Adnams, Old Ale

With so many breweries springing up everywhere, it’s never been easier to find a new and interesting beer. Sometimes, though, I’m not in the mood for the latest hazy double dry hopped IPA or watermelon and kumquat sour. When the freezing wind is whipping round outside, all I want is a good, old-fashioned ale.

I lose points here for drinking off a metal table and not a wizened oak bench

Adnams’ Old Ale was one of the cask ales on offer at the Waterloo Tap in south London, a chilled out space beneath one of the many railway arches in the area. Perhaps a result of that chill, the beer arrives close to ice-cold. After a few minutes warming in the hand it opens up, however, rewarding me with woody, caramel malt aromas.

The palate is reassuringly traditional: a firm malt base with hints of chocolate syrup. The chocolate intensifies into the finish. This isn’t a chocolate bomb in the way you might expect from an infused imperial stout, however. It’s just a decent, old-fashioned mild ale.

If you’re looking for something new and exciting, look elsewhere. But for traditional, malty, comforting ale, this isn’t a bad shout. 2/5

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