Dawkins: The Unrepeatable (England: Golden Ale: 3.8% ABV)

Visual: Very pale lemon juice. Moderate white head froth head that leaves suds. Some cloudy lines laced throughout the body.

Nose: Lemon juice. Clean hop character and bitterness. Hop oils. Lime notes. Fresh. Lemongrass and bubblegum. Resin. Greenery. Flour.

Body: White crusty bread. Lemongrass. Slight brown bread. Slight apricot. Some bitterness. Some kiwi.

Finish: Greenery and kiwi and lime. Dried apricot. Flour. Mint leaves.

Conclusion: Ok, the aroma to this beer promises a heck of a lot – lots of freshness, lots of lemon, and lots of influence from my beloved hop – Sorachi Ace. Now, obviously not all of the ten hops are getting a look in here – that would be nigh impossible, but at this point it had a heck of a fresh and full aroma. It is just that this number of different hops tend to be a matter of diminishing returns, and more of a gimmick than an actual need for that many varieties. Still, very impressive first impression.

Mid body, well, it loses a bit of the variety from the aroma. It is not as fresh, more a kind of gentle bready backing. Still quite a lemony beer, with some lemongrass backing and a bit of greenery – but loses some of the distinct characteristics of the aroma. It is pleasant, with a not too high level of hop bitterness. I think a lot more could have been done with the hops it had available as it feels like the beer has less complexity than a careful use of two of the three hops together generally has. I’m not complaining about the flavours you do get – a fruity, hoppy, but gentle blond ale. I’m just not seeing it as that unusual for the hoppier end of the blond ale spectrum.

So, as a hopped up blond ale – weirdly enough it needs a bit more flavour, and a bit more grip for the flavour it does have. It can tend towards the bland end about a third of the time – when it is on it is satisfying, but not special.

So, a good general ale, but not a taste spectacular that such a hop choice deserves. A beer where more is definitely less, but still generally good enough even if it is less than the sum of its parts.

Background: Originally brewed for Bristol Beer Week 2016 – don’t know if this is the same batch as its “Unrepeatable” name would indicate. It is made with Rakau, Mosaic, Galaxy, Admiral, Citra, Delta, El Dorado, Azacca, Sorachi Ace, and Amarillo hops. The difference here is that is is high hopped, but not an IPA. Not even a session IPA thank flip. Anyway, using this many different hops can result in a mess but I thought it would be fun to try, so I grabbed it from Independent Spirit of Bath. Drunk while listening to a bunch of Erock’s Meet metal videos, starting with Heathens. I don’t like the original song, but I am currently obsessed with covers of it. Go figure.