Wednesday, 29 August 2012

[CASK REVIEW] Wadworth - 6X

An English classic, from a wooden cask.

It's not very often that you might get an opportunity to drink ale from a wooden cask. I was however lucky enough to do so, in the ever-brilliant Ye Olde Mitre pub in Farringdon. In this instance it was Wadworth 6X, a stalwart of English bitter, and an all round great beer. At 4.3%, 6X pours out a nice copper colour, with hints of red. On the nose, you get a grape like quality, almost like white wine. To taste, continuing from the nose there's a tangy zestyness at the start, which is soon evened out by a well balanced malty, biscuity body. This gives way to a sweet bitterness and a light hop flavour. At the finish there is a resonating bitterness that outlasts the soft malt body. There is also possibly a hint of Oak flavour that comes through in the body. With no overpowering hop flavour, this can be classified as a great English session beer.

You should not be put off by the regularity in which you might come across 6X, it really is worth a drink if you can get hold of it in good condition.

With regards to the wooden cask, this was my first time with such an experience. As I had no frame of reference to what 6X tastes like from a metal cask, I can't honestly say what impact the wooden cask had on the flavour. However, one thing that can be said, is that a brewery like Wadworth that sticks to traditional English brewing methods, despite the impracticalities of a heavy wooden cask, displays a level of integrity that is to be admired. The work and care that goes into maintaining these barrels is clearly replicated in the quality of the beer they produce. If you want to get hold of beer from the wood yourself, the SPBW have been campaigning for its preservation since the 1960s, and would be a great place to start looking.