Next ale on the list from the local supermarket! I almost think I ought to be creating a tag for these but I'm not sure anyone actually uses my tags other than me. In which case, let's not, let's just enjoy the moment and bask in the evening, being rather warm and heavy, indoors and with Willow researching stuff for her own articles and books. My children have watched Flight of the Navigator and found it worthwhile and I have managed to finally get round to opening a bottle of ale. Tonight's delicacy is White Witch by Moorhouse's who are the creators of much that I enjoy and pimp to others. Of course they continue the witchy theme with this offering.
Been a while since I had a blonde, come to think of it, would you like to know more?
My first thoughts were that this was the perfect ale for an evening when I want to get up the morning after, it's a nice 3.9% ABV and whilst that isn't weak it is on the right side of 4% to allow for a leisurely sojourn into the land of ale. Pouring was easy enough without a manic head or a lack of it and the amount of carbonation suggested that there was going to be an overflow of head, but it never happened. It stays as a thin burst of bubbles on top and the trails of bubbles do their work bringing the heady aroma to the top whereupon it uses basic convection to start inhabiting the locale. I'm not complaining because this is, as it claims on the bottle, very fruity indeed. There may be citrus in there too, but I'll be honest and say that the main impression I get is of fruit and lots of it. What kind of fruit? Well, that's harder to pin down. Definitely the sort of fruits of the forest that I like on my cheesecakes and something of red berries and maybe even a hint of strawberry in there. It's pleasant, full and quite the bouquet to behold.
Initial hit is sharp and citrus-y hops, almost lemon like but with a tinge of grapefruit shot through, this combines with that full fruity nose to really take your tastebuds to task in the initial hit. There's also a huge cloud of yeast that arrives like a flurry of arrows from out of Persia, blotting out the sun (well, okay, more like the small lamp in the corner of the room) and then the army marches through with the tramp of dry malt accompanied by their hoplites of... well, hops. To maintain that distinctive hop fruitiness through the piles of bubbles and the slingshots of malt is quite something and the whole thing makes quick progress to the back of the throat where it nestles in malty happiness and with the dryness I associate with good blonde ales. A thin golden colour does not prepare you for the activity that this ale has within it. In many ways it reminds me of Affinity (here) and that's no bad thing. Once settled into the aftertaste the rearguard allows for a brief flurry of spears and flashing steel in terms of a citrus burst along the sides of the mouth, putting me in mind of the sours one has when looking for sweets that aren't, well, sweet. Not a bad thing, but certainly unexpected. That malt does a fine job of dominating the middle stretches, refusing the centre like a phalanx of Spartans with too much gall to stand down.
Even Willow had to agree that this one was surprisingly smooth. And not in the way I usually refer to ales as smooth when they've been on draught either - none of your cream or your milk here, just plenty of good fruity hops and a good bed of malt. Each further sup of this ale, and you sup rather than quaff this one, just brings another hit of fruit-juice like consistency and hop-heavy malt. It's quite the dinner guest and may just possibly delay a Persian advance long enough for other Greek city-states to get their act together. Or, alternatively, get imoortalised by a film maker and a comic strip author who have less historic sense than a passion for homo-eroticism. Whatever the future holds, I am glad that I nabbed this one and it has made a positive end to the evening.
Enjoyed best in the gates of Hell 'neath a burning sun, stripped down with nary a cloak to protect you and a big metal shield to turn away the attacks of your foe. Ensure you have some hoplites there with you for to share the drinking and the fighting, yell battle-cries that are fully Greek and not in a Scottish accent and be prepared to go down to the end, which will be more fruity than bitter, so that you can ensure you have a second. You could wolf down a salad if you like, but fishcakes and pasta would work just as well.