Beowulf – Dark Raven review

Going through a list of 16 Ales on at The Wellington, Birmingham, looking them all up to see if there were other milds than the tellingly named Monsoon Mild, I was beginning to lose hope towards the end. However, number 16 was the Dark Raven from Beowulf, and their website explained that it was a traditional mild. It sounded promising and when I saw it poured it increased my expectations. It was a deep brown with a nicely tan head. The smell added to the joy, with sweet roasted and caramel overtones. The only slight disappointment, helped on by the now very high expectations, was the taste. While it had some roasted caramel and fruity characteristics, it was dominated by a bitterness that I felt was drowning out the best parts of its flavour. Maybe it is just too strong at 4.5%. It’s still a nice beer, but after seeing and smelling it, though before taking my first sip, I thought it might have been one of my favourites. It is not. There’s a long way from this to a Welsh Black (Great Orme) or Oscar Wilde (Mighty Oak). However, I’m glad of every new mild I discover, not least during Mild Month May.

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