26 June 2015

Another look

It's three and half hours on the train from Dublin to Killarney. For the journey I brought some beers that had been sitting neglected in my fridge, to combine leisurely train-drinking with putting a dent in my review backlog. Win-win. All three are from the range Marston's produces for Tesco.

First up, Revisionist Pacific Hop Red Ale, 4.2% ABV and promising Waimea and Pacific Gem hops. It's more copper than gold. Maybe rose gold if you're feeling charitable. There's a waft of vegetal hops on the nose suggesting the Kiwi varieties are a bit of a token effort but really this is an English ale to the bone. My theory is borne up by the flavour too. An assertive metallic bitterness opens its account, seguing swiftly to a dry tannic finish. I wasn't expecting a brown bitter but having been presented with one I quite enjoyed it, though I'll admit I shed a tear for what those New Zealand hops could have been in a different recipe.

To follow, Revisionist American Hop Rye Pale Ale. This time the claim is that Amarillo and Citra are the signature aroma hops but there's more of an earthy Cascade smell I reckon. Not that that's a bad thing. Crystal malt toffee looms large in the flavour though the body is light and it stays drinkable, which is appropriate at 4.3% ABV. But the hops are right at the centre of the taste, albeit in an understated, mannerly way. There's more of that metallic bitterness but some brighter peach and mandarin notes too. Overall a rather simple, fun and undemanding session pale ale.

Transferring at Mallow and on to Revisionist Dark India Pale Ale. It's not quite pure black, but close, with just a reddish cast to it. The aroma isn't up to much but there's a nice balance in the flavour between mild grapefruit hops (Chinook and Citra, says the label) and chocolate and caramel dark malt. The bitterness is low, but no harm. Simple, smooth, sweet and rather tasty. Full bodied too, for just 4.8% ABV.

I liked these. There are no flaws in their construction and a definite effort has been made both at offering something different to the supermarket shopper and explaining to them what makes it different. Dark IPAs and rye pale ales suggest that gateway beers are coming along in leaps and bounds.