The last couple of weeks have been pretty crazy: work deadlines, wine dinners (#7wordwinereview), home shows, father’s day, wine studying etc… But this Thursday was busy in a good way. At the last minute I got solicited by The Wine Tasting Company to entertain a group of ladies and gents with a bout of wine quiz before dinner. Even though I have very little experience I would have been a fool to let this opportunity slip so I made the hour long drive to Nantwich to a fancy hotel and did my best to keep them amused and interested. A bit daunting but I had a good time and I hope they enjoyed it too. The idea was to match the wine being tasted to the correct grape variety with the list and description of the respective varieties.
But as it happens, it was also Miss Mash and I’s first of twelve weekly home-based beer tasting sessions. Let me explain… Miss Mash recently came across the BeerBods bunch and thought it would be a perfect no-particular-reason present for the Musty bloke that I am. I hope my future kids think along the same lines for Father’s Day 😉 The concept, whilst not ground-breaking, is pretty cool and contemporary and I reckon it’s going to pick up quickly providing they keep the beer range eclectic and daring. The idea is to order a case of 12 different beers and every Thursday evening at 9, you and your #BeerBods crack open the “beer of the week” and share your thoughts on twitter… Since the selection process is taken from you so as to get the 12 beers for the next 12 weeks, It has the added benefit of disregarding your pre-conceptions and influences which means you get to discover beers that you may not necessarily be attracted to.
This week was St Austell’s Proper Job IPA (5.5%)
Mainly Maris Otter barley malts and three kinds of American hops: Williamete, Cascade and Chinook. Vivid citrus (orange) aromas with a touch of honey from the sweet malts. On the palate it’s more of the same with a clean prickly fizz and soft, mouthcoating body.
The HasBean coffee guys argue that it cannot really be a traditional IPA since it uses American Hops. On the paper I would tend to agree actually. But when it comes to it, this tastes more British than American to me. It’s a question of opinion and to be fair a lot of British breweries seem to be riding the New Wave of American-Style IPA or #NWOASI (just made it up). And I certainly am not complaining about it, thanks to this renewal in beer interest from the wider public (branded the Craft Beer Revolution by some) I now know what malts and hops are and I can distinguish their respective contribution in the glass. But to get back to the St Austell, I don’t think it displays overly hoppy characters and it has the distinctive drinkability of a good British ale. So Traditional IPA, on the paper no but in the gob yes.
It’s not the most exciting beer out there and nor is it trying to be. But I’d happily have several pints of the stuff if my local would serve it (In fact I would actually visit my local if they were serving that instead of the insipid stuff they pour).