I’ve always been a fan of Liquorice Allsorts, but avoided the plain liquorice tubes in the packet. The sweetness of the filling always seemed to go well with the bitter taste of the liquorice, but the bitter liquorice on its own was never a pleasant experience. I was intrigued when I noticed on the back of this bottle of ruby ale that it had a touch of liquorice and damsons. I remember we had a damson tree in the back garden when I was a child (many moons ago) and loved the damson jam my mom made every summer. I thought the mix of damson and liquorice (sweetness and bitterness) could be a heavenly combination and sat down one night to enjoy the treat. I poured the flavoured ale into my pottery tankard and took a big sniff before drinking. I could definitely smell the fruitiness on the ale. There was a taste of fruit to start with that was immediately snatched away by liquorice before I could tell whether it was damson or not. The liquorice became more overpowering the more I drank. At 5.7% you can taste the potency of the beer, but I found the shear strength of the liquorice off putting and didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I’d hoped. This might make a good pudding beer or late night swig for those who like liquorice, but I think I’ll stick to the weirder sounding Scottish Thistle or Meantime chocolate beers to savour in the later part of the evening.