History: Home > Nottingham Beer Festival 2005

Nottingham Beer Festival 2005 (CAMRA Beer Festival)

Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Whim - Black ChristmasExceptional2
Nottingham - Rock MildExceptional2
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - JaipurExceptional1
Oakham - Five Leaves LeftExcellent1
Bragdy'r Bryn Cyf - BitterExcellent1
Funfair - Ghost TrainExcellent1
Castle Rock - Hemlock BitterExcellent1
White Horse - Wayland SmithyExcellent2
Brewster's - HopheadExcellent2
Castle Rock - Harvest PaleExcellent1
Nottingham - Rock BitterExcellent1
Museum - Worthington's White ShieldExcellent1
Potbelly - Beijing BlackExcellent1
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - BrockExcellent1
Castle Rock - KipperExcellent1
Dark Star - Porter (aka City)Excellent1
Alcazar - Bombay Castle IPAExcellent1
Acorn - RegalExcellent1
Springhead - Roaring MegGood1
Whim - ColumbusGood1
Owl - Dark MildGood1
Front Street - PhoenixGood1
Springhead - Puritans' PorterGood1
Slaughterhouse - Stout SnoutGood1
Rebellion - IPAGood1
JW Lees (see also Lees) - Brooklyn BestGood1
Howard Town - Wren's NestGood1
Jolly Brewer - Dark LagerGood1
Milestone - Classic Dark MildGood1
Poachers - TrailGood1
Mighty Oak - Phantom of the HoperaGood1
Howard Town - BleaklowAcceptable1
Brandon - BitterAcceptable1
Chiltern - Beechwood BitterAcceptable1
Vale of Glamorgan (VOG) - No. 1 Best BitterAcceptable1
Full Mash - GhoulAcceptable1
Castle Rock - RookAcceptable1
Danelaw - Golden TearsAcceptable1
Three Rivers - Black MoonAcceptable1
Potbelly - Sunny DazeAcceptable1
Bells - DreamcatcherAcceptable1
Peakstones (formerly Peakstones Rock) - Black Hole BitterAcceptable1
Battledown - BrigandAcceptable1
Bragdy'r Bryn Cyf - HeraldAcceptable1
Shakespeare's - The Scottish AleAcceptable1
Spitting Feathers - Thirst QuencherAcceptable1
Old Spot - Hunter HillAcceptable1
Nottingham - BullionAcceptable1
Shakespeare's - The TempestAcceptable1
Moles - MolegripAcceptable1
Milestone - Rich RubyAcceptable1
Alcazar - Trafalgar BlackAcceptable1
Old Spot - Ruby LouAcceptable1
Rooster's - Outlaw OutriderAcceptable1
Wear Valley - Old VinoviumAcceptable1
Brewster's - Daffy ElixirAcceptable1
Hesket Newmarket - Autumn ChestnutAcceptable1
Wharfedale - WharfemeisterPoor1
Church End - GrapefruitPoor1
Phoenix - ArizonaPoor1
Holland - Flying DutchmanPoor1
Derby - Triple HopPoor1
John Thompson - JTS XXX BitterPoor1
Tirril - Thomas Slees Academy AlePoor1
Nottingham - SupremePoor1
Picture 1. Nottingham Beer Festival 2005, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Visits Details

