Two brews that share the same name, but what of the styles ? 


One of the longest running spats in recent brewing history must be the ongoing trade mark dispute of David verses Goliath in the form of the mighty Anheuser Busch of the US, with the relative Minos of Budvar in the Czech Republic, with regards to the Budweiser name.

Not content to  acknowledge co-existence can happily exist, and perhaps underestimating the public's intelligence to differentiate between brands as not being  such a quantum leap, strong arm tactics endear few friends.  

It is always good news then when two breweries can agree to be the same, but different, as in the case of both Adnams  and Palmers.

Both have a Tally Ho brand within their portfolios ( and bar colour ) both are markedly different in style and strength. This then is a fairly rare occurrence in British brewing.

So just how different are they even though they share the same name ?

In historical terms the youngest of the two is the Palmers brand. First produced in bottle in 1949 it certainly fits the bill as a dark ale/winter warmer style with its ruby coloured hue and strength of 5.5% alc/vol. On tasting it recently, after some eight years, it seemed to have lost a touch of depth it once had, and perhaps a different combination of hops are being used. Pleasant enough, but with the exclamation mark after the name I was hoping for more!

I can remember a distinctive drip mat for Tally Ho! produced by the brewery in the not to distant past with a fox being the focus of attention, and given the Dorset breweries rural location, the hunt was a normal part of country life. Unsurprisingly perhaps, with changing attitudes, the brewery sees fit to use them no more.

So, onto the Adnams brand which is certainly the older of the two tracing its origins back to 1880.

In 2009 the bottled version faced a revamp as a Vintage dated speciality in bottle conditioned form at 7.2%alc/vol.  



                   Workers enjoying the fruit of their labours at Adnams in the 1880's


The stylish label subtly uses the huntsman theme within its design as a nod to earlier incarnations of the label, and the beer within is equally impressive!

On the aroma there is a heady depth of warming barley twist sweetness, combined with dark berried ripe fruit complexity. The palate is full, firm, with a high toned maltiness reminiscent of ripe plum and sweet candied fruit. There is plenty of depth and extract which will allow the beer to keep and improve for several years to come, combined with a high hopping rate to balance, and a long lingering finish. A barley wine of real character and class.

With the label depicting the huntsman pointing the way forward to his steed, long may it stride confidently into the future for others to enjoy the cry of...Tally Ho!


For stockists go to the brewery web site onhttp://adnams.co.uk/

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