Suthwyk Old Dick (cask, 3.8% ABV)

The Southwick Brewhouse doesn’t just sell bottles. Ask Matt what he’s got on tap and you’ll be ushered into the back room where several casks lie in wait. It’s a bit like buying something a little naughty (or, err, so I’ve been told) except that it comes in a four pint plastic bottle rather than a brown paper bag. The beers are usually Suthwyk’s own range, although occasional guest ales are also available. As long as you drink the lot within five days, it should stay fresh.

Old Dick is a masterfully named beer. Any accusations of classic British innuendo can be neatly sidestepped by reviewing the facts: it’s named in honor of Dick Olding, who made beer at the Brewhouse from 1906 to 1957. You see? It’s a tribute to a guy who was dedicated to making a good pint, and not an excuse for smut like you thought. Shame on you!

Old Dick comes out with almost no head. Cask beers are typically a lot less fizzy than their bottled Old Dick closecounterparts. Unless you insist on bubbly beer, it shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s a dark amber in the glass, with a smell of toffee and something vaguely medicinal, like dandelion and burdock.

The taste has some of the nuttiness of a brown ale, along with cracker-like malt and marmalade hops. The aftertaste is spicy and lingering. Unlike many beers of modest strength, whose taste disappears rather quickly, Old Dick has length.

Good luck ordering this, in cask or bottle. It’s almost impossible to do without a schoolboy snigger.

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