It's another beer review that is accompanied by tasks other than drinking beers. Tonight I reminisce over doing the garden and think about how warm the sunshine was whilst drinking the rather lovely Wild Boar by Buxton Brewery. I also rather show my lack of beer tasting chops here by having this as the first offering from the brewery despite how often I see them being touted as excellent by other beer drinkers and bloggers!
It's been a while in coming too, having bought this in way back before the third child was born, so this is much awaited and an IPA for the changing season. Also mowing the lawn and watching the slightly emotional Song of the Sea. Just saying. Would you like to know more?
The bottle promised a straw colour with creamy white head and the smells one associates with spicy lime and mango. They were not wrong, there was a bright white head formed on the top and a good sniff unearthed some lime and the softness I associate with mango. I didn't really get the spice though, part of this is due to the fact that I have killed all of my tastebuds by having so many meals of fiery doom but also down to the fact that there is much of the pollen in the air and I have hayfever. Whatever the reason, the aroma was less than powerful but pleasant and good to hang around with as I surveyed the rather long lawn - it's been left in a state of just growing since... forever. Time to get the lawnmower out!
First taste and this is big on the tongue. The 5.7% ABV is very much to the forefront and the soft malt is welcome. I admit that there is a spice to this one from the yeast and that it does do rather well in the full sunshine and the warmth when there isn't a breeze blowing. It has a sense of freshly mown park back in Carlisle when the wind whipped across the open field before calming and allowing the clouds to lazily chug across the azure blue of the sky. In the distance there are birds, the cooing of pigeons and the chirrupping of blackbirds, but this just provides the backdrop for the fruit and the hops in the middle. Nothing explosive or unexpected here but a freshness of flavour and a fullness of hops. It sits in the middle of the mouth, commanding all, and does a grand old job of being a summery IPA, no complaints here.
As it slips toward the back of the mouth and into the aftertaste it really does show itself to be the sort of musty and thick style that complements the grass and the pollen well. There is music in the distance, down the street, and there are banks of weeds that need to be pulled. My hands are criss-crossed with slight scratches and little spots of insect bites but this aftertaste is slightly on the yeasty side with a helping of bittering hops. Strangely sweet too, as though it has used something like willow or mallow to add flavouring rather than cane sugar or the like. The kind of countryside sweetness that beckons you back to the early 1980s and the sort of treats your mother would allow you to have without going to the shops. Safe stuff, you know?
I think I can safely say I enjoyed this. It worked fantastically well as I mowed the lawn and the Boy followed on with his toy mower to earnestly 'flatten the grass' and make it look a little bit more professional. It suits being drunk amid some gardening action and the garden is the nicer for it. the head is a nice touch, remaining until the very end and having it chilled certainly allowed it to breathe (as did storing it indoors as I mowed the lawn) and do its thing without getting too harmed by dint of being in the pantry for so dang long as the temperature does mad things about it.
Enjoyed best outdoors, obviously, and probably better where there are trees and baked earth pathways over a beer garden in a big city. The name says what you need to know about its habitat and about how you need to respect this big hitter that weighs heavily and probably punches above its rather considerable weight. Well worth getting in and I'm glad to say that I saw a new stock of them in my local bottle shop this weekend, so I shall probably be getting another couple for the holidays.