Bath Ales Golden Hare
Objectivity in any sort of reviewing is very difficult. I’m the first person to admit that my favourite beers of all time are drowned in nostaglia and personal experience – drinking Brooklyn EIPA or Old Hooky my judgement is clouded with an emotional connection to those beers that were my first of a particular style or are associated with personal triumphs.
Beyond these beers there’s the beers by breweries that I just love. I’m a sucker for St Peter’s rounded bottles and for Brooklyn’s adaptable logo designs*, BrewDog oozes rebellion whilst White Shield, steeped in history, will always be my benchmark of English IPAs.
Bath Ales is one of the breweries that is starting to make a mark with me. I love the labels, they are a mix of contemporary and traditional, somehow reminding me of a cosy yet modern pub and restaurant, the sort of establishment that serves continental lager with olives, and is decorated with Habitat ceiling lights hanging from 13th century exposed beams – all set against a roaring fire in the middle of the Dales of course. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it makes me feel cosy whilst remaining comfortably luxurious.
The names of Bath Ales’ beers are similarly classy whilst rooted in the Avon countryside and the charm of rural life.
And the beers are good too: Barnstormer winner of the Sainsbury’s Beer Competition 2008 is a distinctive dark ale, Gem a rich amber bitter and Wild Hare, a citrusy pale beer brewed with yeast.
But the cream of the crop might just be this little number, Golden Hare.
Golden Hare pours a gleaming gold, light amber and yellow. There’s a slight floral aroma and a fruity nose. It slips down your throat with ease (as most Bath Ales do), with hints of tropical fruits following a light and fresh golden body.
This is crisp, refreshing, almost invigorating – dry yet thirst quenching. The tangy aftertaste begs another sip and the zesty flavours exude sunny days and long nights.
But am I being objective, or have I succumbed to the ‘pick me off the shelf’ labelling and paradoxically modern/traditional branding?
Who knows? And does it really matter if I enjoy it?
Tags: bath ales, bees, birds, golden
October 9th, 2009Golden Ales
On arrival at Sainsbury’s to peruse the finalists in their 2009 beer competition, Birds & Bees immediately caught my attention. The label is modern and playful and stood out from the crowd.
I loved the colour and the illustration and it fell into my basket (placed very carefully I should say) without further thought.
Originally I was going to save this beer but it on an indecisive evening with the light not fading until late into the night, it was this that grabbed my attention again and I plucked it from the shelf.
Not 100% sure what to expect I took care opening it and poured out the golden liquid. It had a light hoppy aroma, and light fruity taste. Turns out it’s a light golden ale! Swill this around and the colour, aroma and the taste combine to make a really appealing golden beer.
The gentle fruit and floral aroma (looking at the label that must be the elderflower and the Cascade hops) is really refreshing. Honey and lemon blossom on your tastebuds and there is a malt finish that adds an unexpected bitter tang to the beer, which is just enough to make you want another sip and makes this an enticing session beer.
Trying this it was actually one of the first summer ales I’ve had and I wish I’d been able to get my hands on some in May or June as this might just have been my proverbial soundtrack to the summer (that typical over in a flash summer we usually have!)
I’ve only tried the bottle but I can only imagine the cask version of this is the perfect pint on a sunny afternoon.Tags: bees, birds, citrus, elderflower, golden, honey, summer, williams brothers