Friday, 3 December 2010

Nutz (Bowman)

I approached this one nervously. I like nuts, have nothing against them and like the rest of the public, sometimes only nuts will do with beer - but in beer? We're open minded here, and I'll not let the unforgivable txt-spk spelling of 'nuts' sway my opinion.

Bowman Ales hail from Hampshire, and have a taste for the experimental, having brewed with both ginger and elder flowers.

I have a habit of holding bottles up to the light to check for yeast sediment, and this time I saw actual small nut segments sitting in the deeps. The bottle opens with a gentle whiff of the nut, but not overpoweringly so, it's mostly fine hoppy beer smells.

The head is initially fizzy tending to thin, and the colour a deep chestnut (tout naturellement). On the taste it's not at all bad, and certainly beats the various "beers brewed with honey" I've had, such as Slater's and Well's. In fact, only Well's Banana Bread Beer (must review it here) seems to work as light-strength supermarket speciality beer to my experience so far.

The initial taste is beery and not unpleasant. Light malt arrives in a taxi driven by a couple of nuts, and then more nuts get in the back. The nut thing increases through the length of it, hand in hand with a sort of demerara sugar lilt . It's toasty and spicy on the tongue, and the finish is bitter but leaves a grippy, not entirely beautiful aftertaste on the back of the tongue. The 5%abv alcohol makes itself known in the background and mild bitterness rears up at the death.

As the pint goes down, I tire a little of the taste. It ought to be recognised for what it is, and that is not a session beer. It's an odd sort of early/mid evening ale, and for nut fans, maybe it's nirvana. For me, it's a bit of a struggle to finish a whole pint in quick-order, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy it at times.

5/10 - Competent and interesting speciality ale, I'm happy to have tried it the once.

- The Broadside

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