New Exmoor Ales Beer: Exmoor Dark
By a spooky coincidence, Exmoor Ales’ launch of its new beer, Exmoor Dark came at the same time as the supposed shooting of the famous Exmoor Emperor Stag; by a curious quirk of poignant irony it was only in 2009 that the brewery’s previous new beer, Antler, was inspired by this magnificent beast.
The new beer marks a return of an old favourite from those early days — Exmoor Dark, which was brewed from the early 1980s until being discontinued in 1991, has returned to the fold. Times have changed and the beer is now 4.2% in alcohol by volume (it was 3.9% previously).
‘With the growing interest in darker beers, this seemed a good time to bring it back from the “dark side of the moor”,’ says Exmoor’s managing director and owner, Jonathan Price.
‘Of course we couldn’t have possibly imagined that its release would coincide with the dark deed on the moor with the killing of The Emperor who was part of our inspiration for last year’s anniversary brew, Exmoor Antler.
‘We are extremely pleased with the brew as head brewer Adrian Newman has devised a really dark beer, with loads of chocolate malt in the mash. For the first time he used the Willamette variety in his recipe’s four hop combination (the three others are Fuggles, Goldings and Bramling Cross). The result certainly is a powerful, but well-balanced, dark beer with a spicy aroma, a malty, slightly sweet biscuity flavour, and a fruity aftertaste.’
The beer will be available in south west pubs and further afield including the Wetherspoons autumn beer festival.
Exmoor Ales started in 1980, during the first wave of small independent breweries. It was originally called Golden Hill, after its hill-top location in Wiveliscombe, and its creation brought brewing back to the town for the first time since the closure of Arnold Hancock’s in the late 1950s. Almost immediately, Golden Hill made its mark on the beer world when its 13th brew of Exmoor Ale was voted Best Bitter at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival in 1980. Since then countless other brewing awards have come their way. Exmoor Ales are also noted for being the originators of the ‘Golden Ale’ style, with the ever-popular Exmoor Gold, available in cask and in bottle. Other beers produced include the bestseller Ale, the wily easy drinking Fox and the cult strong porter Beast, as well as a variety of seasonal specials.