Marston’s Old Empire2
Perhaps this was served a bit colder than Marston’s would like, but forgive me, it’s been a rough day at the coalface if you can pardon me that expression. In fact, I’ve just pulled this bottle straight from the freezer after a short blast amongst the frozen peas and chicken wings, such was my need for ice cool beer refreshment.
Perhaps why that’s why this India Pale Ale doesn’t burst forward with the verve and charisma of the ‘modern wave’ of British IPA’s. It has a more prominent hop character than the average beer and it doesn’t lack in the bitterness stakes either, but the wisps of delicate citrus and almost unnoticeable spicy pine needles are hidden under what seems to be a layer of damp, decaying hops. Over chilled maybe?
Perhaps Marston’s Old Empire is just another distinctively average beer from Marston’s (Ashes Ale, Fever Pitch, Sweet Chariot anyone?).
Perhaps that would be unfair, given the conditions and my exhaustion. I’m at the point where beer is beer and (at least I thought that) almost anything would taste glorious. And it does exactly what I need a beer to do, just not in any interesting or noticeable way. There’s few distinctive flavours that can be readily identified, no hidden complexities that ebb and flow and tease and excite. It’s a perfectly acceptable, not-quite-cold beer and that makes it just fine for the moment.
Perhaps Old Empire is something that deserves to be treated better, perhaps it’s something more refined than a kick-off-your-shoes beer. Perhaps I’m not giving it the attention it deserves, maybe I should be giving it the chance to be more than just respite from a day of spreadsheets, invoices and Google Analytics.
Perhaps I’m being unfair.
Perhaps I should have gone to the pub.
Tags: india pale ale, IPA, marstons, old empire
Beer: Old Empire
Style: India Pale Ale
Country: Burton-upon-Trent, England
I think you are being grossly unfair to this beer.
Old Empire has been a favourite of mine since I discovered it in 2007 and is always on my shopping list. My only disappointment is that I don’t see it on draught often enough, where is gives Jaipur a run for it’s money.
Over chilling a beer deadens the delicate flavours and aromas and I think you must have suffered here.
Give it another go.