15 September 2017

Shropshire citrus

A couple of beers from top Shropshire brewers Salopian today, kindly muled over to my parents' house by my sister over the summer.

First to be opened was Lemon Dream, after a long walk on a warm June afternoon. I was so thirsty I almost didn't stop to take notes. It's a 4.5% ABV pale ale and a bright clear lemon-yellow. There are real lemons in it, and they really make their presence felt in the aroma: an oily citrus perfume, akin to air freshener or washing up liquid but with none of the negative connotations. Crisp cookie malt gives this a base and ensures the body is full enough for it to be satisfying to drink. The bitterness is surprisingly low, meaning it's more like a golden ale than any hop-forward style, but it's literally and figuratively refreshing to find that the added fruit hasn't been overdone. So, an excellent subtle twist on quality golden ale, keeping the good bits while banishing boredom.

I followed that with a bottle of Bulletproof, from Salopian's craftish range with the uninformative labels. It's bottle-conditioned, 5.8% ABV and turns out to be an IPA. This is even more citrusy than the beer with actual lemons in it. The aroma promises a sharp bitterness while first sip delivers a huge blast of lime: fresh, bitter and invigorating. That's followed by a softer and juicier passionfruit and mango flavour. A deposit of greasy hop resins on the tongue make the finish very good value for money. On the down side the body is a little thin, especially for the strength, and it risks accusations of unbalance as a result. That doesn't bother me, however, I could frolic in its hoppy wonderland forever.

Boring old regional English beer in half-litre bottles, eh? Not so much with Salopian.

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