Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Buxton Spa - Special Pale Ale from the Buxton Brewery

This, and let there be no mistake about it, is a cracking beer.

Don't be fooled by the fact that it's a pale ale from up North, it's not something to be put in the same league as the traditional English (think Sammy Smiths) style of pale ale.

So, first things first, what happens when you pour it?  Presuming you've followed the instructions, the sediment will be settled at the bottom (this is unpasteurised), you'll get a nice smooth pour which won't leave you with an icecream head, what you get as you tip the last of it is a few little bits of sediment which will land on the head.  If you aren't squeamish about consuming the fingernails and the foreskin of the original brewer, leave it in there (or don't tip the bottle up), if you are, you can scoop it off the head quite easily.

Now, get your nostrils over the edge of the glass and inhale deeply.  You'll be hit by an amazing wallop of ruby red grapefruit, I'm guessing it's a Nelson Sauvin hop that has done that, the bottle doesn't say.  A second whiff will give you something akin to the smell of undiluted Um Bongo.  Don't panic about this.

Now, take a sip (or a big long draught), you'll get the grapefruit straight away,  you'll get the bitterness (it's tart but not so much it's unpleasant) hitting your taste buds once the beer has been round your mouth and is down your gullet.  It's not that fizzy - so don't be too concerned about the lack of burp, one will come and it will be worth it.

For my money, this is one of the best new style pale ales out there and the beauty is that unlike some of the other big hoppy English beers, it only weighs in at 4.1% abv, which means that it's a great beer to session.

In terms of food, this would sit well with a thai curry or a chilli.  The way it would wash away the lingering heat from the food whilst complimenting the spiciness and aromas would be excellent.  However, it can equally be enjoyed just sitting down and looking at the telly/the sea/a mountain (everywhere) on it's own.

You must try this beer, it is absolute nectar.

9/10 from me.

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