Re-launching our beer reviews slot, The Sample Room, with some thoughts on three brews we’ve enjoyed lately.
Salopian Brewery Kashmir (5.5%, keg)
I wouldn’t go quite as far as to say this beer was ‘my Shangri-la beneath the summer moon,’ but it was extremely drinkable! I got the chance to taste it at one of Eebria’s trade tastings at their taproom in Bermondsey. A pale, dusky orange brew with a loose bubbly head it had an aroma of mandarin and passion fruit. It drank below its ABV, with a gentle carbonation that made it a bit too easy to put away. One of those beers where each time you take a sip you think, “Ooh, that IS nice,” then take another and another because it’s so tasty – and very quickly it’s all gone. At which point you sensibly order more so you can continue to enjoy its juicy mango and lychee tropical fruitiness.
Tring Brewery Small Batch American Brown (5%, bottle)
There was a time when I drank Newcastle Brown Ale, or Newky Brown as we fondly called it. Knowing what I do now about how clear glass compromises beer quality I don’t touch the stuff but I am fond of the style. Hence I was excited to try this new small batch beer from Hertfordshire-based Tring Brewery. American Brown ales, in common with US-style IPAs, are essentially American-hopped versions of the original style; although I believe there is now a move toward calling them Brown IPAs (!). A pale horse chestnut-coloured beer with a small off-white head, a promising pink grapefruit aroma entwined with toffee, caramel and a hint of blackcurrant. A decent grapefruity hop tang was the pay off on first sip; a flavour that persisted and intermingled pleasingly with chocolate-caramel malts. The only thing that detracted was that it perhaps wanted for bit more carbonation.
Canopy Beer Co. Bagel Beer (5.7%, bottle)
I heard about this beer in a press release about National Bagel Day. No, really, it’s a thing. Made in collaboration with the New York Bakery Co it claims 25% of the ingredients comprise the oddly shaped bagels they can’t sell. I rather like novelty beers because, much as I said in this post called ‘beer is the new sex’, it shows a certain respect for beer. As if associating something with beer makes it more desirable. Anyway, this was much better than I thought it would be. The colour of unpolished copper, it (unsurprisingly) offered up a doughy aroma with a yeasty bubblegum character. Initially tangy and floral, then more like liquid bread and honey after which a touch of marzipan flavour emerged. It put me in mind of Belgian dubbels. A bit too sweet for my personal taste, but don’t write it off as a gimmick before giving it a try.
If you try any of these beers after reading the reviews, or have already sampled them, do let us know what you thought…