I have discovered that there are a number of avid real ale followers at Welbeck, notably a certain Mark Allen who seems to be rather good at home brew. Or just very lucky, as he's had a 'range' of results, should we say.
His very first (and fabled as his finest) is called Young George, aptly named in honour of his son. It's 4.3% ABV and has been conditioning in the bottle for 3 months.
There is bucket loads of crystal malt in this multi faceted beer, which gives it an incredibly vibrant colour - auburn is the best word I can find to describe it. This beer is crystal clear when poured, with a small but tight head which is maintained throughout drinking.
I love crystal malt, it smells gorgeous when you handle it. Lke a big bowl of that dark biscuity, sweet brown crystalised sugar that posh people put in their coffee. It gives a distincitive flavour in beers which really comes through in 'Young George' - a sweet but not sickly toffee/caramel flavour.
Conditioning this beer for several months has developed the flavours incredibly. They're carried on your palet in a full bodied, gently carbonated mouthful.
The initial taste is of subtle but sweet caramel, which then mellows to biscuits and eventually fades to give way to a very gentle, soft bitterness. This bitterness leaves a crisp but not sharp or lingering hoppy tang on the tongue. Then you want more an more of this refreshingly easy drinking, but incredibly complex beer.