Are You Tasting the Pith? - 17th October 04
For those of you not yet in the know, there is a revolution happening. It isn't one that will affect all of us, at least not yet. But you should know about it.
When Greens Discovery was first launched, it got a good reception, and deservedly so. Not only is it the first officially "crossed grain" certified beer, meaning that it is completely wheat and gluten free, making it suitable for coeliacs and others with wheat and gluten intolerance, but it is also a pretty fair beer in its own right. Thankfully, this quality is continued with two new beers.
Pioneer is a lager (I was going to say lager-style, but hell, it is actually a lager), and a very palateable one at that. A soft, slightly sweet aroma, reminiscent of hay or elderflower permeates the nose, and these flavours carry over into the palate, evolving into a nice, dry citrus (predominantly lemon) palate. The finish is fairly dry, evolving further with a slightly sharp, yeast edge, almost reminiscent of a gueuze. The elderflower note reminds me of a favourite abbey beer, Corsendonk Agnus, and while Pioneer doesn't quite share Agnus's powerful malty body, it doesn't really need to - it's a lager. I would genuinely drink this again out of choice, in preference to many other top quality brews.
Styled as a stout (but Derek Green confides that it's perhaps closer to a Trappist ale), Explorer is a full-bodied dark ale, full of roasty notes and dried fruit flavour. The initial impression on the nose is, oddly, of a nice full-bodied red wine, but that's not to say that the beer is off or odd, it just carries its fruit in rather a different manner, similar to Trappist ales in the complex bouquet. On the tongue, the beer is perhaps a little thinner than one might expect of a stout, but instead has a characteristic full, fruity, sherryish note of an old English ale or a Trappist beer. The finish eveolves into a christmas cake and marzipan, port and mince pie flavour, again carrying a little red fruit, making it reminiscent of Rochefort 6, or even Westvleteren Yellow Cap.
I don't think that this will pass as a stout, but Green's have very wisely avoided using such nomenclature on the bottles, allowing the beers to stand on their own merits. As a range, I think they are excellent, and I've no doubt that this is the start of something very big.
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