Total Score: 7.1/10
Another Stone & Wood Forefathers brew [Hooray!]. As you can probably tell I enjoyed the last one of these I tried: Willie Simpson Doppelbock Lager. I love how Stone & Wood felt that they needed to call it a “Doppelbock Lager” because most people who drink Stone & Wood probably don’t even know that a Doppelbock is a Lager (it’s entry-level craft, Stone & Wood, but it’s done well… mostly). Getting back to Blair Hayden English Pale Ale, it’s surprising that they’ve picked a style that is: a) considered a bit mundane by some in the craft community [not me I must point out], and b) a style that is wholly dependant on good quality English hops [not sure how many Fuggles get grown in Australia, but I would imagine it’s not a lot]. More power to them if they can pull it off though [FYI had a real UK EPA last night].
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Hazed pale golden-yellow body with a nice chalk-coloured cappuccino foam head that begins at about 2 centimetres and creeps back down to 0.7 cm before halting. Liking this hazed EPA look, even though this style typically has clear filtered beers. 7/10.
S: Nice and malty, biscuit and toffee character, earthy/floral centre with a citrus twist towards the finish. Turns out this beer was infused with the addition of “bergamot tea” by which I assume they mean old Earl Grey himself. Extra points for how English this aroma is – it’s not Oxfordshire English but it could be mistaken for a London brew – it’s got some Islington chops on it. Classic EPA characters all round. 7/10.
T: Biscuity, hints of toffee and caramel, earthy/floral tones, yes bergamot too – overall flavours are well balanced leading up to a finish that is mildly bitter and slightly dry from tea tannins. Flavour-wise there’s nothing wrong with it, the balance is good, it’s just missing a bit of that English character that you only get from beers brewed in the UK. 7/10.
M: Good mouthfeel though! Medium bodied with a nice dense carbonation that goes creamy when you sip it, nice stuff S&W! 8/10.
D: This is the sort of brew I could imagine drinking on a lunch break in Edinburgh, like I used to in the g__d o_d d_ys [I don’t like to spell it out, it makes me feel old]. There’s nothing technically missing from this beer, it’s actually better than some English made beers I’ve had. It’s just not (UK) cricket though. 7/10.
Food match: Coronation chicken sanger with chips, oi!