Whilst in preparation for the madness at Elland Road yesterday, Friday night was very much one 'on the sofa' for me. Whilst taking stock of the cellar to find a suitable, low key accompaniment, I plumped for a bottle of Thwaite's Very Nutty Black.
Now, this is an idea I like. I'm a fan of Nutty Black - The Palace in Leeds stocks it all the time, and it's a popular beer for a dark mild. Whilst it does everything it promises, I do, however, personally find it a little thin in the body to be truly satisfying.
Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to find that Thwaites were seemingly thinking the same thing, and had created a bottle-conditioned, 'Export Strength' version, Very Nutty Black (3.9% abv), which is also their first foray into bottle conditioning. The result? A smooth dark mild, with a much fuller, more rounded mouthfeel. Plenty of liquorice on the nose, and not much hop aroma. The pleasingly tan-shaded head lasts until the end, and there's a moreish, lactic creaminess underpinning everything.
In short, everything I'd been asking Nutty Black to be. I liked this a lot - hence the post - but the only problem I'm faced with now is this: Can I go back and drink regular Nutty Black? Time will tell - I understand it will only be available during May and June.
Oh, and if you're thinking that 3.9% abv doesn't sound like an export strength beer, you'd be right. An amusing little note is put on the label to explain - "...This stronger beer will now be leaving Lancashire and is destined for the Far East (Leeds), and even remote areas of the Southern Hemisphere (such as Watford). Made me chuckle, anyway.