Over the months, I have highlighted and recommended some fine, tasty ales - mostly local. However, this month I wish to highlight a couple of beers that, in my opinion, have changed in taste - and resulted in their flavours being impaired.
The two ales in question are Thwaites Original and their best seller, Wainwright. And since the Blackburn brewer ceased brewing these permanent beers in the town, the taste has certainly changed.
They are now brewed by Marston’s in Wolverhampton, a city renowned for its hard water. Now I am no expert in types of water. However, I think the hardness has made the beers sweeter.
Firstly, the Thwaites Original is now more malty sweet. I have to say I have always found the ale a very ordinary tipple but fully appreciate it is still a popular choice - especially with the more mature and seasoned ale drinker. I would be interested if fans of this tipple have noticed the difference - I bet you have.
Secondly, we have Wainwright. A most popular golden ale. A beer that is refreshing, with citrus fruit flavours and a pleasant, moderately bitter hopped finish. The problem I find here is that the extra sweetness I have detected has masked some of the zest and refreshment on the palate. It has definitely lost some of its sparkle. Again, I would be interested to know if the tub-thumping Wainwright clan have noticed a downturn in the flavour of this popular quaff.
OK, I will probably have ruffled a few feathers with my comments on two of the area’s favourite slurps. However, I stand by my findings. Those two ales have had their flavour impaired since Marston’s took over brewing responsibilities - in my humble opinion.