Plain Ales: The Wife’s Bitter (England: Bitter: 3.9% ABV)

Visual: Chestnut brown with a dust for a head.

Nose: Light bitter hops. Parma violets (the sweets). Slight earthy aroma. Slight treacle.

Body: Slick. Sweet sugar eggs. Parma violets again. Light toffee, with good bitter behind it.  Sweet lemon styling and a touch of glacier cherries. Custard cream biscuits. Creamy drinks.

Finish: Love heart sweets. Light strawberry and bitterness. Red cherry touch. Fresh. Toffee and a dry bitterness.

Conclusion: This is one of those unexpected favourites.  Light and smooth bitter with a light touch and a good range of sweet fruitiness that plays a fresh touch throughout the beer.

This flavour combines with a perfectly placed abv to create the spot on session ale. It’s easy drinking and uses an understated bitterness in the finish to make sure it doesn’t get sickly.  The really have done a good job balancing the hops just right on this one.

A lovely counterpoint to the idea that a session beer should be dull, or must sacrifice the standard bitter styling to make it interesting.

The lovely flavours are laced through a solid old school bitter body. It adds to this core rather than replacing it making for a superior amalgamation. This is the first Plain Ales beer that has really impressed me. It isn’t a contemplation beer and should not be judged as such. It is a session ale and an excellent example thereof.  A darker counterpoint to my other favoured session beer Art Brews I Beer.

Well worth a nights drinking.

Background: Oddly I could not find much info on the beer style for this one.  Based on its taste, name, colour and abv I would guess at a bitter, despite it being quite sweet and fruity for that style. I’ll keep an eye out and see if anyone lets me know I’m wrong.  Plain ales have been ok, but a bit dull for me up to this point.  Looking at their website it seems this is their February ale with a deliberate shot at Valentines Day in the title. Fine enough by me. Drunk at the Royal Oak. I’d drunk the beer a few times already and decided I really should review it.