beer you pick up on a whim is one that will impress you more than you might
have expected. That was the case for me with my bottle of Morocco Ale,
contract brewed for England's Levens Hall House and Gardens by the Daleside
The label caught me straight off: a golden crown and goat juxtaposed against a solid green background. Of course, the fact that the beer proclaims to be "mysterious" helped its case against other comers, as did the fact I had never tried it before. Here's a little background from the official website (http://www.levenshall.co.uk/main/ale.htm).
The recipe for Morocco Ale is believed to date from Elizabethan times. Legend has it that the secret recipe was buried in the garden, under the evergreens, during the Civil War ~ Every May time until 1877 the unique spiced Morocco Ale, matured for 21 years, was always served at a great feast held in the Gardens at Levens ~ New guests were required to stand on one leg and empty, in a single draught, a tall Constable glass filled with 'Morocco' whilst pledging to the ancient house... "Luck to Levens whilst t'Kent flows" ~
I was pretty much hooked, and so I got the stuff despite the $3.95 price tag for a half liter. I was glad I did when I got home. Here's why:
Morocco Ale pours to a deep brownish black color with a thick creamy tan head and a decidedly spicy nose. Thick layers of Brussels lace cling to the side of my glass, in this case an official 22 ounce imperial pint vessel. The palate is creamy, with notes of toffee and chocolate, licorice, a hint of malty sweetness, toasted malt, and a delightfully drinkable all around flavor. I could just sip this one forever.
The spiciness wastes no time, jumping right out at you and assaulting the tongue with hints of allspice, lemon, and even ginger. These flavors are subtle and work delightfully with the chocolaty notes. They intensify and balance the sweetness in the finish along with a very light grassy hop character.
All in all, I did find Morocco Ale to be a bit mysterious. But a little mystery can be a good thing. And it doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to tell you this is one fine beer, indeed.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.