Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Cornish IPA (St Austell)

With a buttered cod cackling in the pan, sweet potatoes on the boil and a jolly hungry tum, the Broadside looks through his collection for an ale that is "good with fish".

Cornish IPA is a smartly dressed Marks and Spencers ale. M&S is a funny old shop, determined to self brand everything.

Saying that, of late, a few choice alternative brands have crept into the shop and for an ale drinker to have ST AUSTELL plastered across the bottle would certainly be attractive. For that is what this is, a lovely light summer ale bottle conditioned by that king of Cornish breweries. As it is, the words are there, but in small font for the discerning ale hunter to seek and be pleased with.

As an IPA, the Broadside knew this wouldn't be Admiral's Ale mk II and from the moment it left the neck into the glass he was proved correct. This is a golden ale, a summery tangerine of a beer, the bottle conditioning providing wonderful biting gas on the tongue.

The first sip is of malted biscuit, and a middle eight kisses the mouth with that St Austell yeasted paradise. This is as balanced as summery IPAs come - sharp, malty and smart in the start, fruity-chompy in the middle and with an end signature of bitter hops followed by a P.S. of caramel.

Sadly, the thing is drunk and the fish is not yet ready - back to the cupboard!

Not everyone shops at M&S, but if you do, once you've picked up your cellophane sealed courgettes and Morroccan bean houmus I urge you to take a short detour past the ale selection on the way to the till and the inevitable payment card wince. These beers are frequently on a 6 for 5 or similar offer and there are some gems from well established breweries to be found.

8/10, superb.

- The Broadside

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