A review of Moorhouse’s Pendle Witches Brew by a guest reviewer ParanoidQ a friend and a member of our forums – let’s see what he thinks.
Harking back to the Pendle Witch trials of James I in the early 17th century, Moorhouse’s Pendle Witches Brew is named for 20 independent and free thinking women (i.e. Witches) accused of Witchcraft in their local Lancashire. This trial saw half of them hanged, and immediately sets the tone for Moorhouse’s Pendle Witches Brew being all about unearthly.
Far from the dark, vaporous and diabolical concoctions one would expect to find in the cauldron of any self-respecting sorcerous, Moorhouse’s Pendle Witches Brew is very pleasant on the eye. Described as a Golden Ale, Pendle Witches Brew is actually a fairly dark auburn, and stands in stark contrast with the lighter expectations of most Golden ales. Upon pouring, a light frothy head is evident and, whilst initially prominent, evaporates as quickly as a witch’s hope of a fair trial and fire retardant clothing.
Moorhouse’s Pendle Witches Brew has a soft, sweet smell that is light and moderately yeasty. It is easy to detect elements of tropical fruits in the nose without being at all over powering; a pleasant experience indeed.
The taste itself is fairly straightforward, though that should not take anything away from the composition of this particularly pleasant offering. The initial flavour is fairly sweet, one of barley sugar supported by a strong malty backbone with soft caramel overtones. Hoppiness, which present, is at a relative minimum and bears some resemblance to the Fuggles variety of hop and is in no way overpowering (for those with disaffection for hoppy ales). The back of the palette finds a light bitterness with nutty highlights, standing against a fresh citrus finish. A smooth texture with limited carbonation only helps make this moreish ale more appealing.
At 5.1%, Moorhouse’s Pendle Witches Brew ale may not be quaffable for those weak of heart or those with a reliance of cars. As an at home beer for the weekend however, this can only be recommended and it’s easy to see why this ale may have something of an (oc)cult following.