I’ve expressed my love for Keighley’s Boltmakers Arms before. This tiny pub is the nearest thing Timothy Taylor’s has to a brewery tap, and serves the definitive pint of Landlord. It’s a pint of such unequivocal perfection that it’s been known to bring a tear to the eye of returning natives. I was in there on friday afternoon with my mate Lee, after three pints at Keighley’s JDW, the Livery Rooms. Despite the odd sticky table and stabby loon, it’s pretty good as ‘spoons go, and their Autumn beer festival added three pints to my Forty Beers, all from cask:
17) Adnams Pale Champion Ale: Brewed for festival. Polished copper body, with an intensely bitter, citrus -y hoppy mouthful and a long hop finish. Excellent.
18) Woodford Dragon Hall: Big khaki head, sweetish chocolatey malt, yet bitter.
19) O’Hanlon Red Ale: Glowing red body with a lacing head. Sweet, toffee, tongue-coating nuttiness. Malt finish, hints of bubblegum.
Back at the Bolts, our post-Landlord attention shifted to the guest pump. The handwritten clip said simply BOLTMAKERS BEST BITTER 4%. Someone behind us whispered that it might be a Taylor’s test brew. Someone else pointed out that Taylors already do a peerless 4% Best Bitter, and it was on sale two pumps away, you idiot. There were no clues being given from the other side of the bar. “It’s a one off, just for us” said the barmaid, with the guv’nor Phil looking on inscrutably. “Is it brewed in Keighley?” we asked. “Er, might be” came the reply. As it happens we later got a tip-off (with no evidence at all) that it was “possibly” a special from the Old Bear brewery. Whatever it was, it was packed with floral notes and echoes of whisky malt.
Later, at my dad’s club I overheard two domino players talking quietly about “that secret Taylor’s test beer they’ve got down at the Bolts”.
And In such ways do rumours start.