Shepherd Neame India Pale Ale

Total Score: 6.1/10 Caramel1 BrownSugar1 Coriander1 Nonicpint1

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.

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