01 June 2016

Essex boy disappoints

In my experience, bottle-conditioned beers are far more likely to be over-carbonated than under. So I was surprised and quite dismayed when my bottle of Martyr IPA from Bishop Nick brewery in Braintree poured out like it was straight from the fermenter -- limp and lifeless, with just a desultory skim of bubbles on top.

Willamette and Simcoe are the hops in this 5%-er but it tastes convincingly English, all tangy marmalade rather than citric or piney. I will admit I had been hoarding it for longer than I should have, and that much of its hop effects probably died of neglect some months back, but at the same time they weren't exactly going to be exploding out of the glass when the beer is as flat as this.

Any advance on marmalade? Only other bits of the orangey English bitter profile: wholegrain toast, some sandalwood spicing and a metallic boiled-cabbage bitterness. It's not unpleasant, it just a little bit tough going, and the flatness removes any possibility of the bitterness being invigorating or refreshing.

I can imagine this being much more fun as a well-kept cask ale, though I'd question how "American" it's ever going to taste.