25 December 2019

Hatherwood Winter Special Beer (Lidl) By @SpectreUK

"Merry Christmas!" I've been saying it over and over all morning to people at the gym. Okay, so the gym is closed today (Christmas Day) and Boxing Day, but I'm writing this on Christmas Eve because I have had the longest and toughest session at the gym I've had so far. I've increased quite a few of my repetitions on my upper and lower body weights, as well as my mat exercises over the last few months, and now I can even jog for a few minutes, and also swim faster and for longer. So my strength and general fitness has improved greatly as I've lost more and more weight.

I seem to doze quite a bit in the afternoons though, which isn't anything new I suppose, as I used to doze off in my teens on my first job and haven't changed much in any work or university environment. During my knee operation recovery at least I'm lying in a bed sleeping in the afternoons, rather than dozing off in a long boring meeting about something or other. I completed my really long gym session so I could have a huge piece of Christmas cake after my lunch. I know… I'm calorie counting and won't let myself have beer unless I've been to the gym… but it is Christmas, and we all have to enjoy ourselves at least a little bit!

The label of this 5% volume Winter Special Ale, from the Hatherwood Beer Company, states it has toffee malts and fruitiness that are balanced by a spicy peppery bitterness. That sounds pretty innovative to me. On opening the beer I could smell the faint toastiness (I know that's not a word, but I'm a blogger, so whatever…) of brown malt before I poured the deep dark brown ale into my waiting beer glass. I could also smell the sweet toffee and the spices as I poured. On taste this was a complex craft beer indeed. There was a sweetness from the brown malt which immediately mixed with the warming spices, then there really was a peppery bitterness from the hops, even if I didn't believe the description on the label. The sweet toffee malt pounced on the peppery bitterness before it overpowered my tastebuds, leaving me with a lip-smacking, lip-licking aftertaste that pretty much raised the glass by itself to my lips again and again after every mouthful. Winter Special is truly a moreish warming spicy toffee sweet ale to enjoy at any time of the year, let alone during the Christmas holidays!

On the back of the bottle it states that this Winter Special Ale is supposed to be "a heart-warming ale to melt away your winter blues." Many people are badly off any time, anywhere, and it can feel worse this time of year, for instance it could be financially, homelessness, illness and or loneliness. I've had a tough year myself and I am very lucky indeed to have a few people around me that care about me and support me. It would have been almost impossible without them. I hope you'll join me and raise your glass to people's troubles throughout the world, and maybe think of them as well as your own troubles, if you having any, and at the same time raise your glass to those who love and care for you too!

Merry Christmas to everyone, and many many cheers to you all! ;-)

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