Beers these days are hoppy. Well, I reckon they probably are more hoppy than they used to be. Hoppy hoppy hoppy. Such…an easy word to use. And such a generalisation. I never wrote about beer 20 years ago. I was a young Yorkshire lad acclimatising to life in North Oxfordshire, still a decade or so away from being able to legally drink. But I don’t reckon the bitters were as hoppy nor the hops as citrusy. Hopback Summer Lightning was as young as I was, yet to influence the brewing scene in ways its creators couldn’t imagine.
But Summer Lightning and the US craft revolution have definitely had an impact on the direction of contemporary beer. It’s got paler and it’s got hoppier, right?
Very occasionally I’ll read beer tasting notes waxing lyrical about yeast or malt character, but still the hop talk outweighs the discussion of other ingredients 10 to 1. Hell will freeze over before we see tweets raving about how the mineral content of water affects mouth feel.
Well here’s a beer to shout about, and not because of hops. Co-op Harvest Ale. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: autumn, chestnut, co-op, co-operative, freeminer, harvest
One of the biggest sellers at this years Sainsbury’s Beer Competition, I’d heard lots about Hambleton Ales’ beers before I picked this up. The North Yorkshire brewery has won a smattering of awards in its short history but I don’t think it’s gained the visibility in pubs and stores.
Not endowed with huge aroma, Taylor’s Tipple poured with a frothy head which quickly subsided leaving a (very) delicate zesty scent. The first sip was subtly roasted and malty. Blink and you’ll miss ‘em hints of berries when it first hit my tongue were replaced with an autumnal feel, no doubt down to its lovely bitterness and it’s chestnut colour. I wonder if there’s a bit of caramel malt too that added a slightly sweet undercurrent to the proceedings?
Sainsbury’s claim this has a wonderful citrus aroma, but I just didn’t get it. Duff bottle perhaps but this ale’s strengths seemed to be it’s chestnut character and superbly drinkable texture.
I think I’ll need to give this another go because one bottle was a little indistinct. It is light and enjoyable, a beer that’s probably perfect for a day spent diving into piles of autumn leaves and drying off in front of a fire.Tags: ales, autumn, caramel, chestnut, cirtus, hambleton, leaves, malt, taylors tipple, zesty