The Beer of the Weekend: Black Sheep Riggwelter

Black Sheep RiggwelterThis week’s Beer of the Weekend is a darker one Black Sheep brewery’s Riggwelter, named after a Yorkshire word for when a sheep ends up on it’s back unable to turn over, but more importantly a fine dark beer.

For those that like a dark beer then this is definately one to try, brewed in Yorkshire at the Black Sheep brewery Riggwelter has all of the flavours typical of a classic strong dark beer without any of the excessively smoky or earthy flavours which put some people off darker beers.

The nose starts with coffee and a hint of sweetness, the initial taste is like a sweet coffee leading into a malty flavour with a hint of caramel, this gives way to a lovely warm full end with more coffee flavours and a slightly hoppy dry finish. This beer although dark is not overpowering like some darker beers can be, there are no unpleasant aftertastes and the middle is well balanced, making for an easily sessionable beer (5.7%).

Being a fan of dark beers myself, from the very smoky porters to the sweeter thicker winter beers, I can say I rather enjoy Riggwelter. This beer is not very smoky and has some very nice coffee flavours with just enough sweetness to make it very drinkable. It would be easy to drink a few Riggwelter’s, but it is equally drinkable when trying a range of darker beers on an evening.

This is one to look out for in the pub also, beer often tastes slightly different from the tap and this is one which can really shine if served well. However, if you ever get the chance, or are lucky enough to live near the brewery at Masham, then I am reliably informed that it is worth the visit. According to a friend “you haven’t tasted Black Sheep beers until you have tried them in Yorkshire” and I have no reason to disbelieve this. While you are there try their Imperial Russian Stout – another fantastic Black Sheer beer.

If you are not normally a dark beer drinker then this is still worth tasting, as it is not on the smoky/earthy side it is likely to appeal to all except the die hard golden beer drinkers. The coffee flavours are something which you would not normally find in a lighter beer and if you would not normally try one then this is a good springboard into alternative beers to taste. Give it a go, you might like it!

For more information on the range of Black Sheep beers check out their website where you can order Riggwelter amongst their other beers, that said this is a very common beer in the supermarket and should be easily available.

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