25 May 2006

Tales from the Dual Carriageway

I'm in England today and just went for a couple of pints in an uber-generic off-ramp pub, the kind of which dots arterial roads from Truro to Sunderland. I was quite pleased, in such a wash of generic lagers, to find Old Speckled Hen on tap. Old Speckled Hen is the kind of English beer that other beers should look up to. On tap, however, it is a whole different ball-game, it seems. What I received was ice-cold with a frothy nitrogen head and took about half an hour in the sun to develop something resembling the taste of Old Speckled Hen from a bottle. However, I'm taking a positive slant on this: by drinking this beer by the bottle back home I am getting a better experience than those consuming it in the pub in its country of origin.

From the same McPub I tried Bombardier. This was at least honest in its approach (or maybe it's just that I've never had it from a bottle). Again it was cold and frothy, but this time there was no attempt at flavour: this is one of those ultra-smooth ales which goes down silkily but basically tastes like air. It's not an unpleasant experience, by any means, but it really drives one's thirst for a decent cask ale.

No comments:

Post a Comment