Anyway, we had some posh grub for a meal (no, really, we don't know what else to call it) that is made of some fried chorizo on a bed of green beans, butter beans, new potatoes and green pesto. We had some mozarella and beef tomato topped ciabattas for starters too. Yes, it was posh. All this posh food demanded a beer.
That beer was Goldings, brewed by the Marton's brewers who did Sovereign in the same line of 'single hop' beers, so I was expecting something a wee bit special. And, it turns out, I rather liked those so it seemed daft not to try something else from the same stable.
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Much was expected, then, of this ale and much would be stacked upon it. The image, not being mine, does a good job of capturing the character of the ale but I was nekulturny and drinking straight from the bottle. Would I find within the kind of full-on flavour and fun that I recall from their last effort?
I was not disappointed. It is a lite beer, weighing in at 4% ABV, but has a taste that more than makes up for it. There will be no light-headed feeling as you drink this but the warm taste and clever scent will mean that you won't mind. I don't quite know how it happened, I certainly didn't plan it, but this was the perfect companion to the salty and spicy taste of the chorizo and balanced nicely with the mustier green pesto. The bottle claims that there will be spices, caramel and honey in the flavour. I don't know about that.
It's a blonde ale, something that I'm beginning to realise I quite like in my beer, and the smell of it was strong without being over powering. There was a sharpness to it, to be sure, but not enough to be citrus or pungent enough to be like Christmas pudding. That fact that these two analogies spring to mind when attempting to describe it should tell you something about it though. The beer itself was steadfast, the taste did not yield easily and this was not a bad thing. You could tell it was brewed from a single variety of hop and there was something viscous about it too, that would be the honey the label boasted about I guess. I found it warm without the fire of fuggles and it put me in mind of long evenings, good food and good conversation. It was a sharing beer, it demanded that I have others taste it and compare notes. Alas, the notes weren't great but did prompt Anna to suggest that she ought to record what she thought so she could become more educated about beer. Like I'm an expert.
Yes, it's one I would have again. It is a beer that would stand a couple of bottles without making me too drunk to appreciate it or becoming overpowering in taste like what happened with Sovereign when I tried two in succession. To enjoy it at its best I suspect you need a few friends round. I also would advise having something spicy as a main and something tangy to start - lemon drenched crayfish followed by prawn-based spicy risotto would work, as would garlic mushrooms with paella to follow (chilli used liberally in the meat). Give each sip of this time to go down and eat slowly, you won't be disappointed, and it will help pace a good conversation about setting the world to rights. Don't expect to move from the dinner table to anything other than a veranda under an open sky or bed though, you aren't going to be watching TV or anything as pedestrian as that after this beer. In fact, this probably works better than even a Trashy Blonde as an opening to blonde ale in general.