Old Hooky.
Old Hooky.

BEER REVIEW: Hooked on a fine UK red ale

I don't know about your part of the world but at home we have gone from what passes for winter in Central Queensland to days in the high 20s and nights hovering around 11 or 12C.

This means the season for dark, dark beers seemed to last for about a fortnight this year.

That said, Hugh the Neighbour and I are not yet ready to give up on the annual move to the dark side just yet.

So last weekend we moved from the black to golden red, with a fine beer from one of the 30-odd privately owned breweries in the UK - the 4.6 per cent ABV Old Hooky from Hook Norton Brewery.

Hailing from the Cotswolds, the folks at Hook Norton have been making the good stuff using traditional methods since 1849.

Old Hooky is a reddish ale and the label's claim of being fruity and full-bodied is spot-on.

This is a beer that delivers a lovely toffee, malty backbone that is complemented by a slight bitterness.

It is not a really dark beer, nor a red ale, rather it is in that happy space occupied by some of my favourite beers, like the Belhaven Scottish Ale or the Innis and Gunn Oak Aged Scottish Ale.

Both HTN and I enjoyed it a lot, although, as Hugh said, it is a very English beer in that it can feel a little flat in the mouth to our Australian palates.

It is also possible that we drank it just a bit too cold to allow the flavours and nose to fully develop, however this has always been our abiding sin and unlikely to change any time soon, as no matter where you are in Australia, beer needs to be properly cold when it hits the glass.

One to enjoy.