I was actually rather pleased to have spotted this in my local beer store after being inspired to try it by a review elsewhere on the internets (here). Still, I do rather like Oakham Ales and so it was no personal tragedy to be having tonight JHB (or, to give it the full name: Jeffrey Hudson Bitter). Jeffrey Hudson, by the by, was a three foot tall bruiser in the employ of Charles I apparently.
So, the background is well established, the stage is set and the players are ready to give you their tale. Shall we read on together or wilt thy courage fail and have thee walk, defeated, from the field where the beer is reviewed?
Sorry, I can get rather wordy. On opening there is a faint smell of something approaching the citra hops of the last few offerings (Citra, here; and Hop Bomb, here, in case you were wondering), but which is perhaps more likely to be amarillo. Certainly the nose increases as one pours and there are hints of citrus as it does so, dominated by a tropical edge that seems a little like orange and pineapple with some mango and passionfruit in the sidelines. However, these are pretty light and difficult to spot, I blame being indoors and having not had tea yet for the power of the suggestions.
The pour was good, a briefly seen but solid head that lingered in small amounts as heads out to, and a colour not unlike the golden ales I've been having recently - though it did look more straw-like in the light of the living room later - I blame my poor camera on my phone for the lack of detail in that colour above. Still, carbonation was good, a little flatter than some of late, but that's no bad thing overall. First taste begins crisply, as one would expect from a beer this colour, with a hint of spice pulling at the edges in the yeasty bubbles but that is rapidly followed, like blink-and-you-miss-it rapidly, by a flash of light malt and then it's into the lingering nectarine-like sharpness at the end that fades into a faint citrus bittering. Pretty good standard 4.2% ABV brew all round, all things considered.
Having looked forward to this one from that review I linked above I was not disappointed but this is very much a summer, bright and blustery, ale. Enjoy best on a sunny day with a bit of warmth to it and a light meal to go with it. Fish would be an option but I'd happily plumb for a salad without dressing to accompany something like branston pickle, Yorkshire ham and a block of cheese and a big crusty bread bun of some description. Almost a Ploughman's, in fact, but not quite - having something of the cheap end that is less rustic to accompany a bitter of very down-to-earth particulars but something of a pedigree.