I first heard about Chieftain Pale Ale via twitter, when someone mentioned that it would be on sale in Aldi the week leading up to Burns Night.
It appeared in store last Thursday, but as I don’t normally shop in Aldi, I have no idea how long it will be in store for. It wasn’t with the rest of their beer on what passes for shelving, rather, it was stuffed into a basket in the middle of a random aisle along with a a load of other "Scottish" goods.
While the attractiveness of the display was questionable, there’s was no denying the attractiveness of the price, being a very reasonable £1.39 a bottle. This puts it slap bang in the middle of the 4 for £5 (£1.25 a bottle), or 4 for £6 (£1.50 a bottle) supermarket offers that have been available for the last couple of months. Having said that, it’s only a great price, if the contents of the bottle are any good, so what was Chieftain Pale Ale like?
It poured a pale yellow colour, with a loose white head. The head didn’t hang around for long, dropping to a thin ring round the edge of the glass. Think of the colour of a Czech Pilsner and you’re in the right ballpark. The nose wasn’t overly powerful, but did reveal some bitter orange notes.
It was quite lively with an initial rush of carbonation round the mouth, before it settled down a bit, although it wasn’t overly carbonated. It was the lighter side of full bodied, but not watery, just that really refreshing type of body from a beer that isn’t too sweet. Just like the nose, the flavours were on the restrained side too; with some light, almost faint, citric marmalade flavours, leading to a slightly sweet lingering aftertaste.
- Williams Brothers
- Chieftain Pale Ale, 4%, 500ml
It wasn’t a complicated beer, but that was sort of explained on the label:
... designed to slake the thirst of all you folk in need of well-earned refreshment.
I’d just come home from work and wanted a beer that wouldn’t make me think, that I could just drink, rapidly, and feel all the better for doing so. I had three bottles, one after the other. The first hardly touched the sides and I didn’t take notes. The second, felt slightly sweeter, maybe because I was concentrating, so I could try and get something coherent down on paper. The third bottle slipped down much as the first had and didn’t seem overly sweet.
So as a don’t think thirst quencher, this fitted the bill perfectly; that £1.39 per bottle in Aldi at the moment, is pretty good value as far as I’m concerned.