Wychwood: Dr Thirsty’s No 4 Blond (England: Golden Ale: 4.1% ABV)

Visual: Gold, clear and still. Moderate white head that leaves lace.

Nose: Sweet lemon. Vanilla. Wheat to muesli. Mild cream. Orange zest.

Body: Lime, lemon and orange. Lightly tart in the fruit. Light chalk. Light milk. Moderate bitterness.

Finish: Lemon curd and cream. Light chalk. Moderate bitterness. Orange. Wheaty. Light sour grapes. Muesli. Lime. Muggy bitterness.

Conclusion: This an unusually tart blond beer. I am 90% sure that this, and most of Wychwoods bottled beers, are pasteurised and I think that could be part of what causes it, oddly enough. The pasteurised bottled beers tend to have a different mouthfeel that makes the flavours of the base weaker, but here contrasts the tarter flavours so they seem to pop more.

Generally it works pretty well – you have a mild, slightly milky, blond base contrasted with a good range of of orange, lime and grape notes all delivered with freshness and tartness. Now, it doesn’t all work – the pasteurised feeling body also seems to make the bitterness come in slightly muggy and rough which works against the gentle feel of the rest of the beer.

I am wondering if this would work a lot better on cask. It is ok, but it feels like one of those beers that would really benefit from the bit of extra body and character that you could get from a real ale on a hand pump. It especially feels like it would help give a better hop presence as that element gets a bit wearing in its roughness by the end.

So, good in its use of citrus, has a slightly weak base, and results in a reasonable, if middle of the road beer. Not stand out nor terrible.

Background: This was another gift from my mate Tony – many thanks. Also this one doesn’t suck. Wooo! Wychwood beers used to be a standby of mine in the old days – not so much these days, but they are still an ok go to. Not tried this one, and I don’t drink as many blond ales as I should – it is a decent style but easy to overlook for more shiny styles. This was drunk while listening to Bratmobile – Pottymouth. Really cool Riot Grrl style punk that I should listen to more than I do.