Sunday, 18 September 2016

Beer Review: Tunnel Vision

There comes a time in every man's life when, owning his own lawnmower, he finds that he must cut the grass a second time in a season. For me, that time was today and I can't say it was anywhere near as tiring and complicated as the first time. For a start I did it almost in a single load and for a second the mower didn't need a clean when I was done. Colour me surprised! Still, after that and some heavy lifting (including taking an old TV unit down to the tip) I felt like the weather deserved an ale with tea, because it was 24 degrees centigrade and very sunny. Of course I had been chilling my bottle of Tunnel Vision by Box Steam Brewery for the best part of a week now having simply not getting round to it and so this was the perfect time to have it. So I did.

Look at that lovely fence colour! All the handiwork of my Good Lady Wife from last year. I may have already shown it in other photos, who knows, so would you like to know more?

I suspect that 'clean tasting' on the label was the same sort of thing that I refer to as 'fresh' and, sure enough, there was a freshness to this once it was opening. Nary a whisper of carbonation, likely due to being in the fridge for so long, but the pour released some of this and brought the thin skein of an almost head. I suspect that if I'd had this at room temperature it would have frothed merrily and muchly but this did not happen. The colour was a deep amber, the sort that actually didn't look thin in the sunlight and nor did it catch the strong sun rays that beat down on my dying lawn, instead it sort of absorbed the light and bubbled fitfully, coating my glass in beads of water that formed a neat barrier and prevented it warming up quickly. Alas, the bottle did warm and, when I was putting everything away, damn near burned my hand, which showed just how effective that covering was as the brew remained cool throughout.

Aroma was crisp and fresh, with a hint of citrus as one would expect, and did indeed offer a cleansing palate from the ham and pineapple pizza that I had to hand for the food fit for champions. Taste was exactly as you would expect: uncomplicated, decent and clear. There was the opening hints of hops that were strong and heady, swallowed up in the middle by the thin but serviceable malt and then draining down the sides after a relatively filling mouthfeel toward the bitter end that left not much in the way of dryness but did combat the cheese and herbs neatly, making this a good companion for food and strong flavours, but it was quenching. Overall then, a good summer ale that suited the task for which I set it - being a bit of a reward for having done actual man tasks and chores.

Now, I can't wax lyrical about this ale, it's no special brew or clever recipe. However, it is a good little ale that works for the price I paid for it. It is an ale to drink on a sunny day and probably a lunchtime ale as the 4.2% ABV feels lighter than it is, though it does feel a bit more like that if you drink it quickly as I did. Coming so soon after Traquair House Ale (see that review here) doesn't do this brew many favours but the weather was gorgeous and this ale just fit the bill nicely, it was almost perfect and I can't find any real flaws with it, making it a great drinking ale.

Enjoyed best after some physical labour in the sunshine with a sheen of good honest sweat and a good honest meal. The potential for more good honest work should be before you, with the opportunity to put grime and muck on top of the dirt that is already worked under your fingernails. Maybe even risk drinking straight from the bottle and maybe have a second one on hand for the end of the working day and a second square meal. Nowt big, nowt clever, just simple honest brewing that gives a simple honest taste.

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