Of what brewery do I speak (I don't actually hear you asking, but this is my blog and I can pretend whatever I want)? It is Nutbrook Brewery and the first of their six wide stable that I shall be having is their Perfect 5th because I can and because I had been ranting about it to my father who wished to try some with me when he was up. So, although I'm doing this on an evening, it was actually had at lunchtime with some pizza, nachos, and basic snacky foods.
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The bottle claims a golden ale with a hint of honey on the label and it is very professionally made and sold. On opening there is a distinct hoppy aroma that rises to meet you, a typically summery ale, and it actually puts me in mind of my own efforts earlier in the year. That strong hoppy smell is underpinned by a subtle tone of sugar, rather than honey, and a definite musk of malt. Pouring shows an amber ale, despite it being brewed pale, and with the kind of understated fizz that one would expect from a properly made home brewed ale rather than mass produced. The lack of metallic edge to the smell speaks volumes and hints that this may be natural and added by barrelling rather than by cylinder.
Despite being a round 5% ABV this doesn't kick like it and so ends up being a most pleasant supping ale. Plenty of hops on the nose, a good strong malt to carry it and little hints of the yeast and something spicy throughout, in short, I was looking forward to trying these ales and I was not disappointed! They've obviously been going a while (CAMRA approves their ales apparently) and they obviously know what they're doing. I like the fact that I like the ale because there's something about supporting the little guy (though I'm sure they don't need my custom) over getting in mass-produced ales.
Even so, I couldn't really taste the honey in this one, it was dominated by a pleasantly musty malt and bittering hops that came in around the middle of the sip and then rose in intensity until the end. A good aftertaste that was well balanced and very much hop dominated too. Coppery colour, lacking metallic tangs and a good all round ale that would do well with a meal but better alone and drunk in the sunshine in the garden on a summer's day. It could be drunk in the evening but it wouldn't be at it's best. Enjoy this in the light of the day, on a weekend perhaps, around late afternoon when you have nothing else to do. Let the family talk around you, the children running and giggling, and sit on the garden furniture while flies buzz about lazily. I over-use this description, I know, but this is a clear summer beer.