22 Oct 2005 (Ian)
Day 3. Early bird start at 10.00, so I was there with a friend from by 10.20. A lot of the beers had taken a hammering the previous day. Still, there was plenty of new beers and new breweries left to try. Beer quality may have dipped by this point.
Castle Rock - Harvest Pale3.80ExcellentPale gold, citrus hoppy and wonderful. Shame they had it on such a tight sparkler as it takes some of the taste away
Museum - Worthington's White Shield5.60ExcellentSlightly hazy but I had been waiting 3 days to get my hands on this, so I didn’t mind that it wasn’t quite ready yet. Hazy orange colour, no head. Good hoppy, fruity nose. Good citrus fruits and some sweet strawberry which carry on to a zesty finish. Grapes in the fruit mix as well
Bragdy'r Bryn Cyf - Bitter4.00ExcellentHaving had this and the Herald, I am convinced that they had the barrels round the wrong way. Copper/orange colour with thin white head. Really nice cascades aroma with some grapefruit and choc. Fine in mouth with more hops. Great hoppy aroma and all over a very good beer
Howard Town - Wren's Nest4.20GoodOrange/gold with no head. Nice citric hop aroma. Fine in mouth, with good citric hop finish. Just a tad farty. Fruits are grapefruit and lemon
Jolly Brewer - Dark Lager6.70GoodVery dark brown with some nice rich dark fruit on this blackberry/cherry plus choc. Bit syrupy in mouthfeel with bit of spice, bit more choc. Nose is better than the finish
Mighty Oak - Phantom of the Hopera4.30GoodThe phantom of the hopera is here, inside my glass. About the only time AL Webber has made me smile. Chestnut colour with thin beige head. Strong citrus hop and red fruit aroma. Quite wet in mouthg. Would expect a bit more malt. Nice tangy,sherberty hop finish
Owl - Dark Mild4.20GoodVery dark brown mild with no head. Quite treacly, golden syrup, really nice aroma and unusual too. Burnt malt flavours. Finish has more treacle. Very good dark mild
Whim - Columbus4.80GoodHazy chestnut colour with beige head which lasts. Nice columbus hop aroma. Some malt. Cut grass aroma. Finish is a bit grainy with more hop. Bit muddy
Rooster's - Outlaw Outrider3.90AcceptableGold beer with thin white head. Some hay on aroma. Some light fruit flavour. Hops on end are typical Roosters US style. Maybe a bit tired
Full Mash - Ghoul4.80AcceptableBlack beer, thin bubbly beige head. Bit bready on aroma, some liquorice and choc. Some acids and powdery choc in mouth. OK stout, not fantastic, not awful
Shakespeare's - The Scottish Ale4.60AcceptableDark brown ale in fact the same colour as Coke. No head. Nice malty flavours in mouth and touch of spice.
Old Spot - Ruby Lou3.20AcceptableDark reddish brown, choc/coffee nose, dark roasted malts. Very watery in mouth, more choc on end but a bit thin
Brandon - Bitter4.00AcceptableOrange bitter, no head. Some orange fruit on nose, some caramel. More tangerine/orange in mouth. Finish is zesty with orange peel
Bragdy'r Bryn Cyf - Herald6.20AcceptableCopper colour, no head. Vaguely citric, vaguely acidic with lemon and lime. Quite nice in mouth. Finish has good citrus fruits. Good balanced beer.
Battledown - Brigand4.70AcceptableRusset colour, bit hazy, no head. Some good red fruit on nose, but then acidic in mouth. Fruits on end, red apple, strawberry and a touch of caramel
Milestone - Rich Ruby4.50AcceptableChestnut colour with thick beige head from a tight sparkler. Just a bit dead. Some caramel, not a lot of flavour, Bit creamy in mouth
Potbelly - Sunny Daze5.50AcceptableGolden beer with no head. Bit cider appley on both nose and in flavour. Alcohol gives it a bit of heat and there is a bit of spice on the end
Church End - Grapefruit5.00PoorHazy gold, no head. Some very faint grapefruit aroma. Fine in mouth. Some citric finish. Not the world’s best and a bit acidic
John Thompson - JTS XXX Bitter4.10PoorChestnut coloour, no head. Earthy hops, some citrus, muddy earthy malts in mouth. Dull bitter
Derby - Triple Hop4.10PoorGold colour slightly hazy. Dull malt. Not a lot of anything really. Very dull beer
Nottingham - Supreme5.20PoorGolden beer with no head. Diacetyl destroys it. Buttery everywhere. Finish has some hop but the diacetyl dominates
21 Oct 2005 (Ian)
Day 2. Got here at opening time at 11 and stayed until 10 in the evening. Met up with a friend from and then with Andrew, Jane, Catherine and Cam in the evening. Some of the beers had started to sell out and by Friday evening both halls were heaving. Good atmosphere though.
Whim - Black Christmas6.50ExceptionalTies as my beer of the festival. Black beer with lasting beige head. Intense hop, dark malts, some tar and bitter choc. Like a really good imperial style stout. Beautifully balanced, hops on end plus more bitter choc. Not too strong not too intense, not too alcholic, perfect balance
