Monday, 26 September 2011

Prima Pils (Victory)

I've heard this is probably the best example of an American Pilsner out there.

Very lightly carbonated on the pour, no big foamy head, just thin dusting of snow white foam.

The smooth sweet malt is swamped with creamy mouthfeel, but lingering for the mearest nano second before hit by a freight train of hops. There is enough hop bittering to keep pace with even the most modern of IPAs, with more nobility than even the biggest royal wedding.

I'm told it's hoppy like a Pilsner should be, but in my limited experience of the style it seems to be pushing the boundaries of bittering. But let's be clear, that's not a bad thing, being "out of balance" can be fantastic.

8/10 A strikingly hoppy Pilsner.

Try it for yourself at Mybrewerytap

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Indian Beer: London Pilsner

Due to unforsen circumstances I have been obliged to station myself in India for a few weeks, so what better use of the time than reviewing local beers?

The label doesnt promote confidence, like some badly design cheap souvenir it conjures up memories of an episode of Friends I'd rather forget.

Cracks open with the usual fare, the head disappears as quickly as smoke after a magicians arrival leaving it looking like Chardonnay. The nose, well at best "sulphurous" but more accurately it smells of farts.

The malt arrives like a stealth bomber on radar, leaving behind a faint carpet bombing of fizz on the tongue. I believe this beer to be single hopped, by that I mean I think they use a single hop flower in each hectolitre, no more for fear of bittering.

1/10 It makes Carling seem exotic, I can only assume it's a German black ops campaign against English brewing*

*brewed Bombay, this beer is as English as Jonathan Trott.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Monsieur Rock (Sharps)

Brewed with Jean Marie Rock of Oval, this Anglo-Belgian collaboration tries to combine the best of both brewing worlds with extended lagering.

It bursts from bottle with perfect BC fizz. The Saaz hops run riot with senses, filling the air with fresh herbal, grassy almost peppery aroma. There are glimpses that transport you back to you earliest days of lager drinking when it was an innocent thing if wonder.

The malt is smoother than a floating Rolls Royce and it exudes a creamy depth that coats the mouth. They seemed to have bottled the brewers holy grail of "mouthfeel". It's sweet and bitter in perfect harmony, the hops don't stamp authority, just arrive with a welcome handshake and begin mingling with the malt.

The genius of this beer is it's simplicity. On one level this could be passed to even the most hardened commercial lager drinker where it would be consumed with pleasure. On another level it can be sipped and pondered, enjoying every note in perfect harmony - like listening to Dark Side of the Moon, in the dark, on headphones, on a bean bag. Try it!

9/10 Wondrous, if only all beer was so perfectly balanced. The most quaffable beer I've had all year. I need another!

Read more about the collaboration and head brewer Stuart Howe here
Or buy Sharps beers here