Sunday, 8 January 2017


Now that the Christmas ale is all gone it's time to get back to the more usual posting of two ales a week. Also, to return to my utter lack of keeping my ales matched to the time of year. Tonight we're having salmon and cous cous for tea because we're proper posh like and achingly middle class. Something like this needs a pale to go with it in my opinion. Also, there's a new bottle shop in town called the Crafty One just down from the Burnt Pig. Been in a few times but only yesterday did I bring actual cash. Lucky I did too as there was 20% off!

All of which means that, tonight, I'm having the rather nice looking Wild Beer Co. Bibble for my ale. The can, for it is from a can, tells me there's mosaic and Amarillo hops added. Can't go wrong there!

Right then, time is a-wasting and there's still marking to be done so on to the review! This is the first review concocted entirely on my mobile too, so that's auspicious, or something, still, a first for a New Year and all that jazz. Would you like to know more?

The can opens with a sound not dissimilar to a carbonated beverage but I was unable to detect any undue activity in the can. It does pour rather well, actually, with the head dictated only by the nature of the pour rather than centrally imposed like an edict from GosPlan. I can also attest that the smell the aroma contains the sort of orange and grapefruit concoction one would expect of New World hops with a deep belly of tropical fruit atop a good bed of malt. There's a fair bit of carbonation but the head rapidly calms to form a wort-like skein across the top that is thin but a welcome sign of some good brewing. I have to say that the quality of canned ale has come on a long way since I last tried back in 2010!

First taste explodes with wild orange on the tongue, followed by a strong sensation of tropical style fruit washing in with the bubbles, turning into a vicious storm of carbonation, malt and a wave of Amarillo hops like a front of rain. Fills the mouth and runs down the sides with a juicy feeling so that the whole thing feels very welcome. It was the taste that allowed me to get the oranges on the nose by allowing me to recognise the familiar citrus tang. Once it reaches the back of the throat the whole mouth has gone malty soft and the bitter orange remains as a ghost moving on the surface.

I get the impression that I am completely out of season on this one. It behaves lightly enough to be a spring ale around Easter and certainly gains from being had with the salmon. I like the activity of it all, the promise of warmth and sunshine. It is not all that different to Christmas on the Beach (see this link) in that regard. At 4.2% ABV it assuages my guilt at having broken the concept of a dry January, which wouldn't have been a terrible idea following the ales over Christmas, and coming from a new local bottle shop means that I get to support local businesses! For all of that, then, this is a good ale that likes the fish and feels fruity enough to get command of the NKVD and stay there like Concrete Malenkov. A leader rather than a hapless worker, the sort that directs with skill and confidence.

Enjoyed best on a break from the production line in the centre of the industrial heartland of the Caucasus. Take the time to sit, loosen a button on the overalls and then pour the can into the chipped enamel cup you brought with you. Gaze out over the rapidly changing landscape to see the edge of the city and the start of the nearest collective farms and raise a toast to the USSR and the triumph of a planned economy. Refreshing and fruity, an ale to accompany eventual victory for the shock troops of the revolution.

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