Arbor Ales are a well-respected Bristol brewery with a growing reputation for quality beers. I’ve had the odd one or two of theirs on draft and always found them excellent, so I was particularly looking forward to trying this bottled sample.
It’s part of their single hop series and comes in a 6.5%, bottle-conditioned, 500ml format. It poured a healthy golden colour with excellent carbonation and a small off-white head. The aroma was an odoriferous delight: a very pungent mix of grapefruit, lemon and pine.
The taste followed on from this with clean, crisp flavours. Dare we say zesty? It’s certainly packed full of lemon, grapefruit, pine, mandarin peel and a spicy bitterness. Lots of bitterness, in fact. It really builds up into something of a crescendo of a dry aftertaste that stays with you for quite awhile.
This is a top-drawer beer, made even more impressive by being bottle-conditioned. They’ve really captured Chinook’s greatness here and it’s like rubbing your face in a hop bale. One of the best beers I’ve had this year.