Recently, on a trip to Manchester’s newest Beermonger – ‘Beermoth’ I was introduced to the beers of the Buxton Brewery.
For information, Buxton is an English Spa town, in the heart of the Peak District, about midway between Sheffield and Manchester (the brewery’s location – from their website is Lat: 53.246, Long: -1.895, at an altitude of 1,115ft – Buxton is England’s highest market town). Buxton itself is an elegant town with Edwardian Spa buildings and an Opera House; while the countryside outside the town is dramatic, all crags and hills.
Buxton also lies a mere ten miles from Bakewell, the home of the Thornbridge Brewery, so maybe there’s something in the water. Go figure.
So, when I decided to review Thornbridge’s ‘Wild Raven’ for The Brewclub, I thought I’d also try Buxton’s ‘Imperial Black’, the guys at Beermoth rate Buxton’s beers highly.
Imperial Black is brewed to a hearty 7.5% ABV, it pours a very, very dark brown rather than pitch black, with a full, pale-tan coloured head. The head is reluctant to fade, leaving a heavy lacing as it goes.
The nose is fruity, grapefruit and elderflower, evidence of the Neslon Sauvin hop perhaps?
The flavour, well it’s not overly bitter; it’s almost mellow, certainly not a ‘hop bomb’, but refreshing and rewarding.
Perhaps it’s a little unfair to compare a beer against one by one of my favourite brewers, but all in all, I think I prefer the Thornbridge offering, there’s nothing wrong with Imperial Black per se, I just prefer the Wild Raven, I’m giving this one three and a half stars.