Archive for the ‘Drink of the month’ Category

February Welsh Drink of the Month – Blaengawney Cider: Hallets Real Cider (6.0%abv)


Blaengawney Cider is based on the farm of the same name and is run by husband and wife team Andy and Annie Hallet. For a while draft cider and perry was the mainstay of the business but, relatively recently, they ventured into the bottled market.

Hallets brown hero_1080b

Rather than use the Blaengawney name they developed a new brand based on the family name. Hallets Real Cider was the name for the bottled cider and a stunning brand was developed.

It’s made using 100% Welsh apples and cider from the current harvest is blended with a Dabinett cider that has been matured for a year. The conditioning is natural and they employ the keeving method more common to French cider.

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Wednesday 12 February between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

January Welsh Drink of the Month – Brains Craft Brewery: Boilermaker (6.5%abv)



In common with many other medium-sized breweries the famous SA Brain of Cardiff opened a small Craft Brewery. This gives them the opportunity experiment by brewing small quantities of innovative beers.

In the US a ‘Boilermaker’ is a beer and whiskey either mixed or whiskey drunk first in one gulp followed by sipping the beer.

This is the inspiration for Brains’ Craft Brewery’s Boilermaker. It is brewed with Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade and Willamette hops and matured in casks formerly containing Penderyn and Penderyn Whisky infused oak chips are added to the casks for good measure.

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 23 January between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

November Welsh Drink of the Month – Ancre Hill Estates: Sparkling Rose 2009 (11.5%abv)


Bubbly is synonymous with the upcoming party season and what better than a Welsh sparkling wine and a gold medal winner at that.

Ancre Hill Sparkling Rose 2009

The inaugural Welsh Vineyard Association awards were held recently, I’ll feature them later in the month, and Ancre Hill’s Sparkling Rose 2009 came out on top.

We’ve already tasted their Chardonnay, now for their brut (dry) sparkling rose made from two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay grapes.

So, will we be serving up a Welsh sparkling wine this Christmas? As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 21 November between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

October Welsh Drink of the Month – Celtic Country Wines: Celteg Medieval Mead (12.0%abv)


I haven’t featured anything from the spirits and liqueurs category as yet and that’s about to change. So, something completely different this month – mead.

There’s a long history of mead-making in Wales and there are a few contemporary meads available as well. By coincidence there was a story on a mead resurgence in the US on the BBC news page today.

The mead featured here is made by Celtic Country Wines who are based near to Newcastle Emlyn in Ceredigion. The make a range of country (fruit) wines and liqueurs as well as preserves. All their products now go under the name Celteg and they have been producing for over 25 years, growing considerably during that time.

I haven’t tried much in the way of mead so I’m looking forward to this tasting.

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 10 October between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

Welsh Drink of the Month – Great Orme Brewery: Welsh Black (4.0%abv)


Three North Wales Breweries did well at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival – Great Orme, Conwy and Purple Moose.

I might feature them all as drink of the month but I’ll start with the mild category’s Gold Medallist – Great Orme’s Welsh Black.

The Great Orme Brewery-2009 Images

Great Orme is based in the lower Conwy Valley near Glan Conwy and started brewing in 2005. They make cask and bottled ales and their Welsh Black is available in both formats.

The malts used are the key to this beer – pale ale, chocolate, black and crystal as well as torrified wheat. Some bittering hops are used but only to form a filter bed at the bottom of the copper and therefore won’t impart much bitterness. Interestingly no aroma hops are used so the flavours we will taste will all come from the malts.

Well, what’s the verdict, leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Wednesday 11 September between 9-10pm using #drinkswales


Welsh Drink of the Month – Gwynt y Ddraig: Gold Medal Cider (7.0%abv)


Time for cider to get its turn in the Welsh Drink of the Month spotlight.


Gwynt y Ddraig is Wales’ biggest cidermaker and is at the forefront of the revival in Welsh cidermaking.

They are based in Llantwit Fardre and got going in 2001. They use apples mainly from Welsh orchards supplementing them with imports from Herefordshire and Somerset.

Gold Medal won the CAMRA Champion Cider award back in 2004 and is a blend of ‘bittersweet varieties with some of the true sharp varieties of cider apple. The cider is oak conditioned and is a medium cider.

Well, what do you make of the cider, leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 15 August between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

Drink of the Month July 2013: Hurns Brewing Company – Blodwen’s Beer (5.0%abv)


Tomos Watkin’s Blodwen’s Beer won the gold medal at last year’s Wales the True Taste awards.


Head Brewer Alex Cunningham designed this beer for that segment of the market between lager and a beer although he says “it’s most definitely a beer”.

It is brewed using lager malt for a light finish and very little hops are used.

Alex describes it as a smooth light coloured ale’ and this is exactly what you would expect with lager malt providing a very light flavour and not much bitterness due to the sparing use of hops.

It has grown to be one of Tomos Watkin’s biggest sellers.

So, what do you think?

Get a bottle or two and leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 11 July between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

Drink of the Month June 2013: Ancre Hill Estates – Chardonnay 2010 (11% abv)


With Welsh Wine Week 2013 just coming to an end I thought it would be a good to build on this by featuring one of the wines from our growing wine industry.


Ancre Hill Estates is probably Wales’ leading vineyard and is based just outside the town of Monmouth. As mentioned in my previous blog post they won the prestigious Bollicine Del Mondo for their Sparkling White, a great win.

What’s more they follow biodynamic principles and are in the process of developing a winery that will be the first in Wales.

The 2010 Chardonnay is the result of great growing weather. Three-quarters of the wine was fermented in stainless steel with the reminder interestingly spending six months in French oak casks.

The French oak should add something to the flavour, we’ll see.

So, as ever, there are two ways to enjoy the drink of the month but both require a bottle of Ancre Hill Chardonnay 2010!

Drink it at your leisure and leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 13 June between 9-10pm using #drinkswales

Drink of the Month May 2013: Celt Experience Brewery – Golden Celt


We’re supposedly in Spring and it’s threatening to actually get warm sometime soon so I thought I’d start with a golden ale from one of the Wales True Taste winners. Celt Experience is based in Caerphilly and won a silver award in the export category.

Golden Celt is an organic golden ale and, as the bottle label tells us ‘is named after the golden age of the Celtic people’. It’s part of Celt’s Celt’s Core Range and you can see a great video of Celt’s founder Tom Newman describe the beer on Celt’s website.


Golden Celt has a lovely full gold colour. The first thing that strikes you about the aroma is its hoppiness. The hoppiness is citrussy and the taste is also sharp. The finish has a good and very long lasting bitterness. A very refreshing beer and has more character than many golden ales. A very good beer.

Now it’s over to you, try the beer and add your comments below.

Also, if you have a bottle at the ready or are in a pub serving Golden Celt on Thursday 9 May between 9-10pm why not join in the live tweet tasting using #drinkswales

Welsh Drink of the Month


I’m planning to showcase one of our fantastic products each month here on the blog and via twitter.

I’ll announce the drink and then blog it at the start of the month. Everyone’s welcome to leave their comments on the drink during the month. Also, probably on the first Thursday of the month, you can join in a tweet tasting #drinkswales.

It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts on Welsh drinks.

I’ll announce May’s drink of the month very soon.