First in today’s Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt 2011 reviews, Harviestoun Wild Hop IPA, which doesn’t actually have any wild hops in it. I’ve had it on cask before, it was on special for a previous Wetherspoon festival and I really, really enjoyed it, so I was more than happy to find it in bottles.
It poured a crystal clear golden colour with a large fluffy white head. The head dropped quite quickly to a thin covering. The nose had some subtle citrus notes, it took a while to pin the, down to grapefruit, although there may have been a bit of mandarin in there too.
It was smooth in the mouth, with a nice full body. The bitterness built and built and reached a nice crunching fruity crescendo, before tapering off. The main flavours seemed to be soft and subtle grapefruit and mandarin, they were joined in the after taste by a hint of pineapple.
This was a really, really nice and moreish pale and hoppy beer, I could quite happily drink a shed load of it.
- Wild Hop IPA, 5.2%, 500ml
Ridgeway’s Bad King John had me confused from the start, it said bottle conditioned on the label (and what a label it is), but there was not one iota of sediment in the bottle. It looked black sitting in the glass, but it was just a really, really dark auburn brown; only becoming see through when held up to a light. It took a while to get the head started and it never got much bigger than a finger, it dropped pretty quickly to a patchy covering.
The nose was all roasted malts and smelt really inviting. The mouth feel wasn’t as big as I was expecting for a 6% beer, it was maybe a tad on the thin side for my liking. The initial roasted flavours gave way to a nice complementing bitterness, before both combined in a lingering dry after taste.
I thought it was a nice beer, but just wish it had had a bit more body.