Sunday, 17 August 2014

Beer Review: Hop Bomb

Following on from the American craft beer last week, the inimitable Blue Fin Stout (link), I decided I'd stick with small bottles for the Sunday reviews. Today, in my garden, I had something from T. A. Sadler's, a brewery I can see me having more from as they keep turning up locally, and it gave me an earworm, which I shall share with you: Hop Bomb.

Hop Bomb, Hop Bomb, you're mah hop bomb...

Read on, fair traveller, the worst is past!

The immediate aroma from opening is fruity and tropical with a dryness to it that sort of blocks it being overly fruit dominated. Not very citrus-y or sharp, which is odd, but very inkeeping with other very hoppy ales like those of Jaipur (link) or the rest of the Thornbridge stable. There was a snick upon opening but no great cloud of carbonation. And, being opened in my garden, you could enjoy the sound a little though the wind was strong. (If you look in the background you'll see the tomato bushes that smelled lovely too).

On pouring this 5% ABV little teeny bottle offered a very light coloured ale, almost straw again, and that aroma just increased and increased. There was a head that lingered all thin but not so bad for it, more bubble than froth or cream and that was no bad thing. It wasn't one that I would suggest you use to toast like the Speciale (link) but it was nevertheless the sort of light pouring that one might decide to use in a celebratory fashion. Mine was simply used in the garden, to enjoy the fact that it was sunny and dry, though windy, and that I'd managed to find a pair of shoes I liked. No, really, sorry.

On tasting there was an immediate whammy of hops on the tongue, but not bitter, tasted a little like Golden Glory smelled (link) and then there was the ghost of a really quite mellow malt in among the yeasty pinpricks supplied by the carbonation before that, too, was subsumed by a dry and fruity hops taste. This was not dissimilar to the kind of fruit one smells in malt loaf (I have never actually eaten malt loaf so I can't say much for the taste) or the candied dried fruit one has with nuts around Christmastime but without the spicy additions that one can find in that season. Overall, it was nicely fizzy with a decent head.

This is a pleasant garden experience, though I ended up having mine mostly indoors with chips, reggae-reggae sauce and a salt-fish patty because that's how I roll.

Enjoy this pretty much anywhere but especially when you're ready to have something with a bit of character to it. This is not a background beer and will not thank you for being mixed with things that are bland and a bit wishy washy. Mix with strong flavours and let the strength of the hops (citra and amarillo apparently) dominate your tastebuds, they will thank you for the experience!

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