This is instead of a pale and has been sat around a while, being out of date by two months at this point, and so I thought I ought to be trying it. I have no idea what happens to a lager when it is past the Best Before date and now is a good time to be finding out I suppose. Maybe it shall spontaneously combust or perhaps it will turn into a chicken upon pouring. It is Three Hop and bills itself as Craft Lager from the Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh.
I know, I know, it's another lager and I should be on the qualitative pales and IPAs. But, it promises mint and lemon! Would you like to know more?
This opened as you would expect a lager to do - feisty and with some hiss on the cap - before pouring into the glass nicely with a decent enough head when I poured carefully to create one. Perhaps because it is so far out of date it did not go completely mental on the pour and stayed relatively sensible in the glass. I detect a fresh maltiness on the nose that could have been described as mint a long time ago but is edging closer to the sort of smell I get from the beers that insist on using coriander. It's a bit fresher than that though, a little clear and light though, so there's that.
Head quickly dies back to the sort of worty skein I keep mentioning on here. Full malt with the opening explosion of carbonation in the mouth but then rockets into a thin and light feeling that must be a great thirst quencher. There may have been mint there again but now it slips easily into musty lemons and then behaves like a wash of water that must have felt brilliant on a hot day. Alas, this is a slightly colder one and though I appreciate having my thirst slaked I suspect that I have done this brew a disservice by not imbibing chilled on a day when the sun beats down mercilessly in the garden as I sit and sweat at the picnic bench. That said, this is a 4.5% ABV beast and that barely registers, putting in that category of dangerous ales that seem to behave much below their actual weight in that regard. I think there's a complexity in the hopping of this and I suspect that I may have had this past its prime.
It's not a bad coppery colour in the glass and the whole thing is behaving like a good houseguest, careful not to do anything that might be considered rude and the sort that would volunteer to help with the washing up after a meal. I'm not saying I like this as much as the stouts I've been having on a weekend recently but I am saying that this does well for a lager. There's enough of an interesting contrast between the mint-esque explosion and the malt body with the citrus zing and cleaning wash before the quenching after-taste that I could enjoy this. I stress again that I see this as a summer brew and that it would be best with some food, but it has stood up quite well.
Enjoyed best in date and with a crisp salad waiting for the meat from the barbeque down the bottom of the garden. Leave the grillers to do what is necessary with the food whilst you use a few of these to share out with the company and discuss the latest developments in fashion, sports or politics. maybe discuss religion - you're already drinking lager - and parenting because why not. Laugh a little louder than strictly necessary, wear a hat that is slightly bigger than necessary and stay out in the hot sunshine a little more than you might think is strictly needed. Get sunkissed and then drink a second with the burger sat out beneath the umbrella.