You go 20 years without having an Ashover Brewery Beer and then you end up having two in two weeks, but how could I resist a 9.5% imperial stout? Especially given that I really enjoyed their Damson Porter. I wont go into any detail about the brewery as you can find it in the link above and there's no need for me to repeat myself, myself, myself. Anyway... My half of Moscow Imperial Stout cost £4.95 which given the alcohol content isn't too bad. Not surprisingly the beer pours a pretty pure black with a decent tan head so to my eyes it's a pretty good looking beer and you can certainly smell the alcohol.
Naturally with alcohol dominating the smell I was a little nervous taking the first sip, but I shouldn't have been, this is a really nice imperial stout. Sure you'll get a good solid alcohol kick, but there's some really nice liquorice and raisin notes that make the beer pretty tasty. All of this is complimented by the kind of nice smooth full body you only get with a well brewed stout. I've had a few imperial stouts in my day and can say that Moscow from Ashover Brewery stands up to any of them. I'm going to give the beer 8 out of 10, it's a very good imperial stout so if you want a beer that will either wake you up or knock you out this one will do nicely.
I had this pint of Durst Crusher in Beerheadz Lincoln. As I'd never heard of S43 Brewery before I thought I'd better look them up for you quickly and discovered they started brewing in 2013 and are based in County Durham. They've also got a selection of around a dozen beers you can buy, but they aren't cheap. Although at £5 this pint is only just above averagely priced which is sad when I think I used to scoff at paying more than £3 a pint. Durst Crusher is an unfined beer which explains why it's so cloudy, but doesn't explain why there's no head, which is really weird for a wheat beer. I think it's best described as looking like freshly squeezed orange juice.
The 5.3% alcohol is pretty average for this kind of beer and the aroma is a bit on the weak side. There's some orange in there and some lemon, but it's banana that stands out as a smell. Meanwhile the texture is quite thick for a wheat beer. I'd describe the taste as much like most wheat beers and matching the aroma. You'll certainly get a bit of banana and some lemonade notes, but really it's a pretty standard wheat beer/Hefeweizen. I'm going to give Durst Crusher from S43 Brewery 6.5 out of 10. If you're in the mood for a wheat beer this will very much fill your craving, but don't expect it to do a great deal else.
Bought as part of the latest LIDL beer festival Last Train from Fourpure Brewery in SE16 London should you choose to visit their taproom. Last time I checked (about 2 minutes ago) they have a range of 10 beers covering all the main varieties. Unfortunately the name Last Train has already put me off as I'm getting flashbacks to getting stuck for nearly 7 hours waiting for the last train to leave Kings Cross in London to get me home one night. I do like the cool 330ml can featuring a train speeding away from the iconic London skyline though. I also like the way this beer pours just slightly off pure black with a nice tan head.
Sadly it's downhill from there. The aroma is pretty faint but there's some coffee and light chocolate in there. The texture isn't bad and it's pretty smooth, but the taste matches the smell in that there's just not much to it. There's some roasted malts, some coffee and just a little smokiness, but none of it stands out. While the alcohol offering of 5.1% is possibly slightly above average for a fairly cheap stout everything else is just a bit plain, a bit standard, and a bit dull, which is a shame because I really like a good oatmeal stout. I'm going to give Last Train from Fourpure Brewing Co 5 out of 10. If you want a bog standard stout you wont find anything much more bog standard than this as it really doesn't taste enough of anything to be overly pleasing or overly repugnant.