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White Cliffs Beer Festival 2009 (CAMRA Beer Festival)

Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Goacher's - 1066 Old AleExceptional2
Eastwood & Sanders - 1872 PorterExceptional1
Museum - Worthingtons White ShieldExceptional1
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - JaipurExceptional1
Spectrum - Old StoatwobblerExceptional2
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - DogBolter Dark PorterExcellent1
Frome (formerly Milk Street) - ! BeerExcellent1
Oakham - AttilaExcellent1
Hopdaemon - LeviathanExcellent1
Westerham - Extra SpecialExcellent1
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - HandelExcellent2
Humpty Dumpty - PorterExcellent2
Country Life - Devonshire Ten-derExcellent1
Dark Star - Victorian Ruby MildExcellent2
Orkney (Sinclair) - Skull SplitterGood1
BlackFriars - Old HabitGood2
Three B's - Shuttle AleGood1
Newby Wyke - Distant Grounds IPAGood2
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - IPAGood3
Brunswick - Father Mike's Dark Rich RubyGood2
Sarah Hughes - SnowflakeGood1
Grainstore - Rutland BeastGood1
Milestone - Donner & BlitzedAcceptable1
Belvoir - Old Dalby AleAcceptable1
Holland - Dutch CourageAcceptable1
Grain - Ported PorterAcceptable1
Otter - MacOtterAcceptable1
Milton - MammonAcceptable2
Tower - Old NavigationPoor1
Ascot - Winter ReservePoor1
Old Bear - Old TykePoor1
Tipple's - Crackle Winter AlePoor1
Picture 1. White Cliffs Beer Festival 2009, Dover, Kent

