Saturday, 30 April 2011

No surprise there

Dunham Massey Vintage White, a 9.2% ABV barley wine in a 275ml bottle that I won in a raffle. Bottle-conditioned, so I let it stand in a dark cupboard for a full two weeks until it had cleared. Despite this, and exercising great care, it didn’t pour remotely clear. It was cloudy, flat and sour. Really, it should have gone straight down the sink, but I struggled through it, hoping to find some redeeming features. However, I didn’t. Yet another reinforcement of the principle that bottle-conditioned beers from micro breweries should be avoided like the plague. On the other hand, Dunham Massey do produce some excellent cask beers - perhaps they should stick to what they're good at.


  1. Another one bites the yeast!

    When is this bottle-conditioning mess going to clear?

    Please, breweries, listen to us! Get it done well, or just don't do it! Your perfectly good ales are being ruined and therefore avoided!

  2. I think a major reason for this problem is that too many small brewers see the key elements of bottle-conditioned beer as being that it is unfiltered and unpasteurised, not that it actually conditions in the bottle. Thus we end up with bottles of flat, murky muck.

    I've been drinking a fair bit of Fuller's Bengal Lancer over the past few weeks because of Tesco's generous offer, and that is a cracking beer that is all a good BCA should be. Plus the yeast sticks to the bottom of the bottle!

  3. I've had the red and liked it a lot - not a struggle at all. Smaller brewers will certainly find it hard to produce consistently good BCA, meaning that some duff bottles of any given beer will get through, but that doesn't mean that beer is all duff.

  4. You really are doomed with these aren't you? For what it's worth I have had several bottles of Dunham Massey BCAs (notably their excellent Stout, Porter and Cheshire IPA) and all have been on top form with neither clarity nor conditioning problems.

    Given your dreadful track record with these beers I think you should certainly avoid them like the plague. Meanwhile I will continue to enjoy them (although I don't think Dunham White is very good, actually - had it on cask at the Magnet and I really struggled with it).

  5. "that doesn't mean that beer is all duff"

    But if there's a significant likelihood of it being duff, then that's enough to put you off buying it, even if 3 out of 4 are OK.

    "Given your dreadful track record with these beers I think you should certainly avoid them like the plague."

    I certainly don't spend my own money on them ;-)


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