Nottingham - Rock Mild3.80ExcellentBlack beer with no head. Quite a hoppy nose for a mild. Good in mouth with choc/coffee kicking in. Good enough mild.
Dark Star - Porter (aka City)5.50ExcellentDark chestnut with dark malt flavours and choc/coffee. Intense flavours in mouth. Nice richness with some acid to balance. Finish is good too with more choc and some liquorice. Hops on nose and finish. Yet another good beer from Dark Star
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - Brock4.10ExcellentBlack beer, beige head. Bit smkey, bit of bacon, dark malts choc/coffee. Slightly oily in mouth. Good flavours throughout
Acorn - Regal4.00ExcellentPale gold with white foamy head. Very citrus hoppy aroma. Aggressive hop. Grapefruit and lemon flavours. Touch soapy but good citrus notes
Funfair - Ghost Train5.00ExcellentVery dark brown colour, no head. Liquorice and roasted malts. OK in mouth, some oiliness. Liquorice, choc finish with some espresso coffee. Fine beer
Castle Rock - Hemlock Bitter4.00ExcellentChestnut colour with lasting off white head. Good malt/hop mix. Smooth in mouth, nice nutty malt finish. Touch of spice. Good beer
Castle Rock - Kipper5.60ExcellentVery dark chestnut with lasting beige head. Roasted malts on nose, slightly sweet in mouth. Finish is very good with sweet coffee, some bitter choc. Good dark beer
Slaughterhouse - Stout Snout4.40GoodBlack beer with lasting beige head. Dark malts and liquorice aromas. Bit creamy in mouth. Good finish with rich roasted malts. Better than average stout
JW Lees (see also Lees) - Brooklyn Best5.00GoodHazy copper/brown beer. Strong aroma of US hops. Quite toffeeish with good hop finish. Citrus is grapefruit and a bit muddy
Springhead - Roaring Meg5.50GoodGolden beer with creamy head. Slightly herby/hoppy aroma with some spice and some honey. Slightly creamy in mouth. Very pleasant strong ale
Front Street - Phoenix3.40GoodCopper colour, no head. Nice caramel malt. Some dry tangy malt on end. Tasty session bitter. Quite happily sit at bar and drink this all night
Howard Town - Bleaklow3.80AcceptableOrange beer, no head, citrus hop aroma, plenty of tangerine. Fruit is quite sweet in mouth, quite juicy fruit. Hoppy fruity finish
Danelaw - Golden Tears4.30AcceptableHazy orange copper beer with thin off white head. Slightly malty and earthy aroma. Not much in mouth. Some acids and hop on end. Bit disappointing with some toffee
Old Spot - Hunter Hill4.80AcceptableOrange beer with floral hop, some citrus. Bit of orange/grapefruit. Not a great finish. Some orange. Nice enough
Wear Valley - Old Vinovium4.80AcceptableDeep ruby/brown with thin beige head. Nice choc and fullish in mouth. Good choc on end. In fact really quite chocolatey overall
Peakstones (formerly Peakstones Rock) - Black Hole Bitter4.80AcceptableDark chestnut. Disappearing biege head. Good dark malts on nose. Some acids in mouth with more rich malt. Some choc/coffee. Lacks body in the mouthfeel. Malty finish, slightly dry
Spitting Feathers - Thirst Quencher3.90AcceptableOrange copper colour with aroma of hay. Some caramel, some red berry. Bit acidic. Again, just a bit samey as other beers and doesn’t stand out
Vale of Glamorgan (VOG) - No. 1 Best Bitter4.20AcceptableBrown/copper beer with fine malts and some hops. OK best bitter. Goodish drying hop finish that has some good zest
Alcazar - Trafalgar Black4.80AcceptableBlack beer with disappearing beige head. Nutty, liquorice, tar and some sourness in mouth. Sour choc finish with some liquorice. Flavours are quite intense could do with more body. Quite good finish.
Nottingham - Bullion4.70AcceptableGold beer, thin white head. Nice sweetish citrus hop aroma. Nice finish, some straw/hay aroma. Bit sweet and strong overall
Brewster's - Daffy Elixir4.20AcceptableGolden beer with thin white head. Some citrus acidic hop. OK in mouth, bit sherberty. good finish which has good mix of fruit
Castle Rock - Rook4.20AcceptableDark chestnut, beige head. Odd mix of dark malts. Good dry finish. Don’t know what to make of it. Some good acids. Strange beer
Tirril - Thomas Slees Academy Ale4.20PoorChestnut beer. Bubbly beige head. Acidic appley nose, more apple and some dark malt in mouth with some choc. Finish has more apple/choc finish. Bit odd and lacks direction. Bit of toffee/caramel
Wharfedale - Wharfemeister4.10PoorGolden colourwith white bubbly head. Slightly yeasty, some lemon. Not overly carbonated. Finishis slightly yeasty and some citrus. Malts are a bit dull and a bit bland
Holland - Flying Dutchman5.00PoorSlightly hazy orange beer. Bit syrupy, some citrus fruit, maybe not fully brewed. Got very strong grapefruit sharpness on the end. Not my favourite of the fest
Phoenix - Arizona4.10PoorThink that this may have been getting a bit tired like me at the end of an 11 hour session on the Friday. Golden, no head. Hay and stale malt on nose. Some hop, some acid in mouth. End has dusty hop. Disappointing and not how I remembered it in the Head of Steam
