Full disclosure: the Boy lasted but two minutes on the trampoline before abandoning it and running inside because, and I quote, there were "too many medium-sized flies". Thus I stayed out a little while, enough to take a few sips, and then it was back indoors to supervise the Boy playing with cars and racing them around the dining room.
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On opening there was a lot of activity, that resulted in the familiar whisp of carbon dioxide as the cap came off, and the hiss of a well-pressurised bottle. I opened the bottle in the kitchen before going out to the garden chair to pour and the presence of the head up there in the image shows just how much was retained despite the pause and the need to reassure my audience that I was indeed going to watch him on the trampoline. I was going to accompany this with some Chinese noodles, see the blue plastic bowl there as they were cheap ones, and all was looking good.
|This sums the day up quite nicely I feel.|
The pour was a solid one, plenty of action but nothing over exuberant, and it left a decent frothy head that spoke of plenty of yeast along with some softness that seemed to hint at a creaminess of flow. At 4.5% ABV I had chosen this as one of the lighter ales in my line up to drink, I was looking for something that would be pleasant without leaving me insensible or incapable. The aroma was one of definite yeast and ops, though it was impossible for my untrained senses to tell you which hops, that put me in mind of the smell of pubs in my youth. I've spoken of this before when discussing ales by Thwaites (see the tag over there on the right) and this was very similar. It smelt like my childhood gadding about with my family getting pub meals on days out - mainly around Easter time when we would visit the Trough of Bowland. So, this was the sort of smell that had me wanting to go out into the wilds and create dams from stones for no reason.
The colour was bright, like the day itself. both had me needing to squint and look sidelong at them rather than try to stare them in the face. Indeed, looking too close to the sun had my nose preparing to sneeze and so, discretion being the best part of valour, I ended up looking at the sad state of those brave plants to have survived the winter as they burst into green again in the wrecked remains of our cardboard deep bed. The head was indeed creamy but, beneath that, there was a fresh taste that matched the windiness of the day with a delicate citrus hops above a spice infused malt that sneaked in under cover of the citrus. Mouthfeel put me in mind of chewy toffee, like what you get in a curly-whirly, but the flavour was hoppy and floral. No gaps in this one, there's a speedy move from the burst of citrus through the malt through again to the musty, but pleasant aftertaste. In that sense it was a good and quick golden ale, nothing to write home about but a pretty decent brew all the same. Perfect companion for my lunch and for the nature of the day itself.
Enjoy this ale on a day much like the day I had it: sunny and brisk, cool but warm and plenty of breeze with a bright tinge to it. Clouds will pass by lazily high up whilst the higher wind blows around your feet and prevents an oppressive heat developing from the floor and the concrete. There is green coming but it is spring or it is autumn and this ale does best to mimic that hint of summer freshness tinged with regret or hope as the moment is not with you right now. Weak enough to stand a sessioning but strong enough to stand alone with some food and wash down the strong flavours that my be induced.