31 March 2017

The 'Belly can brief

YellowBelly does cans now. If you've been following Irish beer on the internet or the shelves of the better shops you've probably noticed. The first two out are the Citra Pale Ale and YellowBelly Lager.

I was absolutely stunned by how good the latter was the first time I had it, down at the brewpub in 2015. It didn't look so attractive poured from the can: murky and with a total failure of a head. Still tastes pretty bang-on though. You don't get much aroma, and it's not one of those lagers which tries to impress with any specific aspects of the good-lager rulebook. Sweetness is the primary feature, and were you so gauche as to put a style on it you'd probably call it a helles. But there's a green hop kick on the end, just squinting over the malt parapet, which is pure pilsner. A stylistic headache, perhaps, but still a quality beer.

The companion piece in this first run of cans is YellowBelly Citra Pale Ale, of which I had yet to make the acquaintance. This chap is 4.8% ABV and a nearly opaque shade of orange. Its most striking attribute is its softness: the body is gently pillowy and there's almost no bitterness in the flavour. Instead there's an even sherbety texture, overlaid with gentle lemon and succulent nectarines. Citra has a reputation for punchy sharpness but that doesn't come through here; the bitterness is very restrained, offering no more than a decorative flourish on the very tail end. Citra fans are left with just a mild piney resin quality which smacks the bitterness sensors but doesn't hang around. I suspect that this is not a beer intended for considered sipping: the smooth texture and gentle hoppiness suggest that you're meant to throw it back and reach for another, and I absolutely endorse that as an approach.

Looking for quality cans for the sesh? Here they are.

No comments:

Post a Comment