Gyle 59: Freedom Hiker (England: Bitter: 3.7% ABV)
Visual: Hazy yellow. Thin loose white bubbles.
Nose: Lemon. Sulphur. Dried apricot.
Body: Dried apricot. Sulphur. Modest bitterness. Fresh lemon. Slightly thin mouthfeel, but distinctly real ale like. Lime. Vanilla.
Finish: Lime. Dry bitterness. Solid hop character and bitterness level. Lemon. Vanilla. Sugar dusting.
Conclusion: This is one of the most real ale tasting beers I have ever encountered poured from a bottle. If you had handed me a glass without me seeing the pour and said it had come from a cask I would have believed you. The loose bubbled head, the sulphur touch and the distinct mouthfeel all says cask poured to me. The closest thing to cask without being in one! You can put that in your ad copy as well mate.
Flavour wise it is a fruity one. Lots of lime, lemon and dried apricot leading into a pretty robustly bitter finish. It isn’t that the bitter kick is that big, but more that the beer is more fresh than sweet so the bitter has less to contrast it so it feels bigger. The main sweetness available is a soft vanilla base, present but something underlying the rest of the beer rather than a large element in itself.
The sweetness does rise as the beer warms though and here, more balanced, it provides a very reasonable session ale. Spot on abv, fresh flavour and just enough bitterness to wake up the taste buds without getting too heavy. There is nothing too unusual, but it works well as it walks its well trod road. How appropriate for a beer with hiker in the name
So, a good session beer, and an excellent example of real ale in a bottle, even a pretty reasonable beer in itself.
So, generally, none too shabby.
Background: Huh, just looked this up and it turns out they use Ella hops for it. Cool, I’m a big fan of those. Originally brewed for the Tolpuddle Pilgrims – the Tolpuddle Pilgrimage is thing I have just googled and rapidly decided I didn’t actually care that much anyway. Some sort of victory march, co-operative food thing. I think. Not predominantly beer related is what I am saying. Anyway, this was grabbed from Independent Spirit as I thought it was time to try a few breweries I hadn’t tried before.