The random beer generator that sits behind the walls of Marks & Spencer in Jervis Shopping Centre threw up a bottle of M&S IPA a few months ago. I've yet to encounter an M&S beer that's worth what they're charging for it (though the Carlow-brewed Irish Stout comes close), but the high turnover means I'll always buy a bottle of whatever's there just in case this is The One.
The IPA is not The One. It's barely even a Half. There's a vague hoppiness to the aroma but it makes it clear that big, sweet crystal malt is the driving force behind the whole thing. We get a little bit of hard bitterness at the start of the flavour, and a hint of floral notes at the end, but otherwise it's sweet, slightly sticky, toffee malt all the way through. Nothing is cloying or difficult, but none of it is particularly interesting either. This is a Marks & Spencer jumper of a beer.
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