Bath Ales: Barnsey and Gem
YM and I stopped off in Bath late last week and decided that since the city was initially founded by the Romans, we should do as the Romans do and drink some local ale. We found solace at The Salamander, which is owned by Bath Ales, and I must admit, we did a bit of rate beer.com searching to determine which beers we should taste.
We settled on the Barnsey and Gem, the latter which seemed to be the most popular with the local crowd that kept streaming through the doors. We sat down and ordered some lunch to go along with our beers, which ended up being way more delicious than the beers themselves, as they were both bland and lacking solid flavour, more about each beer to follow. I must point out that the day we had these beers was slightly warm, and since they were both from the cask (which we are still trying to get used to) this may affect our thoughts of the beers.
The Barnsey had a dark brown hue, with a thin white head, and a slight caramel or almond nut smell. To taste, there was a thin malt body, leading onto a slight bitterness. Something about the beer felt amiss, and for this, the beer and I just didn’t get along. Even as a thirst quencher, it really wasn’t that great. However, as far as cask beer goes, I’m led to believe that this is at the better end of the spectrum of what’s available in the UK.
Gem - I had this one not too long after I had London Pride from the cask, a beer which I really like out of a bottle but I thoroughly disliked as a cask beer, I enjoyed it far more than the London Pride, and while it wasn’t great, there were subtle flavours floating around a hint of caramel with a particularly ‘cheap’ ale tang. I would then imagine the beer tastes quite good from a bottle, but I guess I’ll have to try one and find out. For a beer recommended by a fair few locals I wasn’t all that impressed.
JG and YM