09 January 2019

Very common

Don't mess with a classic. Or maybe do. I'll say this at least: the arrival of a Dry-Hopped version of Anchor Steam Beer did make me go out and buy a bottle of the original version for comparison.

The newbie appears a little hazier, though is still the same rich copper shade. From the aroma the malt seems to be still in charge, but there's a zesty lemon sherbet that wasn't there before. And that's the same story on tasting: an unsubtle citric hop layer, all lemon curd and liquorice. The original, crisp, Anchor Steam Beer is still visible, but it's like it has been crop-dusted with a thick layer of hop perfume.

It works, and it's actively pleasant to drink, but I'm not sure it's really an improvement. It doesn't magically become a modern west-coast IPA, and fully retains its old-world stylings, in the manner of a 1950s sweetshop. Part of me expected it to be near identical to Anchor Steam but this is definitely its own thing.

Most importantly of all, there's precious little that tastes like this on the shelves these days.

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