Visits Details

07 Feb 2009 (Ian)
I came back on the Saturday, to try to knock off some of the beers that I didn't have room for on the Friday. The Saturday session is far less fast and furious with a few people with sore heads and more families and couples. A relaxed feeling in the main hall with an ecletic mix of music on stage.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - DogBolter Dark Porter5.60ExcellentExcellent really, after a couple of poor beers, this was great. I bought it and drank it walking down the hall to the glass return desk. Great dark fruit. Damson, dark plum. Good condition. Lovely.
Three B's - Shuttle Ale5.20GoodBit of a haze on a copper/russet body. Thin beige head. Still in pretty good nick, ratehr good fruit/malt. Some earthy hop finish. It's pretty good. Nice bit of sparkle and very decent fruit.
Brunswick - Father Mike's Dark Rich Ruby5.80AcceptableThick dark, dark brown with very thin beige head. Some thickness in mouth, some choc, some dark fruit. Some dryness. Good thick mouthfeel.
Belvoir - Old Dalby Ale5.10AcceptableChestnut colour, lasting bubbly head. Toffee caramel on aroma. Some earthiness on finish. It's alright, some decent fruity malt. Toffee is pleasing. Just a bit bettern than average.
Holland - Dutch Courage5.00AcceptableClear pale chestnut colour, lasting beige head. OK, some malt. Some hop, bit of acidity. Bit earthy. Average premium bitter. Again, not exceptional, but decent, some good flavours from the malt and ok sparkling dryish finish.
Old Bear - Old Tyke6.00PoorChestnut colour with thin beige head. Attractive strong malt aroma. A little musty/dusty in the mouth. Starts well, but then fades. It's not all that good. Too musty/dusty.
Tipple's - Crackle Winter Ale6.50PoorVery dark ruby colour with thin darkish beige head. Cinnamon, spice all over it. Better in mouth, some bitter dark choc, some spice sting on finish. Settles down into a pretty well made beer, still too much spice for me though.
Tower - Old Navigation7.00PoorBleachy acidic aroma, some fruit in mouth, damson and sour plum. Somewhere between an old ale and bleach. Lots of damson fruit. Poor.
06 Feb 2009 (Ian)
Met up with Andrew, Brian and Pete at the train station and got into the queue about 12.35. Great afternoon/early evening meeting up with Dubbel and Blair as well as SilkTork from Ratebeer, Martyn from the Butcher's Arms and assorted Dover people. Later on my work colleagues from Eurotunnel also put in an appearance using the very good pre-festival ticket system. Beer quality and condition on the whole was very good as always. Thornbridge Jaipur was beer of the festival as it ran out the quickest.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Goacher's - 1066 Old Ale6.70ExceptionalSmells of stilton and sweaty socks and some really good sourness. That is good. Most distinctive beer here. Again I bottled this and drank it on the way home.
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - Jaipur5.90ExceptionalAndrew said "it tastes of jif." He's wrong. Simply 5/5. Wonderful assertive hop. I had it twice.
Oakham - Attila7.50ExcellentNormally my first beer of the festival turns out to be the best. I haven't had this since having it years ago at the Oakham brewery tap in Peterborough so I was really anticipating having it again, plus it was Camra Winter Beer of the Year 2009. Slightly hot aroma, lots of hops. Slightly syrupy in mouth, lots of yellow grapefruit on finish and leafy hop. Lovely
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - Handel6.60ExcellentVery Belgian aroma. Good pear drop fruit. Good grainy malt in mouth. Lovely finish. Bananary esters. Really interesting, lovely fruit. Bit of spice on finish. More esters on finish. Excellent.
Westerham - Extra Special5.00ExcellentLovely copper/amber attractive colour, good lasting beige head. Tangerine fruit. Yeast character is excellent. Good yeast, good biscuit malt, nice balancing hop and a hot tangerine lasting crystallised fruit finish. I had this again on Saturday on the train on the way home after I had bottled it.
Country Life - Devonshire Ten-der10.00ExcellentRuby colour, thin beige head. Some vomit on aroma. Doesn't taste of 10%, good fruit. Nice sourness. It's good, bit of dark choc. Choccy dark fruit improves as it goes on. Really opens up.
Grainstore - Rutland Beast5.30GoodRuby/chestnut colour, thin beige head. Great condition. It's a bit toasty, good beer. Not that bad. Decent sting on end. Tasty and toasty.
Dark Star - Victorian Ruby Mild6.00GoodVery deep ruby colour with bubbly cream head. Some syrupy malt on aroma. It's good. Good condition. Really nice fruit, damson and dark plum. Not really my style of beer, but very nice nevertheless.
Humpty Dumpty - Porter5.40GoodBlack with dark brown edges, and lasting bubbly dark beige head. Roasted aroma, some choc. Lots of coffee and choc, really roasted. Excellent condition, strong flavours. But not over the top. Soft espresso coffee at end. Bit powdery in mouth. Nice though.
Newby Wyke - Distant Grounds IPA5.20AcceptableYeast and some hops on aroma. Hops are ok. It's ok, some peppery hop. Fine if unspectacular.
