Well, a new year has just been heralded. So, this is an opportune time to highlight some of my favourite beers, that have been immensely enjoyed during the previous 12 months. It’s a year in which I have consumed many outstanding alcoholic beverages; beers deemed, in my opinion, to have had the wow factor.

Discerning beer drinkers have never had it so good. So, whittling it down to just 10 proved to be quite a challenge.

So, without further ado - and in no order of preference - I highlight 10, out of the many first-class beers sampled in the previous calendar year.

Reedley Hallows, Rubis Chocolate Tempranillo Stout (4.5%)

A stunning, perfectly balanced offering. Near-black in presentation. Tight, beige, creamy head. Dark chocolate, black cherry and expresso coffee aroma and flavours.

Some smoke and subtle peppery spice identified too. Winey fruit, roasted grains and a spicy warmth in the mellow, lingering, dry finish. Lush!

Exmoor Gold (4.5%)

A delicious golden bitter. Caramel malt aroma. Juicy citrus hops and cereal malt flavours are a perfect marriage. Subtle hint of butterscotch and vanilla sweetness is present too. Tasrefully bitter-sweet and dry hopped finish. It was a firm favourite in 2019. A brewing masterpiece.

Northern Whisper, Fine Fettle (4.6%)

A dark ruby coloured and robust mild style ale. Caramel, dark chocolate and berry fruits in the aroma. Complex flavours of chocolate, caramel, coffee, blackberry and a hint of smoke, balance to perfection. Smooth, well rounded mouthfeel. A one-off, whisky barrel-aged cask of Fine Fettle, will be available at Pendle Beer Festival at the end of the month.

Northern Monk, Mango Lassi Heathen IPA (7.2%)

A simply stunning canned beverage from this exceptional Leeds brewer. Strong tropical fruit aroma leads to a delicious, juicy, mango dominant flavour. Pineapple, orange and grapefruit notes also identified. Complexity at its finest.

Timothy Taylor’s, Landlord (4.3%)

This classic, iconic premium pale ale ticks all the boxes. Amber-gold in presentation there’s a delightful aroma of biscuit malt and tangy citrus fruit. More cereal malt in the flavour, in addition to tangy orange, lemon and subtle spice notes - a perfect balance. The biscuit malt and citrus fruits are present in the long bitter finish. Thirst-quenching excellence.

Wishbone Brewery, Patchwork (4.2%)

The West Yorkshire brewer makes outstanding beers. This dry hopped pale ale was a wonderfully refreshing beer. Light-golden in appearance, boasting a zesty grapefruit aroma. Mango, grapefruit and floral flavours balance beautifully. It was so refreshing and crisp. Masterful brewing - a belting beverage!

Black Isle, Goldfinch IPA (3.5%)

I did raise an eyebrow when I spied a low strength IPA. However, I was immensely impressed when tasting this bottled beer. A dark golden-coloured, light-bodied ale with a piney, tangy orange aroma, Peach and pithy orange flavours blended very well. Moderate tangy hop finish. Flavoursome and thirst-quenching. Exceptional quality from the Scottish Highlands.

Butcombe Original Beer (4.0%)

An outstanding English Bitter style beer. Amber coloured ale with a nutty caramel aroma. Bitter-sweet taste of caramel malt, gentle citrus and nutty flavours. The moderate bitter finish is dry with some nutty malt lurking. Clean, crisp and refreshing.

Anarchy, Cell Phone Zombies (5.9%)

Delightful American West Coast-style IPA. Teaming with luscious tropical fruit aromas, that led to more tropical fruit and piney flavours. More tasty fruit continued in the semi-dry finish. A dangerously sessionable beer which belied its high strength. Phew!

Roosters, Baby Faced Assassin (6.1%)

A stunning and robust single-hopped IPA, brewed with 100% Citra hops. Pours a golden-orange colour. Strong tropical fruit aroma. Juicy flavours of mango, peach, grapefruit and orange. A most deceptively strong and exceptionally quaffable IPA.