The can of ShinDigger Session looked really pretty sitting on the shelves in Cozzi & Boffa. Nestled in amongst 500ml cans from world renowned breweries, I had to add one to the Advent Beer pile.
I cracked the can and whoomfff, a beguiling cornucopia of hop aromas shot out. They dissipated quickly, but first impressions were good. After a gentle pour, leaving a suitable amount in the can, it sat, an ever so slightly hazy, amber in the glass. The compact head, just off white, slowly sinking into the limpid liquid.
Keen to get a bit more of that initial aroma burst, I eagerly stuck my nose in the glass. I wouldn’t go as far as to say there was bitter disappointment. It did feel, however, that the vast majority of the aroma escaped the moment the can was opened.
It’s not that it had nothing on the nose, it did, what aromas were left were just rather subtle. If I described it as slightly peachy orange, with undertones of dank. Would that be Pretentious? Incorrect? Total bollocks? Is it an oxymoron to describe hop aroma as both subtle and dank?
My wife, who is far better at this nonsense than I am, didn’t get any orange. Pineapple and tropical was her opinion, she also agreed with the dank undertones. When I mentioned peach, she suggested that she could see where I was coming from.
In the mouth, it was relatively soft, no tooth enamel stripping bitterness here. It was bitter though, but mostly back loaded, with the aftertaste leaving a pleasing bitter marmalade type tang. It wasn’t particularly citric though, no real orange, grapefruit, or any other citrus fruit of note.
I could see where my wife was coming from with her pineapple and tropical comments. Think subtle pineapple cubes and you wont be far off. Although pineapple cubes slathered in peaches, would be closer to the mark. It wasn’t that there was anything distinct though, the flavours were mostly muddled together, rather than being easily identifiable. At least for my duff palate.
It was an intriguing beer, that didn’t reveal all its charm in one go. Flavours and bitterness grew gently, mouthful by mouthful. Gentle, is probably a good word to describe this beer. There’s no brashness, no shouting, just subtle layers of flavour, that gently win you over.
The fact that it was in a 500ml can and that the can was printed, was great, it really looked the part. It would probably be better when drunk without trying to analyse every mouthful though, just enjoying it for what it is. I really quite enjoyed it, and wouldn’t hesitate to buy another; I imagine it could be quite good from keg.