Picking randomly from the plethora of English ales knocking around in Dublin at the moment I got these two from Holt's of Manchester.
Fifth Sense is an amber ale of 4.3% ABV. Its most impressive feature is the head: a thick layer of foam that's still largely in place towards the end of the pint. Everything else about it is muted: a mildly toffee-like crystal malt sweetness dominates, finished off by an almost pilsneresque green herbal bitterness. The fairly busy fizz enhances its lagerish qualities.
I finished it quite quickly, more out of boredom than anything else. It's fairly quaffable, though the toffee does get a bit sickly before the end.
On to the next one then: 1849. Not such a good head on this, but lower carbonation which more than makes up for the aesthetics. It's 4.5% ABV and a dark red colour. And once again the sweetness is what it's all about. I get a massive hit of brown sugar up front untroubled by any hop character at all. Caramel follows, plus just the slightest hint of the strawberry taste I get from some of the better Irish reds at the finish. The middle, however, is unpleasantly watery. The mix of heavy sugar and a thin lack of flavour does not make for enjoyable drinking.
Another beer that's best downed with no more said about it, I think.
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1 month ago