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - IPA8.00AcceptableYou really can smell the hoppy leafy Cascades on the aroma. Aroma's good, but the syrupy alcohol doesn't work. Needs 6 months ageing in a bottle I would guess, a bit like the No Tomorrow IPA which I think really did improve in the bottle. Too hot on the end.
Grain - Ported Porter5.20AcceptableBit fishy on aroma. Liquorice all oer it. No port as far as I can tell. Bit powdery in mouth. It's just to much liquorice for me.
Ascot - Winter Reserve5.20PoorToo much cinnamon and spice on aroma. Too perfumed, pretty poor.
BlackFriars - Old Habit5.60PoorGreen apple aroma, fruity in the mouth, maybe not fully brewed out, bit yeasty, bit unready. Poor.
06 Feb 2009 (Blair)
I'd been excited about this for months and it didn't disappoint. It was great to see Ian again and finally meet Andrew, Dubbel and such. The beer line-up was incredible, the atmosphere fantastic and the entertainment was good too. I don't remember the last couple of hours, but I see that as a sign of a great night!
BeerABVScoreNotes
Eastwood & Sanders - 1872 Porter6.50ExceptionalProbably my beer of the festival. Thick and creamy with chocolate and liquorice and a nice amount of roasted malt. Stunning.
Spectrum - Old Stoatwobbler6.00ExceptionalA close second place for this one. Dark chocolate and berries dominate. This was gorgeous. I feel guilty not giving it top place but the 1872 just pips it.
Hopdaemon - Leviathan6.00ExcellentThis wasn't as good as it was at the Man of Kent last year, a little more watery in the mouth. Still a great beer though, rich, creamy, chocolatey and fruity. Really complex.
Brunswick - Father Mike's Dark Rich Ruby5.80ExcellentBlack mild, quite sweet with nice roasted malt flavours. Another good one.
Dark Star - Victorian Ruby Mild6.00ExcellentStrong, dark mild. Really good chocolate and roast malt flavours. I have to admit I was mildly disappointed (excuse the pun) although that's just a testament to how great dark star are when a 4 out of 5 beer is a disappointment.
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - IPA8.00ExcellentEddie produced this beer completely unanounced. Very few people knew he was brewing it so it was a really nice surprise. It was also a really nice beer.
BlackFriars - Old Habit5.60ExcellentRoast malt and plums with a little coffee at the end. Good stuff.
Orkney (Sinclair) - Skull Splitter8.50GoodHoppy and very fruity, doesn't disguise the strength very well though. Overall good.
Milton - Mammon7.00GoodInterestingly I've got this marked down as good in my notes. I've got to admit I'm questioning myself after seeing Andrew's review of this beer. However, I found it to be rich and flavoursome if a little on the dull side.
Sarah Hughes - Snowflake8.00GoodStrong and very sweet, quite a generic barley wine really. But it was still very tasty.
Thornbridge / Thornbridge Hall - Handel6.60GoodA belgian-style ale apparently. Yup, I'm not going to argue. Sweet, with banana and caramel.
Milestone - Donner & Blitzed5.40AcceptableA little synthetic, a little sour. Alrightish.
06 Feb 2009 (Andrew)
Well that was probably the best Dover Beer Festival I've been to since the first one Ian and I attended where people pitched up next to us and had a picnic. It was good to finally met up with Blair and Dubbel and the beer quality this year was excellent too. I had a good chat to Martyn from the Butchers Arms in Herne and a quick chat with the landlord at the Man of Kent in Rochester too. All in all a very good time.
BeerABVScoreNotes
Goacher's - 1066 Old Ale6.70ExceptionalAs Ian said, the best beer here. Rich with a hint of plum skin. Toasted straw and astringent with a hint of cob nut. Martyn decanted it too with made it even better.
Museum - Worthingtons White Shield5.60ExceptionalBuscuity malt with raspberry and white pepper. Good deep resonating finish
Spectrum - Old Stoatwobbler6.00ExceptionalSour, rich, acrid, roasted and well ballanced
Humpty Dumpty - Porter5.40ExceptionalSour subtle and burnt. Lovely
Frome (formerly Milk Street) - ! Beer5.00ExcellentMandy was her name, so I had to have this didn't I. Pale beer with sherbet and lemon. Sharp but smooth.
Newby Wyke - Distant Grounds IPA5.20ExcellentCloudy amber beer with hoppy sweet well balanced rich pepper hop
Ramsgate Brewery (Gadds') - IPA8.00ExcellentNot my usual kind of beer at all but strong, subtle, tart astringent, pale and mottled. I liked it
Otter - MacOtter5.00AcceptableEveryone agreed that this was just bland
Milton - Mammon7.00PoorMedicinal. Dilute savlon. This was horrible

About the White Cliffs Beer Festival 2009

The pub sign. White Cliffs Beer Festival 2009, Dover, Kent

Summary of Beer Scores

 Total
Exceptional8
Excellent13
Good8
Acceptable8
Poor6

The pub is found in Dover, Kent, CT16 1DL.

The White Cliffs Winter beer festival. A CAMRA Winter beer festival held in the magnificent historic Maison Dieu building.

We have visited this pub 4 times, seen 32 different beers and tried them all.

Map location

Postcode: CT16 1DL