Ben Dean-Titterrell

Politics and beer. Travel content coming soon…

Tag: England

1001 Beers: 16. Thornbridge Jaipur

Bottle.jpg

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA

From: England

Brewed by: Thornbridge

First brewed: 2005

ABV: 5.9%

Obtained from: Beerhawk

I’ve had a Thornbridge beer before for this blog, and I’m afraid it was not a success. I think more than anything else it was the style wot lost it; I’ve never been a stout fan. But I’ve read good things about Thornbridge as a brewery, so in a style that’s much more to my taste, I’m expecting good things.

We’re off to a good start colour-wise. That’s a lovely bright yellow. I love to see beers with a nice bright colour and this really ticks that box. There’s a haziness there too. I honestly sit on the fence on the haze/no haze debate. I think it works in Jaipur’s favour here though. In short: it’s a lovely looking beer.

Cap

You get citrus everywhere with this one, and the first place you get it is in the aroma. It’s lovely and fresh, smelling of lemons and oranges. When we get onto flavour I taste even stronger citrussy notes. It’s razor sharp and only gets sharper the further back on the tongue it goes. I like a sharp note to a beer but this was a little sharper than what I’d have in a perfect world.

All in all, this is a top quality beer. It’s got plenty of flavour to it, it’s very well made, and the citrusy notes make it a very refreshing IPA. No less than four stars.

4 out of 5

1001 Beers: 10. Thornbridge Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg Imperial Russian Stout

From: England

Brewed by: Thornbridge Brewery

First brewed: 2005

ABV: 7.4%

Obtained from: Beerhawk

I’d never tried a stout before I picked out this beer. It already felt like it was more than about time I did so. And yet I tasted this beer with some trepidation. As a well established fan of lighter, hoppier, fruitier beers I had the lingering belief that stout may be too adverse a taste for my liking. Yet I tried as best I could to take this beer as it was rather than how I thought it would be.

My first thought remained my overriding thought: “Damn that’s bitter.” The bitterness was deep and strong, it descended into something of a sourness. It was incredibly full bodied and dominated the mouth, almost burning on the tongue. The north of 7% strength left a kick in the back of the throat that stayed for some time.

Bottle Cap

Speaking of the strength of this beer; it may have been a mistake to start off with such a strong stout as my first. Having say for instance an IPA that was 7% as mys first IPA may have warranted a similar reaction. Starting with stronger beers seems like quite a backwards way of doing things; like putting the stabilisers on a bike after learning to ride unaided.

So a mistake on my part possibly. But the strength of this stout doesn’t change the simple and unavoidable fact that I just don’t really like bitterness in beer.

This really wasn’t for me. It’s nothing personal, but a two out of five.

2 out of 5

1001 Beers: 6. Adnams Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

Adnams Ghost Ship

From: England

Brewed by: Adnams Brewery

First brewed: 2010

ABV: 4.5%

Obtained from: Tesco (Colchester, Essex)

Adnams Ghost Ship was the first beer I’ve had for this project so far that I’ve drunk with food. I have to say it went wonderfully with the fish and chips I had that evening. This was all thanks to the strong, dominating citrus taste of this IPA. The tastes of lemon and lime were obvious from the first sip and stayed with me the whole way through.

Another thing I noted about this beer was how it was nicely balanced on the palette. It wasn’t too heavy and it wasn’t too light. It reached a lovely middle ground where it could be enjoyed with a full flavour whilst at the same time not being overpowering. Ghost Ship is best had in full, long swigs that fill the mouth with all the intensity of the taste rather than in short, shallow sips.

Bottle Top

I like to close my eyes and envisage the optimal time and place to drink each beer I try. For this one I saw a pint of this in a garden (doesn’t have to be a beer garden) on a warm, balmy summer’s evening as the sun sets.

Scoring this beer was certainly a tricky one. Torn between a three and a four I’ve eventually opted to give Ghost Ship a strong three out of five.

3 out of 5

1001 Beers: 1. 13 Guns

13 Guns

13 Guns

From: England

Brewed by: Thwaites

First brewed: 2011

ABV: 5.5%

Obtained from: Wetherspoons (The LantokayStreet, Somerset)

This English tribute to an American twist on Indian Pale Ale (IPA) packs a serious punch. The flavour of the beer is very intense, you really don’t have to wait a moment to get the full body of the taste. This beer is like when someone gives you a very firm pat on the back, it’s not so intense as to knock you over but you will be a little taken aback.

In terms of the tastes and smells that hit you a few seconds after you take a sip there’s an obvious fruitiness to this American IPA. It feels tangy on the back of the tongue and has sweetness to it that I really enjoyed. The fruitiness stays with you after each sip, lingering on the tongue. This is a beer to savour in the evening somewhere warm and cosy.

A final thing I liked about this may at first seems inconsequential, but I felt it made a difference. The colour. Yeah it sounds silly but this beer had a lovely colour. It had beautiful amber glow when the light hit it and this made the experience ever more enjoyable.

The inaugural beer for this 1001 beers project was a lovely one. Certainly makes it onto the list of better IPA’s I’ve tried. I’d definitely drink 13 Guns again. Out of 5, it gets a 4.

4 out of 5