Are You Tasting the Pith? - 24th April 05
I am, predictably, as suspicious as hell of any beer that has "Serve Ice Cold" on the label. This is all too often a way of disguising blandness as refreshment, or worse, acknowledgign that your beer won't taste very nice unless you chill it to within an inch of it's life. So I wasn't particularly well disposed to Wylam Bohemia (4.6% abv) from the outset. Add the phrase "Czech recipe Pilsener Beer", and I'm reaching for the black headcloth and preparing to serve a death sentence.
So be reassured that appearances can be deceptive. From the first pungent hop and malt blast of the bouquet, to the last slightly sweet, orange-barley hit of the finish, this beer is utterly delightful. I can't vouch for it's authenticity as a recreation of a Czech pilsener, but it is wonderfully balanced, crisp and complex,and a beer that is likely to appeal to lovers of pale Scottich bitter - Deuchars IPA and Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted in particular.
I guess it's probably time I went public with my antipathy towards St. Peter's bottled beers. With a couple of exceptions, I find their entire bottled output unbalanced, badly bottled, and overpriced outside of the supermarkets. It's a shame, because on draught, I find their beers pretty good, and their Jerusalem Tavern is well worht a detour if you happen to be in London. And just for a change, this isn't one of my hilarious build-ups where I set somethign up for a panning, but then praise it (see above). It's just a slightly padded-out way of saying that the perfumed, soapy concoction in front of me is yet another beer in their huge range that just isn't good enough. If you excuse it's faults (the weird soapy palate), it's nice enough, but their good beers (Cream Stout, Honey Porter) show that they can do it when they want to.
Keep up, chaps.
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