Wiper and True Amber ALe

Wiper and True: Amber Ale (In The Groves) (England: Amber Ale: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Amber to brown. Creamy custard touched head. Slight sud and lace.

Nose: Custard, caramel and touch of citrus. Lime, meringue and menthol.

Body: Thick. Fudge and cream. Pineapple and lime. Golden syrup. Apricot. Meringue. Menthol. Honey. Shortbread.

Finish: Light hop influence. Pineapple. Cream. Tart. Lime sorbet. Brown sugar. Slightly bitter.

Conclusion: This may have a seriously nonsensical brewery name but the beer is a joy. Thick textured with rich sweetness that fills the mouth, then withdraws to leave the more menthol flavours in its wake. This is a great example of how to use the texture to hold the flavour and then slowly let it shift out in the finish. It is supremely rich and tongue coating.

It tastes like a shortbread and honey based dessert, and is quite the sweet treat, but oddly that menthol touch doesn’t let it get ahead of itself, reigning the beer in every time it looks like it about to gallop ahead and grounding it into the lightly bitter finish.

Now that menthol greenery can be a bit of a drawback at times, it is a herbal influence that seems very necessary to the style of the beer, but in itself is not the most rewarding element. Not that it is bad, but more a necessary evil to allow the rest of the beer to do exactly what it wants without getting sickly.

A sweet, rewarding, menthol and just lightly citrus beer that evolves and progresses differently to most beers of this style, emphasising the sweet and then bringing it down to the greenery, letting other notes hang in the back. By the end of the beer the greenery elements can get a bit intrusive, but for the most part they do their job. Again, it is less a flavour element to me than an offset to let the rest of the beer work.

Despite that I can still highly recommend it for craftsmanship and style, an amber dessert beer, huh, I did not realise there could be such a thing.

Background: I think this is “In The Groves” The tap (admittedly out of focus in the photo) did not say, but the abv matches. I had tried Wiper and True Amber Ale (Again with no descriptor) before at Bath Brew House and it tasted even better than this one, more citrus and flavorsome (Seriously that version is show stopper excellent if it is what I drank before), I presume that to be the “In the pines” version from the descriptions on the web site. Before I went to do the write up I didn’t realise there were two versions so did wonder why the two beers I had within a week of each other in two different pubs had such different tastes. If I get the chance I will try to do the “In the pines” version as well. Anyway, this was drunk at the newly done up Porter Bar, now with a good chunk of craft beer taps. I personally like the unusual, non standard ambience, but most of my friends do not, preferring a more standard pub style. Me, I love normal pub style, but its good to have somewhere a bit different.

Porter Bar