Isle Of Arran: Sunset (Scotland: Bitter: 4.4% ABV)
Visual: Golden brown. Moderate off white head. Reasonable amount of carbonation.
Nose: Ginger spice. Lime sorbet. Digestive biscuits. Lemongrass. Strawberry.
Body: Creamy texture. Strawberry. Gingerbread and light chilli spice. Bready. Light creamy lemon. Some bitterness.
Finish: Gingerbread. Cream. Light hop bitterness. Bready. Grassy. Lightly earthy.
Conclusion: This is both a mellow and yet also slightly spicy beer. Intriguing. The main texture and taste on this one is a slightly sweetened cream. You know, nothing too out of the normal for the sweeter end of the bitter fare (Sweeter end of bitter. That always looks odd…) While it is not unusual it is well done, with some nice strawberry and sorbet notes amongst the sweetness. Nowt special, but nice.
Then, well then comes the spicy notes – not like a curry spicy, like crushed gingerbread or a ginger sponge. Warming, but in an unobtrusive way – the warmth works in a similar way to how hops would normally be used. I said “would” as the more traditional hop notes seem to be quite reined in here.
So, yeah, mellow but spicy – behind that is a fairly simple and slightly grassy beer, however overall it is pretty nice. The ginger notes are not excessive – in fact it does not push any given note excessively, yet it gives a tasty experience while it slips down so easily. Even the earthy character, so common of British hops, is held back so to be present but not intrusive.
Balanced and satisfying. Not one to rave about, but well worth easy back with.
Background: With a name like sunset I kind of expected it to be an Amber ale. I was wrong. Anyway, this was part of a set of Arran beers that my Parents brought back from Scotland. Again, many thanks. I have a fun family. Best I know the Arran brewery and distillery are not linked, apart from being on the same Island.