Tyne Bank: Brewdog: Amba Necta (England: Amber Ale: 6.5% ABV)
Visual: Amber to apricot. Moderate toffee coloured sudded head that leaves rings.
Nose: Toffee. juicy apricot. Medium amount of rough hops and pineapple. Resin. Honey.
Body: Slick thick texture. Moderate bitterness. Stewed fruit and light oak. Pineapple tartness. Chalk. Oily honey.
Finish: Charred oak. Thin honey sheen. Stewed apricot. Brown bread. Toffee malt. Dry mead. Slight sour dough.
Conclusion: Day 2! And what we have here is this kind of dry meadesque amber ale. It’s an unusual one, it feels like a thin sheen of honey is covering your tongue, but despite that it is still very drying, into an almost sour dough twist. The honey, while good for texture really doesn’t seem to provide much sweetness to the ale. Now, often I could criticise beers for being too sweet, but here it is so dry that going out if feels like charred oak on the tongue, and it doesn’t have the weight of flavour to pull off that element.
I guess all that is the long way around saying that I’m not really taken by this beer. The texture is probably the best part, slick but with a touch of grip, but in the other elements it lays on it is a bit too harsh and dry. The stewed fruit promised by the aroma, which would balance it out, is never really delivered in a large enough measure to make a difference.
So, you end up with a harsh beer, that promised a lot but ends leaving a dry mouth and little delivered. You just get lots of roasted and rough edges in need of a sweeter body to be a counter balance. It is a disappointment as it has hints of the elements it needs, that hint of pineapple tartness and stewed apricot – but they never rise to the challenge.
Background: So, after trying ten of the collabfest 214 ales in one day, what do I do. Go back for day two obviously. There are still six beers left to try! I may be slightly insane, but how would you tell? Anyway, the first beer of day two – a honey and apricot amber ale. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.