Fort Smith

Roosters: Fort Smith IPA (England: IPA: 5% ABV)

Visual: Clear yellowed gold. Thin white cream head with some bubbles and low carbonation.

Nose: Lemon meringue and resin. Lime. Walnut cake and coffee cake.

Body: Moderate bitterness. Coffee cake. Egg plant. Slightly earthy. Digestives. Coriander. Dried apricot. Slight salt. Passion fruit. Lemon.

Finish; Bitterness. Coffee granules. Fluffy hop character. Touch of dried apricot.  Soil touch. Lemon. Dry ginger. Slightly salty touched.

Conclusion: Hmm, not really feeling IPA here. There is good bitterness, but the body seems too crisp textured and the flavour seems slightly heavy and soil like considering the big citrus hops used in making it. In fact the malt base seems to bring coffee cake and almonds. Not bad flavours but not really IPA.

So, let’s look again and this time ignore style expectations to see if it works as a beer in itself.

The aroma is enticing, bits of fresh lemon, walnut oils and resin. Smooth, sharp and bitterness mixing in the elements. It welcomes you in well. All going good so far.

The body is biscuity, with slight soil hop character. Very crisp textured and easy drinking. The finish on the other hand feels leaded in the hopping, and the flavours sink rather than soar.  An element that brings down the whole experience as it just seems to linger without giving enjoyment in return.  The main body is ok but doesn’t have enough to overcome the let down of the leaden hopping at the end.

The beer is ok mid body with some nice dried apricot and jiff lemon like elements. The flavours are quite soft, with passion fruit, lemon and the like. Soft as they are the rougher digestive flavours behind them seem to bruise them, and don’t allow them to open up well.  Each individual element is nice but together they clash rather than compliment. What lasts through when the lighter elements are gone is that heavy and slightly soil like touch that just doesn’t work.

A pity as there are hints of what the beer could be, but they don’t seem to come out from behind the

Let down by a Yorkshire beer, this is a sad day indeed.

Background: I am slightly wary listing this beer as an IPA. It is called an IPA on the label, but as mentioned in the review it doesn’t hold very closely to the style. Rate beer lists it as a Golden Ale, which does have some merit. However since the beer is quite heavily bitter and hopped, and I tend towards reviewing as whatever a brewery identifies it as, I will call it an IPA though with this explanation. I am biased towards any beers from Yorkshire, as Yorkshire is awesome. The beer is brewed with Citra and Chinook hops and I picked it up from Corks Of Cotham in Bristol. Drunk while listening to Praxis: Transmutation.

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