Total Score: 6.25/10
Wow, has it been a while or what? I’ve had nearly a month of a self-imposed beer review exile and now I’m back with a bang! Well maybe not a “bang” more of a “slight fizzle” because today I have lined up three classic English treats, and we all know English brews are nothing if not modest in flavour, but I love them going back to my UK pub days regardless. First on the nonic-block is the bizarrely cheap (as in “it’s bizarre I haven’t reviewed it yet because I’m cheap”) John Smith’s Extra Smooth, looks and sounds like a British Caffrey’s. Anyway without further ado, let’s a-do this brew [damn I still haven’t lost my terrible punning abilities then].
Poured from a 500ml nitro can into a nonic pint.
A: Quite an interesting looker this drop – clear golden amber body with thousands of tiny bubbles clinging resolutely to the side of the glass like some sort of beer-barnacles “beernacles” if you will. With a luscious creamy 1.3 cm nitro head that beckons you to “ave a nava” [channelling Michael Caine here] sip. Nitro beers always score highly for me on looks and this is no exception. 9/10.
S: The aroma is no slouch given the mid-strength ABV of 3.6% with cereal grain forward notes, a touch of caramel malt and a cider apple finish. You wouldn’t be wrong for thinking that sounds like an odd combination for an EPA, I was thinking the same thing. Hint of metal too… unavoidable in most can brews below 5% ABV IMO. 7/10.
T: The cereal notes are prominent and frankly remind me of a typical Aussie “Bitter” – I use this term liberally as there is no longer such a beast here – caramel and apples rounds out this cereal dominated brew. Finish is more dry than bitter. Aftertaste is unmistakably metallic – a shame given how well it was going above. 6/10.
M: Feel is a bit of a letdown too – watery, thin and flat. 5/10.
D: Sessionable brew? Sure! However “sessionable” doesn’t always translate to “awesome” and this beer is an example of this. It begins with much promise but ends up being a bit too lacking and metallic in the flavour department to get it across the GEB* line. If I had to make a suggestion for a similar styled English nitro brew Boddingtons is still the champ… need to review that one now. 6/10.
Food match: THE most underrated soup of ALL TIME: Pea and ham & crusty bread.
*Great English Brew.