Advent Beer: First Chop SUP

This is the second Advent Beer from Manchester based First Chop. I has hoping that it would be better than the first.

A scant second, or so, after opening the can, it gushed. Not badly, but enough that I lost some of the beer. The nose was all stale carbon dioxide. That was it, nothing else.

So, a gush, stale carbon dioxide on the nose, things weren’t looking good.

As you might expect, it was over carbonated in the mouth too. The marmalade coloured liquid, exploding into bubbles the moment it hit the tongue. Unfortunately, the effervescence also took away a lot of the flavour too.

There was an initial hit of orangey bitterness, some biscuity malt and then the bubbles. Frothy and foamy in the mouth, it was hard to tell how much body the beer was supposed to have.

Subsequent mouthfuls brought out more flavour; a slight ashtray dryness, for instance. Flavours and mouthfeel, especially in the middle, were just stripped away by the bubbles.

The aftertaste, while short lived, was pleasant; slightly orangey and slightly bitter. It didn’t linger though, which was disappointing. Overall, the flavours appeared soft, as did the bitterness. Hard to tell when the beer just dissolves on the tongue.

I hope this this was just a duff can and not a bad batch. Especially as the can of HOP also had carbonation issues. So maybe it’s just slack QC at the brewery, or bad canning by the contractors, who knows. Either way, I’ll not be buying another to find out.

Advent Beer: First Chop HOP

I popped into Cozzi & Boffa the other day to pick up some beer. I noticed a few cans from First Chop on the shelves, having no idea who they were, I decided Advent Beer gave me the perfect excuse to try a few.

I’ve got wise to this sediment in cans malarky. I had a quick look at the label to see if there was a warning. The small print said, May contain sediment, so I poured carefully and left a loads in the can, just to be sure. Photo taken, I necked what remained in the can. I was quite pleased that I’d done this, as there was yeast sediment there and it wasn’t overly pleasant.

After a glass of water to rinse away the yeast flavours from the back of the mouth, it was time to crack on. I might have to do this short pour thing for all cans, as it sat pretty much pin bright in the glass. The loose frothy white head didn’t last long, but didn’t completely disappear either. I wouldn’t go as far as calling an apricot jam coloured beer, Ultra Pale though. I’ve seen plenty of non lagers that are paler than this.

I struggled to get anything on the nose, there was definitely something there. It was subtle and indistinct though, so I couldn’t pin it down. The initial mouthful was just as disappointing as the aroma. Not a lot of flavour, or bitterness and far too much carbonation. The carbonation meant that the beer turned to foam in the mouth, which scrubbed a lot of the flavour away, leaving a slightly carbonic edge.

Subsequent mouthfuls were relatively pleasant though, carbonation aside. A pleasant bitter orange flavour started just as the juicy aftertaste was petering out and built with each subsequent mouthful. It never got too bitter though, as there was quite a bit of residual sweetness to balance things out.

I’d like to say more about any malt flavours that may have been present. The carbonation had pretty much ruined everything before the aftertaste though. It was quite surprising that anything remained at all.

I haven’t mentioned yet, that this beer is also certified gluten free. Carbonation issues aside, it’s probably the best gluten free beer I’ve tried, flavour wise. It had at least been shown a few hops, unlike all the ones you can buy in your local supermarket.

Given the carbonation issue, I reckon this would be pretty good on cask. It’ll be interesting to see what the other cans are like.