Got this can in ages ago and really need to get round to it. The weather is slowly turning to the kind that allows me to sit in the garden but, you know, it's tea time and I'm not sure I can be bothered. Besides, I did plenty of that this last weekend! Anyway, I have some fish and chips for tea so I'm staying resolutely indoors for my next pale ale treat from Magic Rock Brewing Co. by the name of Inhaler. It promises me that this will be a juicy pale ale, so I am all up for that after the last two triumphs. Time to embrace the juice!
If there's juice, loose, aboot this hoose, would you like to know more?
Starts with a definite head being poured atop something that could easily masquerade as being a red ale, maybe in the IPA bracket, and certainly doesn't fit my preconceived notion of a pale ale, but then, that is what I have come to expect from these sorts of quality ales: they mess with preconceptions. Tropical fruit on the nose again, as one would expect from an ale marketed as being 'juicy', but this time it is mango and orange, more the mango than the orange, soft and round in the nasal passages like a ball pool in Blackpool in the 1980s, think Jungle Jim's, so that the decor matches the tropicality and the explorers can find where they're going and your feet carry those odd impressions that they'd get after spending over twenty minutes in the ball pool. Nothing to show for it but a feeling that the floor just isn't right afterwards. Willow hasn't tried an ale after the disappointment of the grapefruit in the Lupuloid (click here) - I think that was her loss - but the soft mango on the nose of this one drew her in.
We both agreed that this is again rather heavy on the grapefruit. Not the morning breakfast kind that you get in hotels but the pink stuff that you buy fresh from hoity toity middle-class food places like Marks and Spencer's or Sainsbury's. It is on the tart side and it has enough of a citrus zest that it would cut neatly into heavily flavoured food options but I find it mellower and less harsh than the Elvis Juice (click here) or even the Lupuloid. It opens with the sort of taste you get drinking the pink grapefruit juice in cartons, then rises with the almost soft-drink like fizz to a crescendo of fresh and quenching juice in the middle of the taste, the malt is almost impossible to detect, slipping by like a famous spy in films that make the whole thing look exciting rather than like Philby in the middle of a Conservative administration. It then reaches the maximum souring point, the bit that caused Willow to purse her lips and wince but that I think is rather nice, and then it falls back onto itself being fresh and, well, juicy. In fact, it does exactly what it promises to do.
This is a nice strength too, at 4.5% ABV it is the perfect accompaniment to a lunchtime and could safely be had in the break at work if you're one of those lucky people who have an official hour (go on, if you do, I dare you to use it!) and then return to work without too much ill-effect. The aroma is something to behold and remains soft even after the first taste, being untouched by the effects of the taste and, in that sense, closer to the ball pool at Jungle Jim's than I realised when I first wrote that description up there way back at the first paragraph! That red coloration is nice too, totally unexpected and rather fitting for the day. Why not in the garden, you ask, and I reply with mumbling because there is no real reason apart from the fact that I am too lazy to venture forth there at the moment. Don't worry, I have some nice ales for garden drinking on standby.
This is a fresh ale that works well in the springtime, all budding plants and greenery coming back on the trees along with a freshening breeze but the occasional warm day that requires a cool down. I imagine that this would work well cooled in the fridge for the sort of hot and oppressive summer days that I spent last year drinking stuff like 1643 Leveller Bitter (click here) and Gardener's Tipple (click here). It would do well in the sunshine by the picnic table and among the heady scent of the plants in the beds by the side of the path. It would also work well in the transition toward autumn, mixing with the spicy and smoky ales like Late Red (click here). In short, it's almost anything but a winter ale. I expect you would enjoy it in winter, I just prefer my heavier and darker ales at that time of year. This goes into that category of nice tart ales that aren't sours and aren't truly pales that I seem to rather enjoy. A good dry and solid aftertaste rounds things out and reminds you that you can still book out the soft-play places with the ball pools for adults if you know where to look.
Get that soft play place booked, take some friends, and have a whale of time clarting around and doing stupid things on the big slide. Sit in the ball pool and attempt to swim, throw some about, get on the small cars and commit the kinds of acts that would get people killed in real cars and laugh and laugh and laugh. Get so hot and sweaty that you realise why it is that children scream but be an adult and remember that you brought some cans of this along. Get them out, chilled, and then share them amongst your friends. Drink them well and enjoy them, then, leaving them unfinished, return to the insanity of the ball pool. You know you want to!