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Three winter latecomers from diverse locations

Grozet. The name is a Scottish word for gooseberry. The beer is wheat-based, spiced with bog myrtle (a traditional bittering ingredient), with Scottish gooseberries in the secondary fermentation. It was created by Bruce Williams, already known for his Fraoch Heather Ale, and produced under contract at Maclay's Thistle Brewery, in Alloa, Scotland. Grozet has an enticing depth of color somewhere between old gold and amber. It starts soft, developing a perfumy, faintly tart flavor, very spritzy on the tongue, with a long, lingering, dryness. Is there a hint of fruit-skin gooseberry character, or did I imagine it? This is a most drinkable beer, contriving to be refreshing, appetizing and sustaining, all in one. 4.0 per cent alcohol by weight; 5.0 by volume.

Among some lighter-tasting, sweetish, lagers from Nile Breweries, of Jinja, Uganda, I enjoyed its Chairman's ESB ("Extra Strong Brew"; it is a golden lager, not a bitter ale). Firm, very dry, with some vanilla-like maltiness, and hints of lemon rind bitterness in the finish. A hefty 5.6w; 7.0v.

The Mexican brewing company Moctezuma sent me the 1996/7 edition of its Nochebuena, at home. This strong (4.8w; 6.0v) dark lager has a very attactive, deep amber to claret, color. It has a smooth, slightly oily, body, and a light, toasty, maltiness, with lots of length.

Published Online: OCT 1, 1997
Published in Print: OCT 1, 1997
In: Beer Hunter Online

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