Friday, 9 July 2010

Barnstormer (Bath Ales)

"The weather forecast for tonight: dark" - George Carlin

Summer engaged again with Bournemouth today, shaking her thermal tresses and casting a crisp gentle glow on the Broadside's spot by the sea.

Casting about for an ale to review, he settled on a pitchy little bottle with a cave-art drawn rabbit or hare fleeing from the right, and wondered if it was a Liberal Democrat rabbit.

Much has been promised of the quality of Bath ales, but with only the amber, bittersweet beauty "Gem" experienced so far, the Broadside saw this as an opportunity to expand his Somerset ale wisdom.

The cap popped off with little ado, and a churning, fizzy stream of mocha-coloured ale swirled eagerly into the glass. Like the best interviews the head was bright and brief and soon gave way to a deep, almost porteresque pint, wielding murky mystery and a faint sniff of chocolate.

This wasn't exactly a summer beverage prospect, a dense good-when-snowed-in meaty drink was expected, a confectionary bovril of a pint. However, from the first taste this ale proved to be a light delight.

The chocolate is evident in the initial note, but it is a subtle echo and not at all too rich. The Broadside usually prefers to think of his ales as a three-part act of initial taste, body and finish, but this ale weaves a complicated pattern of fruit across the tongue in several stages. Its piquant fizz drives the taste onto the tongue, but not in an unpleasant Coca-Cola hammer-manner, more like lively energetic postal workers couriering the sophisticated mix of flavours to the taste buds.

The finish, for of course it must have one, is snappy and bitter in the best sense of the word. No unwelcome residual squatting afterburners here, swallowing leaves a hydrated feeling of lightness and eagerness for the next sup.

At 4.5%, this is a wonderful example of a lighter strength bottled dark session beer. Towards the end of the glass the taste is very settled and moreish, and it is with great regret that only one bottle was in the house.

8/10, Bath Ales! Bravo!

- The Broadside

No comments:

Post a Comment