Otley: Thai-Bo (Wales: Golden Ale: 4.6%)
Visual: Pale grain gold. Small layer of loose bubbles for a head.
Nose: Lemongrass. Quite resin filled. Minty methanol soothers. Greenery, peppermint and coconut.
Body: Peppermint. Lemongrass. Some sweet syrup or custard. Slightly thin. Moderate bitterness. Coconut and elder berry.
Finish: Lemongrass. Peppermint and bitter hops. Very heavy elderberry here.
Conclusion: Possibly the oddest beer I have had for a while, flavour wise at least, and if you look through my past month or so of reviews then that is saying a lot. Aroma wise it is quiet herbal, possibly a tad like cannabis (admittedly I couldn’t say for sure – I’m not a follower of the herb, but it seems faintly familiar) The main body seems slightly thin, but with the lemongrass, mint and coconut you can’t call it boring. There is a sudden kick at the end with a solid bitterness to match the menthol, not hugely heavy, but definitely enough to wake you up.
The use of the light elderberry sweetness is, while thin, a pleasant enough bit of mid body flavour that works well as a base freshness. The flavours build up over time so that the second half of the pint is significantly better than the first half.
The odd flavours of coconut and menthol mix to make a dry yet refreshing beer. It’s got a slightly sour touch to the finish where I think maybe a more simple bitterness would make for a more satisfying rounding off. I can’t be too critical on that element – this beer is very unusual so there may not be much room to so distinctly delineate the flavours.
My friend considered it an excellent beer, me, I consider it an immensely interesting beer. The slight dry style doesn’t quite work for me so I can’t see myself drinking a lot of it, despite it being built for session style. However the beer is a great one to experience for new sensations.
A nice oddity to try of resinous smell, menthol fresh mid body and greenery, but not a great one to return to regularly.
Background: Ratebeer list this as a spice/herb/vegetable, I presume due to unusual brewing ingredients, but sod it, this is blatantly golden ale. Brewed with the aid of beer writer Melissa Cole. This was a very limited run beer so when I saw it in the Raven I had to give it a try. Good thing I did, then ran out less than half an hour later.