Dom’s Casks of the Month

The last few weeks have been especially busy for me, so I’ve not had as much time as usual to explore the pubs of Sheffield and try out all the delicious cask beers on offer. That said, when I have had the chance to sample an ale or two, they have all been up to the fantastic standard I have come to expect from the pubs of the Steel City. The recent spell of Siberian weather also didn’t help things, but did mean that whenever I could make it to the pub I was in the mood for something dark and comforting, so you might spot a running theme in this month’s selections.  Here are three of my favourites from the last few weeks: What: Salvation 7 – Rocky Road (5.2%) – Abbeydale (Sheffield) Where: Devonshire Cat The latest addition to the consistently good Salvation stouts, this one has been my favourite in the series so far. Brewed with raisins, cranberries, marshmallows and cacao nibs, this rather sweet stout was extremely smooth and easy to drink. A deep brown colour, with little head and an aroma of chocolate and malt, this was one of those beers that suited being served a little warmer from the cask to allow the flavours to fully reveal themselves. Looking forward to Salvation 8! What: Equinox (4.0%) – Dark Star (Horsham) Where: Rutland Arms I’ve noticed this Sussex-based brewery, recently bought out by London giants Fuller’s, popping up more frequently on the handpumps of Sheffield’s pubs lately. This particular beer was a great example of a dark mild, and proved that you don’t need masses of hops to make an excellent ale. The beer looked appealing in the glass, brown with a creamy pale head. On drinking, the taste was well-balanced, with the dark malt flavours complimented by hints of liquorice and a very slight hop bitterness. What: Milch Weisse (5.0%) – Eyes (Leeds) Where: Gardeners Rest An example of the now rare schöps style of beer (I have to admit, I’d never heard of it before coming across this), this is brewed to an old Polish recipe from more than 300 years ago. Eyes are the UK’s only wheat-focused brewery, and this ale contains no fewer than six types of wheat malts. The aroma was packed with the scent of roasted coffee and tobacco, with a slight discernible sweetness from the lactose sugars. Rich and creamy, this beer was very moreish – unfortunately I only had time for one! I will definitely be looking out for more brews from this Leeds-based outfit. I’ll be back next month, to bring you three more examples of the excellent beers on offer in Sheffield. By then we will have enjoyed Sheffield Beer Week, which should also give me a great opportunity (and excuse!) to sample a good range of beers from a little further afield. Dominic Nelson

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