Total Score: 6.45/10
Holgate Hop Tart immediately caught my eye with its label containing a hop flower in a fairly radical colour scheme: Bright pink/purple and light blue. Plus I don’t mind this whole meshing of styles between sour beers and Pale Ales/IPAs – it gives us something new but isn’t a silly trend like craft beers that have fruits added to them. In any case the marketing and label design worked for me on this, and Holgate are alright (at times), so here we are: Review #712… FYI… not that it really matters.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada US pint glass.
A: Pale straw hazed body with a thin white cappuccino head on top. Not bad, quite noticeably paler than most Pale Ales (which as I explained to a lady yesterday was named for its use of “pale malts” not for being “pale in colour”… I got the impression she didn’t believe me, stupid lady). 7/10.
S: More tangy than sour on the nose, it has that charming candied lemon and orange starburst fragrance that you find in certain Pale Ales and IPAs. Slight cracked pepper spiciness and a hint a lychee as well. It’s definitely got the aroma of a hop-driven brew, which I will definitely drink to: Cheers! 8/10.
T: Sourness hits right up along the front of the tongue – where the sweeter taste-buds usually hang out – as such there is very little/if any sweetness in this brew. Following that is a grainy note (which I generally find in Australian Lagers and hate with a passion), some lemon, hints of stonefruit, and not much else. It’s surprising how much the Lactobacillus (the sour element) takes over the flavour profile. I suspect it has something to do with it being added to the wort before the boil – the sourness has time to take over the malt components of this brew. 6/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a flat but dense carbonation – this one got flat real quick – doesn’t bother me, however just noting. 6/10.
D: Not a great deal going on with this brew apart from sourness, which whilst not being intense does manage to push aside the other critical flavours one would normally find in a beer: Sweet, and to a lesser extent, bitter. Apart from being one-dimensional there’s not much else to say, it could be better, we know Holgate have brewed winners here-and-there, this is not one of those beers. Might be better ice-cold on a hot summers day, however my blog isn’t named “Doc’s Beerz that Beez Good on a Hot Summaz Day” if you want to read that blog go create it yourself… weirdo. 6/10.
Food match: Something fish related… with strips of something potato related.