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Poacher's Choice - Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse

Not Rated.
Poacher's ChoicePoacher's Choice

Educational use only; do not reuse.

24 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 24
Hads: 49
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 30.09%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GreenCard on 10-21-2007

This rich, smooth brew has a softly spiced sweetness with dark liquorice notes and a fruity damson aroma. Poachers Choice is a gutsy ruby ale that is well matched with hearty game pie or a tangy mature cheese.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 24 | Hads: 49
Reviews by kmacphail:
Photo of kmacphail
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer poured a deep ruby-copper colour with almost no head to speak of, a thin film that left some very slight lacing around the edge.

The nose is dominated by liquorice with notes of malts and some fruitiness (burnt berries and figs).

The dominance of liquorice continues through to the taste along with a lingering aftertaste of roasted malts, and burnt fruit. I found this to be very pleasant, however I am a big fan of liquorice.

A full bodied beer that I found very pleasant to drink and would definitely get again if I ever saw it. However this is a typical Christmas ale in that it is lovely to drink, but a bit too rich to consume all night.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 500ml bottle with a BB of March 2014. Picked up from a supermarket a while back. Described on the label as a rich ale with notes of liquorice and damson.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A deep coppery-amber colour with light carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of sweet plummy notes with hints of caramel malt, plums/damsons, dried fruit, subtle brown sugar, stewed leaves, faint liquorice and a whisper of diacetyl in the background. Unusually sweet but rather nice.

Tastes of caramel malt and sweet damsons, with a lingering dry finish. Notes of plums/damsons, dried fruit, caramel, subtle brown sugar, a twinge of roasted grain, stewed leaves, faint liquorice and ale yeast. Pretty sweet, followed by a mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly tingly, with soft carbonation and decent body. Slightly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of sugary damsons, stewed leaves and faint malt.

An odd flavour combination but quite effective. Looks alright, while the aroma and flavour are sweet and plummy with hints of fruity malt and liquorice. Body is OK, though could stand to be a tad thicker for the style. Pleasant, and the sweet, fruity character suits the time of year. Worth sampling if you come across it.

 1,360 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Iaido
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of themightyinferno
5/5  rDev +43.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazingly fruity with a licorice after taste, beautiful stuff.

62 characters

Photo of moley
3.2/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours deep ruby with a small quickly fading head.
Nose shows confectionery-like grape notes, I suppose from the damson. There's some faint liquorice and soft caramel too. Mostly just the grape/bubblegum note though.
Similarly fruity taste, very sweet and grape-like. Not much behind it.
Could use a little more carbonation.

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Photo of Gottesverachter
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Olegophren
4.85/5  rDev +39%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Love this licorice taste! Bitter, sweet, fruity, strong!

56 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer contains Malted Barley, Wheat and Sulphates. A warning or a advertising ploy?

Anyway my brown 500ml bottle with its best before date rubbed out was poured into a Westmalle Trappist Challice (twice).

The off white head that appeared as I poured soon left to leave a thin wisp and collar. The body of the beer was a lovely red mahogany and very clear.

The initial aroma was of a dirty farmyard, luckily that soon dispersed and a fruity (red berries, plums and Honey Melon) took over. Liquorice also appeared in the rich heady mix as the beer warmed.

The liquorice became the dominant flavour for me, it was also fairly sweet, so the plums and melon in the aroma came through into the taste too.

You would never guess this beer had 5.7% alcohol, it doesn't have the body or presence to indicate that amount. Nor is it rich or creamy in any way.
It is however a pleasant beer and one I would happily offer the visitors.

I have just read the label in more detail and they have used liquorice and damons in the brew. Hey, I'm obviously getting the hang of this reviewing lark (almost into the 500's now).

 1,114 characters

Photo of vinicole
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

slightly hazy copper body with big and quite long lasting cream coloured head.

sweet aromas hits the nose like damson jam and red wine.

Tastes like red liquorice and hops with yeasty spikes.
Ponterfract cakes come through with the after taste and redcurrant runs throughout. very tasty.

Surprising considering the big fruit and dark tastes not over heavy, solid enough and nicely low carbonated .
Real 'good.

 412 characters

Photo of Kitsune
4.19/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was chilled to +5 or something but poured very slowly into room temperature glass. There was no foam at all. No bubbles, nothing. Best before 4 month to go.
Colour is beautiful brown, clear.
Aroma: lemonade or cola, very sweet and caramel.
Taste: it is very rich, dense, full-bodied, concentrated and ropy (14.5%). Body is so much full and it is wonderful. You can feel A LOT of caramel, rye bread, pine with a bit of hoppy bitterness. It is pretty sweet over all. Alcohol 5.7% is invisible but you feel it in your stomach.
It is good for cold weather, its sweet and warming, very tasty. It is totally different of ordinary ale or beer and you will not drink it more than one at once.

