Like some sort of crazy Liberace figure, but without the rhinestones. fur and campness, and with a fantastic shop crammed full of exotic beers instead of a jewel-studded glass grand piano, this week, I'd like to return to the classics. Perhaps the greatest classic in all the world of brewing.
I've yet to come across a beer with so much character, one that consistently satisfies, as Coopers Sparkling Ale (5.8% abv). With its double sediment (one fine, one chunky), its macho screw-off top, fruity aroma and chunky pear-and-banana palate, this ale screams class from start to finish.
I've been drinking it fairly clear lately, straight from the understair beer-hole, and it's a lot lighter and more delicate than with the sediment added. Almost the sort of think that you could fool your lager-drinking mates into trying by saying that the haze was added vitamins, and it will make a man (or woman) of them. Still a four star classic.
I finally came across a bottle of this multi-award winning ale (this seems to be the best website about the brewery) and, by golly, very nice it is too.
The familiar hoppy citrus / grapefruit aroma (Challenger, I would guess) won't come as too much of a surprise to fans of this style, but is still a pleasant surprise to many. The light, clean palate and persistent grapefruity after taste, while still quite bitter, has a simultaneous palate cleansing and palate priming quality to it.Very moreish, and I'm looking forward to seeking it out on draught.
Another brief session in the excellent Arcadia, another great beer. Beyond the Pale (4.2%, if memory serves) is a pale, aromatic ale, with lots of mouth-watering citrus and elderflower aromas, and E&S's trademark bitter hoppy aftertaste. As with E&S's other beer, I find the finish almost too pithy. If anyone has a similar opinion (or any other), I'd love to hear from you ('Contact' button to the left)
Finally, a quick line in praise of Tesco Beaujolais (the cheap stuff, not their 'Finest' range). For £3.79, you get a pleasing hit of red summer fruit and a woosh of alcohol. Twenty minutes in the fridge, half a bottle in the coq au vin, share the other half out and, mon dieu! Nous sommes en France!
The phrase 'cheap and cheerful' is often used to denote a bargain with flaws, but this is the real thing. Go forth and drain the shelves.
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