As I mentioned in my last post, I’m at the ABNormal Homebrews meeting tonight and our style of the month is English Pale Ales. One of the beers we had – and I ended up with a decent amount of – was this one. The presenter selected it because it won the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 1998 at the Great British Beer Festival Olympia London. Unfortunately, the presenter also said that he had no idea how long these had been on the shelf at the store.
Numbers: 3.6% ABV, Malt – Maris Otter pale malt and crystal malt, Hops – Challenger
Appearance & Aroma: It was a hazy orange-copper color and it had a nice, thin soapy looking head on it. The aroma was fairly skunky – a bit like an old bottle of Heineken. There was also a slight bit of buttery and floral notes as well.
Taste & Feel: It was very light in body, and it had a smooth, almost watery mouthfeel with not much carbonation in it. It was a little bit bready up front, turning to a bit of a buttered cracker-like taste in the middle. The cracker taste remained in the finish, but with the addition of a slightly floral hop flavor.
Food Pairing: It was light enough that it would probably go with almost anything. With the cracker and buttery flavors, I think this would go nicely with some shrimp scampi and pasta.
Overall Impression: Once I got past the skunky smell, it wasn’t a bad beer. I enjoyed the light and crispness to it, and think it would make a decent session beer. I’ll have to try a fresh one of these because the smell really inhibited my enjoyment of this beer.