Beer with "Baikal" piny lemonade for those who know what is it.

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Photo of rarbring
2.43/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The brew is dark amber with medium sized bubbles, a high off-white head that leaves little lacing and few curtains.

Smelling of sour strawberry candy, a bit chemical.

Starting sweet, then Basset's candy all the way, licorice, coconut, artificial flavors.

Medium low carbonation, soft and sticky, a big body, a slightly sharp quick bitterness.

This did not really do it for me. Too much candy, and not in a good way.

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Photo of GreenCard
2.67/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: deep copper, great clarity, thick layer of spongey tan foam with good head retention

Aroma: big waft of fruity bubblegum (maybe strawberry?... weird!)

Flavor: sweet malt profile with a slight background acidity; hints of roasted chestnuts and more of the fruity bubblegum; finishes semisweet with a mild bitterness but mostly fruity

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, smooth texture

Other comments: I didn't read the back label until after I reviewed the beer. It appears there's damson fruit (plums) and licorice in it. And here I thought I smelled strawberries! What a plum!

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Photo of 123321123321
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mike130
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tall Samuel Smith's Lager glass. Pours with a decent one-finger head, a little of lacing and with decent retention that fades to a .5 cm cover on top of the beer. Light brown in color, with an orange hue, doesn't look half bad.

Smells extremely fruity - loads of berries and a bit of malt comes out as well. No hop presence in the smell, just loads of malt and fruit.

Taste is like the smell, but stronger - lots of wild berry flavors, along with a touch of darker fruits like raisins and then a bit of malt followed by a slight hoppiness. Very much on the sweet side, though not overly, so beware hopheads.

Quite a thick, strong mouthfeel - very fullbodied and creamy, not very carbonated but not flat either. Drinks quite easily, but it is a very flavorful beer so can't see myself downing this anytime soon. Overall, a tasty, worthwhile effort from Badger.

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Photo of endless1408
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of MisledTitan
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of dsolonenko
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A: Clear dark orange/ruby color, nice creamy head.
S: Smell is awesome! Heavy sweet with cherries and prunes. Funky? Just some.
T: Caramel sweet, some spice to it especially in the aftertaste. Almost no hop bitterness. Warm. Cherries again there too.
M: Light, a bit watery to my taste.

This beer never let me down. Enjoy it a lot!
p.s. I don't really like liquorice, so I ignore it in the smell and taste :)

 410 characters

Photo of helloloser12345
2.91/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased @ Sainsburys Coleraine.

Okay, first off I'm not a big fan of Badger at all, they continue to disappoint time after time but being the softy I am I keep buying any new beers they produce looking for that elusive diamond in the rough!

Serving Type: 500ml stubby brown bottle, used for most if not all badger brews.

Winter Warmer, label on the back of the bottle states "dark ale enhanced by a touch of liquorice for spicy sweetness and damson for a soft, subtly fruity taste" and the "taste profile" give the beer the following ratings:
Bitter: 3/5
Sweet: 5/5
Hoppy: 2/5
Malty: 4/5
Fruity: 5/5

Smell: Boom! straight off the liquorice hits along with dry, slightly musty alcohol notes.

Appearance: Burnt orange with a cream head, good retention and a fair amount of lacing.

Flavour: Prickly carbonation kills any initial flavours, this is followed by a big malty body and the liquorice gives a sickly sweet edge, although the hop profile says 2 there is just enough hop bite to balance out the beer. Lingering sweetness.

Overall: Decent offering, nothing amazing but a step in the right direction.

 1,115 characters

Photo of Chemister
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of AlexAfonin
5/5  rDev +43.3%

Photo of Lukie
4.22/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An orange reddy brown, weird colour, that is clear as day against the light, but impossible to see through otherwise. The head is offwhite and bubbly, with clinging lace.

A big rich smell of raspberry and boysenberry, gives way to more sweet cherry and raspberry jam. The "licorice" that is added makes it smell of red licorice, the non-real stuff. Haha.

Badger are insane, and that is great. They take your everyday brews, and go whacky tabacky on it. Big malty sweet red berries give way to the red licorice flavour and some dry spiciness. It's just incredibly indepth, and incredibly drinkable.

Just a really interesting beer to drink, and very enjoyable. Badger are still one of my favourite breweries.

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Poacher's Choice from Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse
81 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.