I'll kick off by declaring that I have a soft spot for Badger beers. Tanglefoot on cask was a beer that I drank quite a bit of in my youth. I can't claim that it was the first cask ale I ever drank, but by volume, it was easily the beer that I drank most of as I learned about beer
Pickled Partridge is a beer I should have blogged on quite a while ago. Badger were good enough to send me a case of this beer (a metric eight-pack rather than an imperial dozen, but that's the way of the world), and after drinking a bottle, I was favourably imoressed. In fact, I was so impressed that I drank the whole case of beer. Not in one sitting, you understand, but I repeatedly thought "ooh, I fancy a beer" and after scanning the cellar (and as you might expect, I have quite a bit of beer in the cellar), I'd grab a Pickled Partridge.
So rather embarassingly, I had to 'fess up to them that I'd drunk the whole case, all the time with the intention of blogging on it, but sadly, went back for more once too often. I promised that if they could send me another bottle, I'd blog on it. I actually went to a couple of supermarkets to see if I could buy it, but as it's one of their seasonal beers, it was all gone.
That's the thing about this beer - it's really drinkable, but has plenty of character. Don't get me wrong, this beer lies firmly in the Ordinary Brown Beer camp, but towards the upper echelons of that category. There's plenty of fruit on the nose (some dried fruit maltiness coupled with a slightly brighter red fruit character) alongside a noticeably hoppy note. It's medium-bodied, dry with a fairly bright hop character, which is nice to find in a slightly darker beer. I'm sure I don't have to comment on how moreish or drinkable the beer is - I've already mentioned that I reached the end of the case before putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, as it is these days).
I'm off to visit Badger (or Hall & Woodhouse, as they're more correctly known) mid-March, and am really looking forward to it. You can expect a few reports back from the visit. One question I'm looking forward to asking is which mentalist came up with the idea of flavouring Poacher's Choice with damson and liquorice. I quite like it, but I imagine that it's the sort of thing that might put legions of casual drinkers off Badger's beers for good.