Fair warning on this one: Poacher’s Choice is one of my dad’s favourites. Whether that makes me more likely to write a good or bad review is up to you to decide.
The first thing to jump out at me with this beer is the label. “Aha”, I think, “Here’s something that will tell me more about the beer. Something useful and descriptive, perhaps.” Then I notice that the label says FRUITY PLUMAGE.
Seriously, Badger. You’re a great brewery. You make some cracking beers. But what the hell is that supposed to mean? Golden Glory has a label that makes sense: PEACHY. It’s a peachy beer. Good work. But either this beer is full of feathers, or you’re lying to me, and I’m not happy with either of those scenarios.
Frustrated by the ridiculous label, I pour the beer too fast so it’s mostly head. The bubbles sit atop a rich, walnut-coloured ale, and bring out the beer’s lighter notes – there’s a fruity sweetness to it, but also a little bitterness to counteract that.
The taste is good too: spicy and fruity. It’s very plummy, and it occurs to me now that maybe this awful pun was the intention of the ridiculous label. Suddenly I’m overwhelmed with appreciation for Badger’s remarkable genius.
It’s a bit like dandelion and burdock again, like the Trois Pistoles review from a few weeks ago, but less overpowering and with a hint of minerality to take the edge off. How do they compare? If you offered me a glass of either, I’d pick the Trois Pistoles, but for drinking all night the Poacher’s is the clear choice. At 5.7% ABV it’s no pushover, but at least I could probably handle a couple of these before keeling over.
Overall, Poacher’s Choice is a decent beer for a cold night in. A solid 4/5.
If you would like to try Poacher’s Choice for yourself, you can buy a case here:
Badger Poachers Choice Ale 50 cl (Case of 8)