Hercules Hold Scotch Ale – ABV 8.5%

Hercules took its Hold on us at first sip: it’s sweet and sharp with Belgian malts and Candi sugars aged in oak barrels for three months.

Aroma: Dried fruit resting on a malty backbone

Taste: The beer has had a couple of doses of Brett in the brewing (farmhouse yeast, and in a beer blended in before the barrel ageing), so it has some sweet and sharp flavours you wouldn’t normally expect a Scotch Ale.

Verdict: We’ve seen Hercules Hold referred to variously as a Scotch or Belgian ale, a confusion that must surely be the natural result of a really unique beer. But no matter what you call it, it’s is a treat.

Food Pairing: Try it with blue cheese for a salty-sweet flavour combo.

Tsjeeses Reserva 2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Strong Ale – ABV 10%

Aged in oak for six months, this is the amped version of De Struise’s Belgian Ale with spices, cane sugar and yeast for a gorgeous sticky, boozy finish.

Look: Pours a clear golden-amber with a small off-white head and medium carbonation.

Aroma: Boozy vanilla sugar syrup with caramel and toffee with loads of fruit: banana, apricot, peach and orange.

Taste: Some of the rich malts coming through followed by the alcohol taste and warmth and notes of fresh and dried fruit. Medium-bodied with a sweet and a hoppy, boozy finish.

Verdict: Take a De Struise Belgian Strong Ale and then barrel age it. Of course this is delicious.

Arabier – ABV 8%

Enjoy the best of both worlds, the classic flavours of Belgian yeast dry-hopped to deliver an unusually bitter Belgian ale.

Look: Pours golden with lots of long lasting white foam.

Aroma: Fruity esters and citrus/pine.

Taste: Full-bodied and malty, lots of fruit the yeast combined with bitterness the hops to deliver a fresh tasting and refreshing beer.

Verdict: De Dolle continue to produce beers that give a fresh twist to traditional Belgian brewing.

Oerbier – ABV 9%

Strong, dark Belgian strong ale made with no less than 6 malts and a characteristic sourness.

Look: Hazy dark brown with a beige head.

Aroma: Sweet prunes stewed in red wine.

Taste: Sweet, spicy and fruity with a slightly tart acid finish.

Verdict: De Dolle once again demonstrate why they are one of the great innovators of Belgian brewing. A superbly balanced beer that you’ll want to drink again and again.

Fred in London – ABV 11.0%

Alan Hair of the Dog is one of our brewing heroes, so we were very excited to have him over to brew with us. This is a British rendition of one of his most famous beers, ‘Fred’, originally brewed in honour of Fred Eckhart – a craft beer journalist who resided in Portland, Oregon. It’s made with aromatic and rye malts and includes hop varieties around the world. Allergens: Contains Malted Barley, Rye