Name: Coniston Blacksmiths Ale
Bottled/ Draft: Draft
Price: £3.20 a pint at the Black Bull, Coniston
Colour: Deep golden
Head/ Bubbles: Creamy head
Mouthfeel: Fuller body than the Bluebird
Taste: A good hoppy start, with an underlying strength and maltiness.
Comment: Labelled as a 'Winter Warmer' and with a name like Blacksmiths, I'd imagined this would be a dark, almost porter-like beer and was rather taken aback by the arrival of a deep golden pint. The strength, combined with a full body and rich flavour certainly made it an enjoyable pint but it would be a stretch to call it much of a winter warmer.
It's interesting how strongly my opinion was affected by my expectations - the actual taste was certainly closer to what I'd expected than was suggested by it's lighter colour; if they'd given me exactly the same beer but twice as dark I think I'd have enjoyed the beer twice as much. This is either a sign that breweries who add colour (or at least select dark malts for colour as much as flavour) know what they're talking about, or that I need to keep my eyes closed when drinking!