Poacher's Choice | Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse

BA SCORE
82
good
56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Poacher's ChoicePoacher's Choice
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse
England, United Kingdom
badgerbrewery.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

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.

Added by GreenCard on 10-21-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
56
Reviews:
29
Avg:
3.52
pDev:
21.02%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 56 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of dcmchew
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
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 lacqueredmouse
3.8/5  rDev +8%
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.

 1,089 characters

Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of wl0307
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 1,414 characters

Photo of FLima
3.8/5  rDev +8%
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.

 362 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

 323 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
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 ADZA
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 727 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
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 AlexAfonin
5/5  rDev +42%

Photo of rarbring
2.43/5  rDev -31%
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.

 419 characters

Photo of vinicole
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber colour. Clear. Thick frothy head.
Malt and hops smell. Quite fruity.
Ripe autumn fruit and berry mixture. Sweet and spicy with liquorice eveident.
Moderate feel.
Interesting, different but not entirely to my taste.

 225 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pouts dark reddish, large bubbles on head.
Aromas and taste are all sweet malts, molasses, hint cinnamon sugar, and maybe a little orange.
Really quite sweet overall, medium bodied low carb to style.
Sweetness detracts.
It's a winter warmer and I'm drinking it in January. In Sydney. Go figure :-)

 298 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.16/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, pours a Amber light brown colour with a small ring of off white head. Aroma black current, dark fruits. Taste plum, cherry, dark fruits, caramel. Very nice.

 169 characters

Photo of MisledTitan
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of GreenCard
2.67/5  rDev -24.1%
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!

 607 characters

Photo of endless1408
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of rvdoorn
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 490 characters

Photo of Martine
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Spike
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From 500ml bottle.

L: Clear, dark copper with a rich, foamy, off-white head that lasts to the end. Spotty lacing.

S: Sweet and fruity. Plum pudding. Maybe a little too sweet.

T: Autumn fruits, cinnamon, sugar, alcohol.

F: Medium body with gentle carbonation, a little spicy kick, and soft bitterness.

O: This is the best I've drunk from Badger Brewery. It's sweet and fruity (dark fruits, not floral) and well suited to the darker months. Too sweet to be drunk in quantity but pleasant enough.

 499 characters

Photo of windowside
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Malt_Man
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served at cellar temperature from 500ml bottle into handled pint mug.

A) Deep copper colour, clear with thinnish but persistent white head and a few bubbles.

S) Very fruity; blackcurrant jam!

T) Follows the nose; blackcurrant / fruits of the forest are right there. Soft malt and almost no bitterness. Nice.

M) Fairly substantial, not a gulping beer. Nicely warming.

O) Great beer; certainly the best one that I have had from this brewery. Recommended.

 461 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Poacher's Choice from Badger Brewery, Hall and Woodhouse
3.52 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.