Great British Beer Hunt: Golden Seahawk and Churchill IPA

We’re onto the home straight, eight beers left to review in the Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt 2011, including these two. First up, Cotleigh Golden Seahawk, which is supporting a raptor charity, so gets my vote instantly.

It poured a lovely light golden amber, with a loose cream coloured head. The head dropped to a good blotchy covering fairly quickly and lasted most if the way down the glass, leaving excellent lacing as it did so. The nose had two parts to it, there was a malty cereal type note and also some fruity notes from the hops.

It felt quite full bodied, with a good solid malty backbone. The bitterness was very subtle and very fruity (I know fruit is a cop out, but that’s it, fruity in a British hop kind of way), the fruitiness lingered long into the after taste. There was also another flavour in there, just before the after taste, I couldn’t quite place it, but it had a cereal kind of quality about it. There was also a touch of wateriness to the after taste when it had warmed up a bit.

Next up was Oxfordshire’s Churchill IPA, which poured an amber colour, with a good cream coloured head. The head dropped to a solid half finger and appeared to be fed by rather a lot of bubbles. There appeared to be a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, but there was no mention of it being bottle conditioned. In fact, the ingredients state, Carbon Dioxide, so I’m assuming it’s force carbonated.

The nose appeared to have a bit of Burton snatch about it, although I could have been mistaken. At least it was an aroma that reminded me of the Burton snatch, rather than it actually being the Burton snatch

I quite enjoyed this beer, it was pleasantly full bodied, with a nice bitterness. The bitterness took over for an initial maltiness and swept threw the mouth and left a lingering fruitiness. As I got further down the glass though, the after taste started to take on an ash tray quality, which wasn’t so good. It also got smoother the longer it sat there, so the initial prickly bitterness had its edges softened.

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