Ashes to Ashes

Sunday was, of course, crunch time for the Ashes. However, not being a heathen, I resisted the clarion call to drink until a respectable time. Thus it was not till 1208 that I got my hands on a refreshing pint of Golden Pippin at the Towler on Walmersley Road.

This seemed a good place to catch all the action and the beer was on good form. However, it soon filled up with perambulators and the like and soon I was returning wayward children to disinterested parents. Not fancying an afternoon of this, it was time to look elsewhere. In the centre of Bury, the Trackside was busy and struggling. Two wickets (topical, see) were dead and the Station House Maiden’s Cross had to be returned as bottom of the barrel. Acorn Golovka is tasty, but I’d had it there 6 days ago, so thought it might just be past its best. That left Pennine Railway Sleeper which tasted too much like Leyden homebrew for my taste and confirmed my belief in their inconsistency.

A trip to the Robert Peel and their Outstanding LocAle beer festival was called for. Unfortunately, they only had the Smoked Out and the Pushing Out (nice but 7.3%) left. This beer sparsity was explained by a notice informing customers that the pub was due to close later that day for a refurbishment.

It was time to admit defeat and bring out the big guns. So the rest of the afternoon was spent in a very jovial (except for one very miserable Australian) atmosphere at the Hare & Hounds. And the fruity and very hoppy Pictish Simcoe fitted the occasion very well. As darkness fell and some very happy drunks staggered home, it was decided (for some reason that now eludes me) that whisky would be the perfect end to the day.

The aptly named MALT is the premier whisky spot in town (well there is the Fisherman’s Retreat, but that’s another story) and it certainly lived up to its rep. They can be sneaky in here, though and sometimes try and catch you out with last orders. However, I proved too nimble for them this time, managing to beat the bell and finish off with best of the night-Macallan 1841. Beautifully light-bodied, it proved very subtle and complex. Mind you, for £16 a double, it probably should be.


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