Back in November I had a choice to make. My parents were going to be in England visiting my eldest brother, and they were taking their car, so I asked if they wouldn't mind taking a case of beer back to France for me. Naturally they were happy to do so, and so I ordered a selection from Beer Ritz.
There was one beer which I absolutely knew I wanted in the selection, the magnificent Timothy Taylor Landlord. I had last devoured a bottle of this nectar in 2008 whilst at the same brother's house for Christmas, which was the last time the entire clan was together at the same time. Knowing that I loved it, I ordered 4 bottles so I could indulge to my heart's content.
At 4.2% abv, Landlord is a beer you can sit with and drink a fair few of without keeling over when you stand up and discover your legs no longer function. I love the fact that the label describes it as a "Strong Pale Ale" and while I may quibble over the use of the word "Strong" there is no arguing that this is as packed with flavour as any, more feted or trendy, beer. I will not bore you with tasting notes, but rather simply say this, if there is a better Best Bitter in the world I am yet to drink it.
Unfortunately I have never seen it in the US, but I will have a stab at brewing a clone version. I have read that the grist is simplicity itself, 100% Golden Promise, the hopping is a blend of Fuggles, Styrian Goldings and East Kent Goldings, and I have a packet of Wyeast West Yorkshire yeast in the fridge. I was planning my first brew of the year to be an 1868 Younger's XP (a Scottish IPA brewed with Saaz), but that might get bumped to the second brew of the year.
Each of the 4 bottles I had in France went down with inordinate ease, hopefully my own version will do likewise.
* again the picture is not from this trip, but there is a very good reason for this, honest.