THE EXPERT Sally Easton Master of Wine and wine buyer for Berry Brothers and Rudd This is an attractive deep golden brown and has an intense, rich chocolate, cinnamon and allspice nose. The mousse is soft and the palate smooth and full bodied. It is balanced with a typical bitter-sweet hoppy attack mellowed by the richly flavoured brew, with hints of toffee-apple, licorice and citrus fruit. The mouthfeel is lively, fresh, and with good character and length. It deserves to do very well, providing the brewer can retain the high quality and hand-crafted feel. The packaging is simple, clean, slightly traditional and somewhat understated. Success rating out of 25 ­ 23 THE DESIGNER Graham Shearsby Board creative director, graphics, at Design Bridge For those who do not have the benefit of knowing the story behind this beer and the fascinating background of the Wood family farm, this pack lacks that vital ingredient ­ credibility. It is certainly bold with ye olde' rustic overtones, but actually I think it resembles the packaging you often find on an own label Ploughman's Pickle! There is a great opportunity here to tell the worthwhile tale, invite discovery and build a real personality. Even behind the family name is a wealth of inspiration. Yet again, this is a product with great potential which has been weakly executed. Success rating out of 25 ­ 15 The buyer Steve Mayes Category controller at Landmark This is a very good beer, but potentially it suffers from being in a niche market and up against some very strong competition. The presentation is quaint and traditional, but I don't think it does justice to the terrific public relations story that lies behind the Highwood Brewery. In the right outlets, it will do well, but it is very much limited to its niche. The illustration on the label looks like Bob Fleming from the Fast Show. My verdict would be ­ buy it if you can sell good beers off your own back or if you have the kind of promiscuous customers who shop on impulse. Success rating out of 25 ­ 15 Total score out of 100 - 69 {{DRINKS }}

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