What has me waxing so lyrical? Cornwall. For the remainder of the post imagine me speaking in a West Country accent. Why not? It's Proper Job from St Austell, whose Tribute I have had before and enjoyed very much but have failed (twice now) to review.
Would you like to know more?
The first and most obvious thing to hit me with this beer was the copper colour of it on the pour. And that's despite having a good whiff of the bottle on opening. It's a clear and deep copper colour with a big fizz and could have had plenty of head, though short-lived, but I poured carefully as the ale was bottle conditioned and the last thing I wanted was to get sediment in the glass! It claims on the bottle that it is powerfully hopped and they are not wrong. You can really smell the hops, citrus and with a hint of grapefruit and tropical stuff, as you waft it beneath your nose and the carbonation, if a little excessive, really brings it to the fore. At 5.5% ABV it's going to be a big hitter and the first sip just confirms that. There's a strong sensation of peach in the air and the mouth is immediately beached by the hops - strong on the citrus bitterness and straight over the very light malt beneath them. It rolls effortlessly, like some Hungarian gymnast, into the aftertaste and that is bitter and quenching. Beers this strong ultimately dehydrate but this does leave one with the feeling that one's thirst has been sated - quite an odd sensation if you know full well you'll be needing water soon.
Over time the fizz dies away, but slowly. By now my predilection for beers at room temperature is probably becoming well known by people who read this blog and it will therefore come as no surprise that this one was not chilled. I suspect that this may have some of the blame for the fact that carbonation is so vigorous but mostly that's because this is, at heart, a batch produced brew. Mind you, that's not to say it's a bad thing. As I continue on this journey I learn more and more the power of craft ales and the power of bottled ales in particular to really work within the confines of what they have to make a decent pint. Overall, this is one of the better ones. A good deep taste to it and something that is interesting enough to last past the initial hit of the hops and the initial spark provided by the smell. And it is a clever little brew.
Best to have this about now, actually, whilst the weather tends toward the warm and your body is aching from days out. It rewards the feeling of having been out in the fresh air and it works well in the company of the scents of the garden in the summer. Something tells me it would work well in a barbeque (and that could be the fact that we had one at lunchtime and so my clothes still reek of the smoke and the spices that I used on the meat). Very refreshing and good in the brightness of summer. What more needs to be said?