the next year. To top it off, this Advent Calendar has been the best one I’ve had.

Today we have a Winter Warmer from the UK. It’s Shepherd’s Watch brewed by farm based brewery Wold Top in Driffield, UK.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a beer from Wold Top, but that isn’t any less exciting. Wold Top was founded in 2003 by farmers Tom and Gill Mellor. The brewery and farm are a family run business and is currently being run by the third and fourth generation of Mellors. Sitting on 600 acres of farmland, Wold Top focuses on brewing real ales and using tradition methods and quality ingredients. Being on a farm they have access to fresh ingredients that they are able to grow themselves. Those they can’t are only the highest quality.

They won best new brewery in 2003 and have continued to win awards for there beers over the years. Currently they have 21 beers that they brew and a solid team behind the brewing.

The style today is a Winter Warmer. While not really a “style” Winter Warmers tend to fall under the British Strong Ale style. Even so, Winter Warmers are malty sweet offerings and tend to be a favorite winter seasonal. Big malt presence, both in flavor and body. The color ranges from brownish reds to nearly pitch black. Hop bitterness is generally low, leveled and balanced, but hop character can be pronounced. Alcohol warmth is not uncommon.

Many English versions contain no spices, though some brewers of spiced winter seasonal ales will slap “Winter Warmer” on the label. Those that are spiced, tend to follow the “wassail” tradition of blending robust ales with mixed spices, before hops became the chief “spice” in beer. The “American” varieties have a larger presences of hops both in bitterness and flavor. This Winter Warmer is their “Canadian Edition” and so it could likely have a different approach.

Appearance – Pours dark brown with a 1” off-white head that fades quickly leaving slight lacing on glass.
Smell – Aroma is chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt.
Taste – Taste is sweet with subtle bitterness from roasted malt. There is a creamy caramel flavor to this as well as some subtle spice.
Mouth feel – Medium-full bodied with a slightly oily mouthfeel and soft carbonation.
Overall – Quite nice. There is no alcohol warmth to this beer but the spice and malt combination is very nice. The malty notes come through very nicely and this beer also seems to have a creamy note to it that suggests possible lactose or unfermentable sugar.
Do I like it?
– Very nice. I like this style and I enjoyed this beer. I will note here that Barn Hammer has a Winter Ale out presently (Fur Trader) and Torque will have one out in January (Bumper Shine). So if you liked this, look for those.

 

 

Craft Beer Advent Calendar – Day 17

Beer 17

Today’s beer comes to us from Yorkshire, England.  The Wold Top Brewery is located on 600 acres of farmland in Yorkshire.  Owned by the family for generations, the traditional farm was not bringing in enough revenue.  The decision was made to diversify – after 8 years of planning and discussing, in 2003 they brewed their first beer.  Since then they have grown to include numerous traditional recipes and brew many beers that are distributed around the UK.

Being on a farm, brewery owners Tom and Gill use ingredients that they grow right on site.  Leaving space between their crops to allow for biodiversity, they make every attempt to brew using sustainable methods and local self-grown ingredients!  The beer we will be trying from them today is a seasonal that is typically brewed as a cask ale (a beer brewed and served from an oak cask) that they have bottled for limited distribution.  The beer is called the Marmalade Porter!

Porters, like stouts, are dark and heavy beers that have been malted heavily.  They are rich and often flavored with chocolate, coffee, or caramel malts to give them some balance to that richness. This one uses both barley and corn malts. It was rare to see corn malts in a beer until recently when the numbers of those with gluten intolerances soared.  Now we find corn and even sorghum malts used in beers to make them “gluten free.”  This one is not 100% gluten free – while it does meet the requirements for those who simply have an intolerance, it would not be good for those with celiac.  On to the beer!

Rating: 75/100

Appearance: Rich dark brown with no apparent head.
Smell: Chocolate, coffee, caramel and sweetness are apparent in the smell.  Hints of orange at the end.
Taste: Rich and heavy with a strong malt flavor and good sweetness.  Has an odd metallic taste to it and a strange after taste that I attribute to the use of corn malts.  Flavors are good and it is not overly sweet.  Not a high quality porter but a unique one in the use of corn malts and the flavor profile.
Mouth feel: Rich and full bodied with mild carbonation.
Overall: A standard porter. Nothing spectacular about it but it also does not have anything really dragging it down other than the metallic taste and the odd aftertaste.  The choice of malts was a good one, other than perhaps the use of corn malts in this case.  The flavor profile is nice and provides for a good balance.  Corn malts in a porter where malts are super important is a risky choice.  I don’t think it worked here.
Do I like it: I didn’t not like it, I’ll say.  It is definitely not my favorite beer and one that I likely wouldn’t want to have again.  It is a beer that I’d be fine drinking if there was nothing else but not one I would seek out to drink again.  Overall it’s an average porter and an average beer.