26 September 2011

In it for the money

Odell again. This time another of their dark malt-driven beers: 90 Shilling. It's a darkish amber colour and shows little by way of aroma. The signature fruity Odell hops are there in the flavour, but they're muted under lots of milk chocolate and a heavy dose of caramel.

While warming, it's not especially thick or heavy and the fizz keeps it from being properly mellow. Like lots of the beer from this brewery, and the dark ones in particular, it just misses the mark. Some fine tuning and it could be fantastic. As it is there's nothing wrong with it, per se, but it's less than the sum of its parts.

Meanwhile, just 12 weeks from the brewery to my back garden comes Odell's double IPA Myrcenary. Keeping things fruity, I get masses of magic mandarins on pouring what proves to be quite a pale and hazy beer, showing very little gloop for a 9.3% ABV monster.

A proper sniff shows it's no hop-bomb either, giving off innocent sherbet notes. The texture is more full-on, however: heavy and a bit greasy in the mouth. The first taste brings a gorgeous hop burn, but not harsh at all, nor inappropriately alcoholic. Smooth, warming and flavourful are what it's all about. This is not an aggressive beer, but rather charming and fun to spend time with. I'd be interested to compare it with Sierra Nevada's Torpedo. It's more subtly flavoured but I couldn't say if that's a good thing or bad in double IPA.

That subtlety means Myrcenary is scarily drinkable. Remind yourself to sip it. It's an awful beer geek cliché to say the double IPA is the best beer in the brewery's range, but with Odell it really is.


  1. I too enjoy the myrcenary, but I think in terms of ease of drinking the 5barrel PA is my favourite. I also enjoy isolation. I'm not keen on the 90", which interestingly is on the wetherspoon beer festival next month

  2. The IPA was my previous favourite, but Myrcenary just trumps it for me.

  3. It really is something else, isn't it. I do find Odell either on the money (as in this case) or utterly forgettable. But this is an awesome beer.