Total Score: 6.1/10
Well, well, well, well… (well) what do we have here from Shepherd Neame, aka “The Other SN” or “Not Sierra Nevada But Its English Cousin”… an India Pale Ale with a fancy old school label that was first introduced in 2012 – how’s that for anachronism from Britain’s oldest brewery? Pretty good I say. Anyway what I’m expecting from this English style IPA (as opposed to the now default American style) is a malty forward ale with what I hope are English driven hop flavours such as: Earthy/floral and if we’re lucky – tea leaf characters… well here goes something.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into nonic pint.
A: Presents a clear spot-on SAE/ECE amber (think turn signals on a car) body with a decent tight 1 cm Ecru head, which dissolves slowly to leave a thin lace cover on top. A decent head for an English beer to be sure. 8/10.
S: Aroma is a mixed bag – strangely has the aroma of Gin up front followed by sweet toffee candy malt, a grainy centre and a hint of light earthy floral hops in the background. Nothing leaps out at you, just a pubish (like that of a pub, mind out of the gutter you) English IPA “Move along sonny” *in my best Pommy cop accent*. 6/10.
T: Sweet toffee/caramel malts are almost in your face but not quite, the mid palate is a bit ‘meh’ there’s not much going on past the malt, finishes with a slight medicinal herb bitterness. The whole flavour profile could do with an added hop character – something more floral or tea-like, as it is there’s nothing exciting enough to warrant a second purchase [wow I’m really getting snobbish with my beer recommendations these days]. 6/10.
M: Mid to light bodied, a tad watery for the style, with a light English pub carbonation – TL;DR Body weak, fizz good. 6/10.
D: Well it started out good with the appearance… too bad that’s the lowest weighing in my scores… otherwise TOSN* has done little to impress this almost outright beer snob, aka me [now]. Which is a shame because I usually enjoy TOSN brews, just felt a bit short changed by this soulless cash-grab of a brew [wow I’m really becoming a complete cynic these days]. Recommendation: Get Spitfire instead. Spitfire is great. 6/10.
Food match: If-I-had-a-son-I-would-name-him Stew.
*Read my introduction ppl.