It is the turn of Black Sheep's All Creatures with its rather jaunty coloured label and hints toward a TV show that, whilst I've never seen it, remains locked in the popular consciousness as being quintessentially Yorkshire.
It is a lively ale when opened. There is a whisp of carbonation and then the yeasty fizz completely takes over and goes a bit mental as you pour it into the glass. A frothy, slightly manic, head forms and then continues to grow, dominating the glass and then dissipates slowly over the next minute or so. Good, strong hops and malt arrive at the nose and the promise of a good ale lurks within. At 4% ABV it is nicely within my tolerance and, apparently, most Pale Ales. First sip is spicy and strong, a nice bitter hint with the initial fizz followed by a tinge of yeast as it transforms to a smoother taste and then ends on a bitter note toward the end. An aftertaste remains not unlike the creamier draft pints down the pub, in this case I am inexplicably reminded of Caffrey's which I haven't tasted since in my first year of University. I suspect a light malt for that effect.
Subsequent tastes are good, but this is not really a thirst quencher. I've coupled this with some peanuts because, well, I can, and they are being singularly awful. I've had some good peanuts but these are bland and boring. As a consequence I find that the ale holds its flavour a little longer but the saltiness of the nuts is testing the bounds of the thirst quenching qualities and the ale is coming up short in that regard. I like the spice of the hops and the bitterness that they impart as the taste transforms, I even like the carbonation here because it is so absolutely mentile it feels like an excitable terrier. However, as feisty as this ale is, I can't imagine that I would be seeking it out again. It beats Golden Sheep for taste and it's almost on a par with Riggwelter but I am slightly disappointed that one of my favourite breweries has again failed to really grab me with something they've clearly put some time and effort into. It's no Holy Grail (thank goodness) but it does rather pale (ha) in comparison to Lancaster Bomber which is something I find myself rather surprised by.
I think this ale has its place, mind, and that would be with a good dish of food that has a kick to it. A chilli would work well but also a spiced soup or a medium curry. Something against which this taste can fight and thus claim some semblance of excitement to match the carbonation. Wear a flat cap, keep a whippet and hold this in one of those knobbly pint glasses that has a thick handle. Complain about the cost, incomers and the fact that Yorkshire cricket isn't what it used to be. Then drink this and do it all over again. By 'eck, it'll do for thee.