21 Oct 2005 (Andrew)
Early evening and it was busy but not so busy that I couldn't walk about or get served quickly. Sat on the covered over swimming pool and soaked up the atmosphere. Great
Nottingham - Rock Mild3.80ExceptionalRounded, smooth, milky beer with roasted malt.
Whim - Black Christmas6.50ExceptionalRemined me of Noe Sherry. Black beer with initial sweet cherry taste. Lots of burnt malt and alcohol with a lasting burnt malt finish.
Brewster's - Hophead3.60ExcellentVery drinkable pale coloured bitter that tasted very similar to JHB
Poachers - Trail4.20GoodOkay I admit I had this because it sounded like Goacher's. It was a pale yellow beer with a tart bitterness and a slight taste of marzipan
Springhead - Puritans' Porter4.00GoodSmooth sweet rich malty drinkable porter
Moles - Molegrip4.30AcceptableBrown beer with sweet malt and no real hops
White Horse - Wayland Smithy4.40AcceptableCopper coloured bitter. Nice syrupy malt on finish but you have to wait for it.
20 Oct 2005 (Ian)
Thursday night. First day of the beer festival and all of the beers I had were in excellent condition. Fairly busy but I found a table just off the main hall and sat chatting with a couple from Rochester in Kent who had also come up for the festival. Beers were split into a number of categories over 2 halls. Regular beers numbered from 1-256, SIBA beers, a series of brewery bars, a fruit beer bar and 2 cider and perry stands. Excellent festival
White Horse - Wayland Smithy4.40ExceptionalCopper colour with thin off white head. Lovely hop/malt aroma. Very intense flavours. Finish is rich with hops and candy sugar. Very good bitter. Not as good on day 2 when Andrew had it
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - Jaipur5.90ExceptionalJust about my beer of the festival. Intense hop aroma. Pale gold with lasting white head. Citric hop is lovely. Grapefruit. Terrific in mouth and finish is excellent. Some sweetish malt in mouth to balance. Then gorgeous hop finish. Alcohol makes it a tad too sweet. Not that good on day 2
Nottingham - Rock Bitter3.80ExcellentGolden with thin white head. Nice citrus hop nose, grapefruit and nettle. OK in mouth, not too much body. Then aggressively hop citrus finish, almost peppery
Brewster's - Hophead3.60ExcellentGolden beer with white lasting head. Along the lines of Darkstar Hophead and JHB. Grapefruit and tangerine citrus, acidic in mouth with drying hoppy citric finish. Mmmmm
Oakham - Five Leaves Left4.50ExcellentBubbly beige head. Distinctive Oakham nose, bit soapy, some choc malts. Nice hop/malt finish. Some citrus and some choc. Quite smooth, still nice
Potbelly - Beijing Black4.40ExcellentBlack beer with thin beige head. Dark malts, choc/coffee. Lovely deep flavours. Bit of liquorice on nose and finish. Bit of sweetness on finish.
Alcazar - Bombay Castle IPA6.50ExcellentGolden ale, thin white head. Really intense, some strawberry and you can taste the strength. Fruit and hop finish. Nice strong beer.
Milestone - Classic Dark Mild4.00GoodBlack beer, lasting beige head, Dark malts on the aroma, bit creamy in mouth, dark malts on end. Finish is drying . Flavours could be a bit more intense
Rebellion - IPA3.70GoodThis beat both the Brewsters Hophead and Nottingham Rock Bitter in the SIBA bitter category, although I thought the other 2 were better. Deep copper colour. Nice hop/caramel. Not a lot of fruit. Caramel in mouth, with hoppy finish. Quite dry, bit tangy, bit of choc. Nice understated hop
Hesket Newmarket - Autumn Chestnut4.60AcceptableRusset colourwith disappearing beige head. Choc malts, slightly watery in mouth with powdery choc. Finish again is choc and just a little thin
Bells - Dreamcatcher4.60AcceptableCopper colour, disappearing off white head. Hoppy beer, some earthiness, bit muddy. Bit watery in mouth, some nettley citrus. Bit of tea
Chiltern - Beechwood Bitter4.30AcceptableDeep copper/brown colour with off white thin head. Nice hop/malt mix, touch of spice on end. Nice brown bitter
Three Rivers - Black Moon4.80AcceptableBlack beer with thin beige head. Blackberry nose not obvious choc, smooth and full in mouth and then bitter choc. However not dry and grainy like some stouts. Choc finish is nice
Shakespeare's - The Tempest5.50AcceptableBlack beer, disappearing beige head. Slightly eggy but with nice roasted malts. Touch of liquorice on end. Fine, but not enough depth

About the Nottingham Beer Festival 2005

Summary of Beer Scores



The pub is found in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1 1DB.

The 4th largest beer festival in Britain. Run by CAMRA and held in the Victoria Leisure Centre across 2 rooms. There were about 350 beers on.

We have visited this pub 4 times, seen 64 different beers and tried them all.

Map location

Postcode: NG1 1DB