Saturday, 8 March 2014

Organic Beer Review: Withens Pale Ale

Withens Pale Ale
Little Valley Brewery, Yorkshire
Vegan, Soil Assoc Organic, CAMRA Real Ale, Bottle conditioned

Well this should be right up my street… a nice low ABV Pale Ale. Possible session candidate. The label says “Light & Hoppy”, but notwithstanding the mundane accuracy of this statement the bitter HOPPINESS FACEPUNCH is at first overwhelming like a liver quiver Jackhammer attack. There is also an overtang of yeast to deal with, but heyyyy its vegetarian, right? Underneath this Marmite, the (limestone?) water used is clearly of a high quality, but this is mitigated against by the (unnecessary in my opinion) heavy gassing of the beer. The hops are Cascade variety, with “spice, orange and citrus” notes which combine to give a heady floral backnote more redolent of Elderflowers (probably due to valerianic acid). There is freshness and quality of ingredients in this beer which is lacking in so many others, but for a Pale Ale, there is far too much going on with the yeasty hops juxtaposing with the higher note flavours and the omnipotent scorching volcanic gas for my liking, and it adds up to a mission to drink a bottle of it. Should come with a Gaviscon chaser.

Marks /10
4.0 (playing all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order)

By South Utsire

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