I spotted this one on the shelf after reading Scott’s review of Monty Python’s Holy Grail (Ale) . Okay so it’s a tenuous link, but since Mauldon’s are a fairly local brewery to me, I thought I’d give it a try.
The Mauldon family of Sudbury first became involved in brewing in 1795 when Anna Maria Mauldon began brewing at the Bull Hotel in Ballingdon, on the outskirts of Sudbury. The business grew over the years and centuries until it was sold to Greene King in 1960. By then the brewery had an estate of thirty ‘tied’ pubs.
Then, in 1981, in a story reminiscent of the Theakston/Black Sheep tale, Peter Mauldon, the great grandson of Anna Maria decided to re-establish the family tradition and started brewing in late 1982. No dilettante, Peter had considerable brewing experience gained with the massive Watney organisation in west London.
Peter and his wife Jane decided to retire in early 2000 and the brewery was taken over by Steve and Alison Sims who continue the tradition of brewing premium ales using traditional methods.
They brew five regular ales, Micawbers Mild, Mole Trap, Silver Adder, Suffolk Pride and Black Adder and a wide range of seasonal beers. Only Suffolk Pride and the two ‘adders’ are available in bottles, but the brewery recently opened a ‘brewery tap’ pub that stocks the full range.
Black Adder is their flagship brew, winning Champion Beer of Britain in 91/92 and describes itself as a ‘stout bitter’.
It pours rich and dark, with a dark caramel head that stays the course. The nose is coffee, but Americano, not espresso (or ristretto!).
The mouth feel is good, not too light and not too full bodied, just right. The taste is deep and rich, not too overpowering, darker and richer roasted than an IPA or a Bitter, but not so overpowering that you wouldn’t enjoy a few of these in a session.
Rating: – good but not quite a classic – certainly worth looking out for.