Badger Beer Tasting*

Saturday, 24 January 2015


Beer is an incredibly diverse and subjective beverage, yet when asked what drink a person prefers, some will give the nonsensical answer of 'beer'. Beer is an umbrella term, answering such a question with 'beer' is much the same as being asked what about what you enjoy eating and answering with 'food'. It may be true but it lacks the real answer. No two beers are the same and one beer may as well possess the difference between sewage and sugar when introduced to the tastebuds of two individuals. I thought about this when in talks with the guys at Badger and we devised a cunning plan... (As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University)

It seemed both wasteful and absurd for me to test these fine ales by sitting on my lonesome in controlled conditions. That's not how to drink; not in a healthy way by any means. What is the solution to this? The solution is for me, 22, and my dad, 60, to test the fine ales in slightly less controlled conditions. Not being accustomed to drinking ale - I'm more of a lager/pilsner kind of guy - I thought my dad would be the perfect person to show me the hoppy-ropes, especially considering his adoration for an ambrosial ale (Badger ales especially). Plus, the age difference will help broaden the review as the tastebuds of a 22 year old are vastly different to those of a man of 60. So, each beer will have a short review written by me and a short review written by my dad, all accompanied by a few pictures.

The three ales on trial are as follows...


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#1 - Leaping Legend

Leaping Legend was the first to be poured into our glasses as the subject of our trials. Dad thought this would be the least different to the beer that frequents my tongue, figuring it would be best to start me off slow. Here are our thoughts...

Me: "Coming from being a lover of light beers, Leaping Legend was a pleasant surprise - although it is definitely an ale and you would never consider having it chilled, it was light, fruity and a like a old friend to the tastebuds. Successfully full of flavour yet not heavy and could easily be a session beer. Not to get pissed on but it not hard to imagine enjoying a few around the table. It's safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first tipple into the world of Badger."

Dad: "The beer smells fresh a very fruity with a hint of citrus. It has a lovely fresh colour and pours with a good head. The taste has a lingering fruitiness, a beer to be enjoyed any time, I suspect especially in the summer in the garden - but certainly not chilled. Having said that, it has a depth of flavour that can be enjoyed any time of the year. It leaves a fruity aftertaste so every sip is to be enjoyed. As all Badger beers, it exudes class; loved it."


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#2 - Poacher's Choice



The second to undergo our scrutiny was Poacher's Choice. This is the one I have bought on countless occasions for dad, always knowing it goes down a treat. That fact happens to be why I was actually fearing trying it - I have had a few sips every now and again, but always found that it didn't get on with my tastes. Has anything changed?

Me: "Smell matters when it comes to anything that you're about to drink or eat; all of the senses get involved to create an experience, not only a taste. Poacher's Choice really has that down - the scent is deep and inviting, almost on the level of Port. This, like Leaping Legend, is fruity but it is far more rich to the extent that I wouldn't even consider having any more than one. We enjoyed this in front of the fire on a cold day, which I imagine to be the best setting for it."

Dad: "This is a gorgeous full bodied beer to be drunk in front of a lovely open fire on a cold snowy winters day with the family around you and the dogs settled. It is incredibly smooth, the fruitiness lingers after the first sip and stays there for some time. This is a beer that should be nurtured and sipped: carefully managed. It has real depth of character and strength; it is quite unique and a real pleasure to taste. I usually prefer light fruity beers - I shy away from dark ones - but Poacher's Choice bucks the trend. It's a stunning beer that is rich in flavour and subtle in taste. In short, my favourite Badger beer which surprises me but there it is: happiness in a bottle"


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#3 - Firkin Fox


Last but not least is Firkin Fox, the auburn wonder. I didn't know what to expect from this one, with no real knowledge of it until it turned up on my doorstep. It was surprisingly great to taste one with no preconceptions of how I was going to feel about it. So how did it taste?

Me: "The overwhelming thought I had whilst drinking this was the want for crisps. The ale itself is crisp and delightfully refreshing, which would make it absolutely perfect to counteract the saltiness of a good pack of crisps. Firkin Fox has a strong hint of citrus which certainly helps with the thirst-quenching goodness, making it less of a sipping-ale and more of a semi-session ale. I would certainly revisit this one."

Dad: "Ohhh I love this beer, it's quite a surprise. Firstly it's not a light looking beer - it's not dark but the bottle suggests otherwise - then when you pour it out you smell orange and hops. The beer is full of fruit and would be a great pint either summer or winter. It is a glass with a gorgeous aroma full of subtle natural flavours - brilliant and genius - with a subtle taste of orange. It has a lingering flavour is citrus with a clean hoppy aftertaste. This beer is class in a glass and I love it." 

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It is safe to say that Badger came off well from that overall. In all honesty, I believe that they wouldn't have tasted so fantastic if it wasn't for enjoying them with good company and a lot of laughing (as you can see from the last picture of Firkin Fox, above. Both of us enjoyed these and I would recommend Leaping Legend and Firkin Fox to anyone (Poacher's Choice felt like a slightly more acquired taste), as I'm sure my dad would recommend them all.

After all this, I am likely to still answer with 'beer' when asked about what drinks I prefer. If they then ask what ones, however, Badger will definitely be mentioned. Take a look at their entire beer collection here.

Cheers guys (see what I did there?),
O&U.