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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Monday, 28 February 2011

Beer of the Month: Dark Star Six Hop Ale

This was sampled in the Bree Louise in London, although it’s also been on in the new Port St Beer House as well. It’s a 6.5% IPA that proved so popular last year that Dark Star felt obliged to brew it again this year. It’s labelled “Extreme Hops” and you soon see why.

The bouquet of this delightful amber ale is the first clue. Heavy doses of pine and tropical fruit assault the senses before the full tongue-tingling rush of the six (five and then dry hopped, apparently) hops begins. More resiny pine and citrus flavours here, but mainly just a massive rush of hops that hopheads will love.

A slightly sticky mouthfeel and an extreme finish makes it very moreish; for hopheads only, though, it has to be said. It’s simply too much for some and I’ve had it described as “like having one ball ripped off while your chewing on the other”. But I’m not sure that’s an official beer blogger’s tasting note.

Breakfast Beer Tasting: St Patrick's Best

Coming in a 500ml bottle, this 3.8% Bitter comes from the Strangford Lough Brewery which is allegedly based in Killyleagh, County Down. I say allegedly as there is some doubt as to where they actually brew. However, I’m here to drink the darn stuff, not question their authetnicity and certainly not question all that cliched guff on the bottle about St Patrick.

The basics: The beer poured a light amber colour with good levels of carbonation and a tight head that had a pleasing level of retention. There’s not much in the aroma-a little caramel and maybe just a faint hint of woodiness.

Taste: To me, the beer seemed a little thin. I know the American version (brewed under license) is 4.2% and perhaps it needs that little extra in the trouser department to do it justice. The initial taste of malt and caramel, with a little woodiness thrown in, soon gives way to a smooth, inoffensive mouthfeel.

Finish: Short and disappointing.

Conclusion: A pleasant enough breakfast beer for the beginner, but lacks the depth to please the experienced palate. One for your mother.