Mad Hatter Hold Yr Plums

Mad Hatter: Hold Yr Plums (England: Sour Ale: 5.3% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow. Massive yellowed head. Massive carbonation. Head keeps rising slowly long after being poured.

Nose: Soft yogurt. Custard cream biscuits. Plums. Gentle overall.

Body: Tart plums. Smooth character. Fig rolls. Vanilla sweetness. Sugar dusting. Tart apples. Slightly acidic. Vanilla toffee and fudge mix. Refreshing, slightly creamy. Herbs, not sure which, possibly sage like.

Finish: White bread. Fluffy feel, Tart apples. Tart plums. Raspberry. Creamy.

Conclusion: This is an oddly satisfying and gentle beer. Ok, the surprise is more the gentle than the satisfying, bit the satisfying is definitely nice to have. Anyway, yes this is tart, but not harsh at all for a sour. It is also very energetic. I poured it, then rapidly sipped off the rising froth to prevent it over pouring. Stopped, took a photo. Sipped again. Started taking notes. About a minute later I noticed it was still slowly rising and threatening to overflow. The head just seems to not want to stop rising, just slowly and steadily rise on forever.

Anyway, as mentioned before this is tart but in a soft and refreshing fashion. It is even slightly creamy in a way that is in phase with an almost, but not quite traditional vanilla toffee malt backdrop, just delivered in a tarter style. The subtle herbs here add a lovely mild spice to the middle. However, let us face it, that is not what you are wondering about with this beer. You are wondering how much this beer lets me hold its plums and how good it felt.

Yeah, it has a nice package of plums. Soft, but definitely the point of this beer. With the sweetness it can come across kinda fig roll like, but generally it is very evident for what it is and matches well against the soft body. Just deliciously drinkable dark fruit.

This is the polar opposite of those ultra dry acidic sours that are popular these days, but that isn’t said as a bad thing. It is a wonderful summer refresher, showing that you can deliver those with the darker end of the fruit scale.

Sweet, tart fruity, and with good use of the herb. Simple, summery and enjoyable. I approve.

Background: This also seems to exist as “Hold Your Plums”, just to confuse the naming convention. As demonstrated by the photo, this, eclectic spelling version does exist. Honest. This is a sour ale made with plums, rose petals, and damson. Grabbed from Independent Spirit, this one had been tempting me for a while because of its unusual nature, and I finally picked it up. Went back to some metal for listening to while drinking this one – Lamb Of God – Ashes Of The Wake. Good old angry scream music. Also I once did “Laid To Rest” on karaoke in Japan. Nearly did my throat in with the metal growl. Well worth it.

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