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Poacher's Choice - Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse

Not Rated.
Poacher's ChoicePoacher's Choice

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

36 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 18.56%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: GreenCard on 10-21-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crowncapcollect
1.53/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A poacher would only choose this if he could poach himself a bottle.- I had to pay for mine, and won't be doing so again. It looks okay, but it smells nasty and tastes worse. It's rather like a fake alcopop gone badly wrong. I only drank 1/4 of it, before tipping it down the sink, and it's a long time since I've done that.

crowncapcollect, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of rarbring
2.43/5  rDev -32.7%
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.

rarbring, May 21, 2012
Photo of GreenCard
2.68/5  rDev -25.8%
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!

GreenCard, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of Eramen
2.73/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark copper, almost ruby in colour with sizable head that shrinks but retains well enough. It's slightly hazy as well.

S - Berry, such as cherry and blackberries, undiluted juice drinks, candy, icing and other assorted sweet things.

T - Tastes as artificial as the smell, the same flavors add cake and pastries, but also with a hopiness and a bitter twang. The bitterness almost seems out of place in such a candied, almost-'fake' tasting beer. It didn't win me over needless to say.

MF - Abundant carbonation, perhaps too much so, medium body.

O - Something to try if you want a beer that's a little different. For me at least, it is a 'little different' in a bad way. I'll pass next time.

Eramen, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of helloloser12345
2.9/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

helloloser12345, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of wl0307
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml brown bottle, BB Oct. 09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. The label specifies Damson berries and Liquorice are both used in the brew.

A: pours an elegant dark red amber to copper hue, coming with a restrained light beige foam settling fast to a blanket, on top of relatively
S: the aroma is straight-forwardly sweet fruity, with blueberries and strawberries floating on top of a syrupy malty backbone, at times reminiscent of diluted coughing syrup... Badger's typical aroma - slightly stinky and floral-yeasty notes - stays deeply in the background, to help retain an overall balance. Not complex.
T: a mouthful of Badger's trademark floral-yeasty taste with semi-stinky "dirty-cloth" and sherry-ish pale maltiness precedes a moderately sweet but dull berry-fruitiness and plum juice. A faint touch of liquorice's bitter-sweetness reveals only in the finish, where the hop bitterness like semi-roasted tea leaves also lingers for a while.
M&D: pretty light and fine in terms of carbonation, refreshing enough and med-bodied; the balance is lost due to the predominant input of damson juice and its sweetness. All in all, not a very successful product this is, as the shortcomings of traditional Badger's ales (i.e. overly sweet on the balance) are magnified here by the damson juice without a proportionate support of a more assertive bitter edge of hops. Hence, "one-off" for drinkability.

wl0307, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of MisledTitan
3/5  rDev -16.9%

MisledTitan, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of dcmchew
3/5  rDev -16.9%

dcmchew, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

CrazyDavros, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of EmperorBevis
3.43/5  rDev -5%
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.

EmperorBevis, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -3%

harpus, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of crabman111
3.5/5  rDev -3%

crabman111, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of SiW
3.5/5  rDev -3%

SiW, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of DerBayer
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is a fruity looking brown.

I had this with simmered red cabbage and sausage and mustard mash. It worked really well.

The beer has really strong fruity esters but little in the way of hop and malt notes.

It is very nice to drink to begin with but gets a bit boring after a short while.

DerBayer, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
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).

BlackHaddock, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of kmacphail
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

kmacphail, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of ADZA
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours quite a weird looking ruby/cherry colour with average carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one finger head and a ring of lacing,wow the aroma is something else to what i expect in a winter warmer it is tart raspberries,blueberries and a hint of liquorice,it has an above average mouthfeel with a big raspberry hit first followed up by some very malty liquorice coated blueberries,i know it says on the bottle that it finishes bitter but i disagree with that its more of a fruity malt finish which finishes maybe a little dry and crisp but not bitter at all,it doesnt really pass my expectations for a winter warmer but its easy enough to drink but if u dont like fruity beers then this isnt your cup of tea.

ADZA, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of rvdoorn
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle directly from Scotland. Poured into a de Molen sniffer. The beer pours a dark amber ruby color, with a nice fluffy head.

Smell: liquorish, sweet candy, alcohol, red and dark fruits and roasted malts.

Taste: Sweet malts, ginger, liquorish, dark fruits and strawberry. Sweet-bitter aftertaste with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, full bodied.

Overall: A bit too sweet and a bit too artificial for my pellet, but a very surprising beer that I would love to drink again.

rvdoorn, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

jazzyjeff13, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Ciocanelu, May 09, 2013
Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

BrazilianAussie, May 06, 2012
Photo of vinicole
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

vinicole, May 23, 2014
Photo of FLima
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one finger head, but that left persistent marks. Deep copper color.
Outstanding smell, clear licorice aroma, fruits and herbal hops. Low carbonation and medium body.
Balanced flavor of malt sweetness, licorice and bitterness. The 5.7% ABV is completely hidden. I did like this beer. I preferred this one to the peachy or the ginger versions from Badger.

FLima, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep magenta-copper hue with a minimal head that forms in a white collar around the edge of the glass. Lacing is decent, and it has a full body. The colour is nice at the very least.

Nose is incredibly sweet, with a big stewed dark fruits aroma dominant. The more I smell, the more I get candy aromas coming off: artificial strawberry syrup, Jolly Ranchers and the strawberry cream from inside a Krispy Kreme donut. It's different, I'll give it that, but almost too much. Hopefully, the flavour tempers this a bit.

Taste is also odd, however, with a very big fruit pie character coming through: pastry, currants, with nutty marzipan characters making an appearance at the end. It's certainly not unpleasant, but it's very full and very sweet—fortunately, the slight nutty and grainy upturn in the tail stops it from being too heavy.

Feel is a bit too carbonated, and even a little astringent—I imagine it's a different beer on-tap.

Yeah, not bad at all. A very interesting brew and one with a lot more character than your usual English Ale, if not the refinement and class.

lacqueredmouse, May 28, 2011
Photo of fullsweep
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL poured into a glass.

Pours a dark brown/reddish color with a very thick, 3-finger head of off-white foam. Dissipates slowly, but leaves only a tiny bit of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits, malts, berries and perhaps some burnt sugar (a la the topping of a nice creme brulee).

Tastes sweet and rick, fruity. Dark fruits (dates, figs) and berries (especially raspberry) with the aforementioned burnt sugars. Light on the hops, heavy on the malts--this is a very rich brew.

Very drinkable, but it might be for a special occasion.

fullsweep, Feb 14, 2009
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Poacher's Choice from Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse
82 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.