Advent Beer – Special

This is the last of the dusty unloved bottles that Ed at the Bacchanalia gave me for free. I have to say that I’ve been pretty impressed with the bottles of Sharp’s beer that I’ve tried so far. It’s just a shame that we never really see anything other than Doom Bar round these parts and then only once in a blue moon.

It poured a auburn brown, with a slight orange hue, at least that’s what it appeared to be to me. the head was off white and easily formed, but, it was formed from rather large bubbles and thus didn’t last. In just a few minutes, it had dropped to a few patches and then a few minutes later, to a ring round the edge of the glass. I didn’t get much on the nose, if I’m being honest. there was maybe some of that general bottle conditioned musty, yeasty type aroma, but it wasn’t very strong.

It felt quite lively in the mouth and was borderline for just turning into a mouthful of bubbles the moment it hit the tongue. So you could say it was a touch over carbonated. At first I thought it was a bit dull, that there wasn’t really anything going on. I thought about it for a bit and let the beer come to me and reveal itself, after all Sharp’s are known for balanced beers, I wasn’t expecting a hop bomb or anything.

After leaving it for a bit, it had just come out the fridge after all, it revealed itself in all its glory. A lovely biscuity malt base laid the foundations for a nice fruity tingle of hops. The main flavour appeared to be a subtle bitter orange kind of thing, at least that’s what my brain was telling me it was. Although I think it might have been slightly more complex than that. The after taste was lingering and juicy with a nice bitterness, that meant you could still taste it minutes later.

It was very nice, with wonderful balance between the malt and hops; never too malty, never too bitter and ridiculously drinkable. I imagine that it’s pretty special indeed, when served from cask.

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