Saturday, 6 November 2010

Worthington's White Shield IPA (Coors) - 5.6%abv

The IPA White Shield was first made for Bass in the 1960's, and brewer Steve Wellington came out of retirement to recreate it once more. The bottle notes that White Shield "matures with age" and their site proclaims it has a "massive taste and full to bursting mouthfeel."

The bottle certainly looks the business, and for a real ale buff has the frequently used lures of an antique militaristic design and lots of text describing important things. It pours a deep ruddy copper, and the sticky head hangs about for some time.

The nose is rather smoky, with a big sign saying "here be hops", in the manner expected of a good IPA. The taste is somewhat of a battering ram. Fleeting biscuit malt is swiftly overpowered by a stormtroop of hops, with shades of bitter orange - although I fail to pick out the "faintest whiff of exotic cheese" mentioned by the brewery (eew).

It's assertive enough but not in a way I find all that pleasant. The various flavours jangle around like large primary coloured bits of furniture in a room in which you expected to find a bold unified design, and it's a little too much for The Broadside. I feel a little mean as all the IPA checkboxes are marked - very hoppy, complex, quite alcoholic - but the trump card, the checkbox that has a double border - taste, just doesn't get firmly marked enough.

It has a long length, a ski-jump of bittering that skates into the sour a bit too much for my tastes, although others may enjoy this aspect. If a rodeo-ride of an IPA is what you're after, do give this a try, but for me others do it better.

5/10 - An IPA with a good history, it's just too discordant on the palate to find a permanent home in my cupboards.

- The Broadside

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