I should be clear here, when I found and bought this beer in Matlock Bath I did not know that it was also brewed with Citra hops. I just liked the fact that it was pink and vaguely local to Matlock (15 miles up the road according to the lovely fellow in the General Store that sold it to me).
Anyway, tonight I shall be incurring the ire of strangers with a review of Infinity by a littler brewery by the name of Blue Monkey Brewery. I saw four ales made by them today when I bought the one I am now having and intend to one day try them all.
Now that that's out of the way would you like to know more?
What's to be said? There had been a bag handle mishap after buying that required me to chill the bottle before tasting to avoid the fizz going mental and so straight away it was going to be different to the Citra from Oakham Ales last week (link). Also, the same smell on the nose - I still can't find the grapefruit but I am leaning more to the mango and passionfruit with this one, there's less of an edge to it. Definitely tropical in location though. As it was chilled there wasn't really a head on pouring, and what there was looked more like what you'd see on good quality champagne than on a frothy ale, this is no bad thing. Indeed, I am minded of the Speciale (link) in terms of how it stacks and pours. The colour, a light golsen, reinforces this view and idea.
Once tasted the idea that this is somehow toasting ale, sparkling beer, really takes hold. Despite a respectable 4.6% ABV this is quite easy on the stomach and doesn't cause immediate light-headedness in this lightweight. Furthermore, there's an ease on this brew that allows it to slip down much more than the Citra from last week. Despite being very much the same kind of taste there's more mellow malt here to offset the nature of the hops and, bizarrely, more hops. This really lets the hops have their head and they do run the show. Less bitterness on the initial taste and, as the malt comes in, the fruitiness increases to leave a decidedly topical aftertaste that was lacking in the effort from last week. This is good ale and I have to say I have enjoyed it very much, more than the Citra even though I can't say I didn't enjoy the Citra. Same strength too, at 4.6% ABV.
As a consequence, this is a surprise hit for me. The bottle claims that the brewery is relatively new, and having the website more prominently featured than the merits of the bottle certainly speaks to something of a micro-brewery style, and I am impressed if that is the case. My latest offerings do seem to centre on the smaller brewers out there but they all seem to be procurable across the country.
Definitely more of a summer brew, have this in the evening after a day in the warmth rather than huddling in the cold and dark. Aim for a crisp night when the stars are visible then fire up some epic music on youtube, sit in the dining room and pootle about on social media - it's that kind of ale. Failing that, get married and have this as both your welcome drink for guests and the drink with which to charge glasses for a toast. Or Speciale. But this is fruitier.