Generally speaking though, the reason really good beer doesn’t spend too much time in the cupboard before I drink it is because I can’t wait, not because of some higher sense of duty. Hence the reason I’ve drank a fair few Buxton beers recently - Essentially, I couldn’t wait to try them.
Buxton Spa (Pale Ale) 4.1%
Those US and NZ hops give this beer a lovely fruity citrus flavour.
Buxton Best (Amber Ale) 4.3%
I must admit that the fact this is called a “Best” annoys me a little. Buxton make unbelievably good beers that are very modern, very hop forward, and actually pretty unusual. Then they go and call it Buxton Best. Which would be fine if it was a Best, I like best bitter, but this beer is so much more. It's a modern Amber ale made with American and English hops and rye malt – how good does that sound? Don’t sell yourself short guys!
Moving on. The beer has a great orange/brown/Amber colour and a slightly spicy, citrus hop aroma. The mouth feel is textbook Buxton - big, lush, cask ale like, with full but soft carbonation.
In the flavour you get a tiny bit of sweet toffee before the rye malt kicks that out of the way with some spicy, biscuity flavours and a dry orangey finish which balances between spicy and citrus hops.
Buxton Gold (Golden Ale) 5.3%
This pours a really nice unfiltered, hazy orange with golden orange at the edges. The aroma is oranges, biscuit, and a touch of lemon pith.
Again, for me this is much more than a “Golden Ale”, which for me has had a fair bit of linguistic pejoration over the years. Golden Ales are the drinkable, slightly lemony, perfectly golden beers you give to “lager drinkers” to try and coax them onto good beer. This is not one of those perfectly fine, but unexciting, beers.
Amarillo, Liberty and Nelson Sauvin hops make this a proper, full on, modern, US inspired dry fruit cocktail that’s kept in check by grainy, biscuity malt. It finishes dry yet perfectly balanced. Another cracker from the Buxton boys.
Wild Boar (India Pale Ale) 5.7%
This is a great addition to the Buxton range. A 5.7% India pale that’s not too strong to have a pint, but definitely not a session beer.
It's got a great balance between bitter grapefruit and a little sweet tangerine and citrusy orange. It's a great beer, and from the look of this lot, I’m going to have to concede that these guys just don't make a bad beer.
So. If a beer tastes great, does it matter what it’s called?