Friday, 24 December 2010

Owd Rodger - A Sickly Sweet 'Marmite' Treat

It's December, Christmas, and very very cold (as clearly demonstrated in previous post!).

I wanted a lovely winter beer to warm me up and keep me calm whilst packing for the Christmas week away. I popped into Rhythm and Booze which is really good not only for its brilliant range of wines, but also a fairly decent range of bottled beers. I saw they'd got a good selection of seasonal ales and a wide range of local ones so chose a few for my evening - I instantly picked out Marston's 'Owd Rodger' which I completely adore and hadn't had for ages.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and think it's a perfectly indulgent winter treat, although it is very sickly sweet so a bit of a marmite job I'm afraid. You've been warned!

Here's my review, but have a try and let me know what you think.

Owd Rodger, Marstons Brewery
ABV: 7.6%, Bottled only
Colour: Dark brown-black
Food pairing: Simple. Just don't. You might be ill.

I poured it into a glass and unfortunately it has rather a lot of fizz which quickly disappears to leave no head at all. It's quite a thin feeling ale which doesn't really have a particularly robust texture, but this may be a good thing as you shall discover. The colour is virtually black, but a good clear beer despite this.

The aroma is strong and sweet, quite like a good fruit cake stuffed full of raisins and mixed spice. It's also got a good dollop of nuttiness to it.

On an initial taste, this has a light carbony tingle on the tip of the tongue and has quite a loose mouth feel. The flavour notes then power though - a plentiful helping of liquorice, caramel and burnt toffee flavours from which I'm presuming is a good selection of roasted barley, crystal, and darker malts. With all these rather sickly sweet flavours having a little party in my mouth, I think it was probably a good choice not to give this brew a thick treacly texture too!

After this little cake-like episode on the palette, I think a little bitterness would be a good idea to cut through the sweetness, however it does lack this last punch. It's a shame really, but at 7.6% you can feel a light warming sensation at the back of your throat which is quite pleasant.

After the whole bottle I was very full and my mouth was almost tingling from all the sweetness. I don't think I could have managed another, and if it was my beer I'd tweak it a wee bit, but I did enjoy it.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Not a bad beer. Remember trying it for the first time on a camping trip.

  2. Unfurtunately it's not bottle conditioned is it? Sadly no longer available in cask I think, it was a truly wonderful draught beer, not quite as strong, but still very powerful.

  3. No it's only available as a bog standard bottle - It would be better bottle conditioned to keep it a little more lively I think.