Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Butty Bach (Wye Valley)

"A burnished gold premium ale, full bodied, smooth and satisfying. Serve with mustardy sausages with apple or rich mushroom risotto" - these are the rather specific food instructions on the label from Wye Valley.

It's bottle conditioned, 4.5%ABV and arrives in a smart little pot. A tidy label explains that the malt is crystal and the hops are Fuggles, Goldings and Bramling Cross (a new one to me).

The beer pours very clear and gold, and has the fastest dissipating head I've yet reviewed, in fact it looks rather like a quenching pint of apple juice once settled in the glass. The nose is full of oranges and has an almost pick n' mix trace of sweetness about it.

First taste is crisp malt with a fairly sizeable bread note. The fruit continues, and morphs between orange and grapefruit. The finish turns bitter, but not overly so and there is a slightly metallic aftertaste which fades to dry and is not unpleasant.

I'm probably drinking this in the wrong season as during the thermal clasp of summer this would have been just the ticket. As it is Bunker Station Two sits wind-locked in a minus four degree cold snap and moose have been sighted grazing on the cliff.

Still, with imagination this is a crisp, quenching summer beer and has some surprisingly novel flavours. None of them stand out enough for me to pick it out as truly special, but Butty Bach is by no means a poor option in the supermarket.

Decent soft golden beer, and one I'd like to try on draught.

6/10 - Like malty wine in its delicate blend of subtle flavours. Good refreshing session beer.

- The Broadside

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