Total Score: 7.6/10
Next beer on the chopping drinking block glass… “in” the drinking glass [brain: “That’s it, I’m outta here!”] is Young Henry’s Hop Ale. Now I’ve heard tell of the glory that is Young Henry and his band of merry brewers, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to try Young Henry’s on tap at The Durham (it was a mini tap takeover night – they bought 3 beers, their Real Ale being a future review). My hype-meter was indeed set to “over”.
Poured from tap into a nonic pint.
A: Presents a hazy red/copper body with a thin pale cream coloured head. Nothing to write home about, so I didn’t (write home that is). 6/10.
S: Hmmm, not bad, not bad at all… woody overtones with a floral hop note and sweet caramel malt base. The aroma is quite full and delightful, I really really want to guzzle this Hop Ale down – the sign of a good aroma. 8/10.
T: Big woody flavours congregate with earthy and piney hops to form a committee to win over my tongue. They succeed in this task. The finish has a bitter wormwood resonance with a dry woody palate throughout. Hop Ale isn’t sweet at all, and has a tannic aftertaste. I like this interesting interplay of flavours and the balance is good. 8/10.
M: Borderline medium bodied with a lightish but dense carbonation. This beer has a real English pub feel to it (without being quite as flat as a true English Bitter). 7/10.
D: Overall Young Henry’s Hop Ale doesn’t “wow” me, though I was surprised to find out it was 6% ABV as it was quite sessionable, however it does the job of sating my beer lust well, and really that’s all you can ask of a decent brew. Did it live up to the hype reading on my hype-meter? No, but that’s the thing about hype-meters – sometimes they can be faulty, which is why you should always keep your receipt and warranty card – so you can get your hype-meter repaired when it does break down. Keep cool, stay tough, but that’s never enough, and these are the lessons in beer reviews [note: I was listening to Neon Trees whilst writing this review]. 7/10.
Food match: This one is a real cheese platter beer, too bad I don’t like cheese platters, my loss. Also roast lamb with rosemary/sage and roasted vegetables would work as well.