Wednesday, June 29, 2011

From Blackburn to India

While there’s a wide variety of premium bottled ales available in the major supermarkets, few of them can be described as particularly hoppy. One exception was Hawkshead Lakeland Gold, a genuinely bitter beer which was a good cross between traditional English flinty bitterness and New World hops, but unfortunately after selling it for a few months Tesco seem to have dropped it earlier this year.

However, some compensation is at hand in the form of the recently-launched Thwaites Indus IPA, a 4.6% ABV brew now available in bottle at Morrisons. Thwaites house style has generally been on the malty side, but this offers a distinct contrast. The bottle describes it as having a “thoroughly hoppy flavour” and says it is a “refreshing amber ale, brewed with four hop varieties for superb taste and aroma.” It isn’t yet on the Cyclops tasting notes website.

There was little noticeable aroma, although this was a fridge-chilled sample that might have dampened it down. Colour is an appealing dark amber, with noticeable carbonation and a thin but lasting head. The flavour is very dry, with the hops coming through strongly in a surprisingly long, complex aftertaste. There are hints of fruit and a good solid malty base – it’s certainly not one of those wishy-washy lemony beers. Definitely one for a repeat purchase.

It’s also available in cask form, but it is yet another beer where the bottled version is considerably stronger than the cask, which is only 3.9%.