Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Manor Ale (Hobson's) - 4.2%abv

Bitter fans - this is one for you.

Of the ales I picked up at the Ludlow Festival, Hobson's has been the brewery that has impressed me most. We've had their drinks on both Bunker Summits so far, first the sweet class act that is Postman's Knock, then their strongest ale, Old Henry, a peach-edged but complex joy. In both cases the beer is well-thought out and sublimely balanced.

The label on this less alcoholic number talks of the Severn Valley railway and heart of England roots. Again, it's in their elegant mini-wine bottle and promises "bitter amber ale"

It does pour a lovely amber, with a high, sticky, sociable head. Zest, pine and hops are a major whiff in the nose and the whole effect comes across as quite delicious.

The mouthful is less carbonated than you might expect. A fleeting toffee dash is swiftly overtaken by citrus hops. They are prevalent and bitter, but again Hobson's have managed to brew beautiful dimensions into the length of it. Its properly bitter, so perhaps not for everyones taste, but I loved it.

The aftertaste is a tad dry, which stops a Bunker Grade 8 for me, but this is another top product from one of the most impressive breweries of my year.

7/10 - Fresh and for a sub-5% ale, a remarkably involving taste. Great stuff.

- The Broadside

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