Sometimes you get a craving that a trip down the pub just isn’t going to fix (not often, but it does happen). Last Saturday was an example of one of those cravings, so we hopped in the car and drove to The Beer Boutique in Putney. I suppose entering the Beer Boutique must be how children feel when they first get to Lego Land; I just wanted to run around and touch everything! They have an excellent selection. To be honest, it’s probably best not to go as soon as you’ve been paid; you’ll end up spending a lot of money…
To the tasting!
Beavertown Black Betty (7.4%)
Okay so this probably wasn’t the best one to start with, but I just couldn’t resist. I’d been waiting so long that I just dived right in!
This poured black as the night sky with a large beige head. The aroma was of tinned peaches in syrup, sharp citrus fruits and hops (can someone turn this into a perfume please?) The taste. OH, THE TASTE. Throughout there were notes of sharp citrus and caramel, peaches and cream and Mars bar milkshake. It was malty with a crisp, bitter finish which stayed with you and was mildly carbonated. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried something which has blown me away, but this hits the nail on the head. I want to buy an additional fridge just to stock it with Black Betty.
Sierra Nevada Beer Camp #93 IPA (6.9%)
Next up was Sierra Nevada; a brewery that have never let me down in the past so I was looking forward to trying this.
It poured an amber orange with a large, white head. Look at the bubbles! Indeed, there was an hint of washing up liquid in the aroma (I double checked, it definitely wasn’t actually washing up liquid) with grapes, strawberries and pears. The taste was sweet, subtle grapefruit, some burnt toast and a pleasant bitterness to finish. It definitely had a chewy texture. A very good IPA, but not particularly memorable. I suppose that’s the problem when you produce so many other fantastic beers; the standard is high!
Goose Island Matilda (7%)
To finish (well, to finish the high percentage beers anyway) I went for Goose Island’s Matilda. I was seduced by the pretty label and the promise of a Belgian style pale ale (I’m a sucker for anything Belgian). It poured golden with a big, white head. The aroma was a complete surprise; cloves, barleywine and, according to my drinking buddy, ‘baked beans’ (I wasn’t getting that). Taste wise it was tart, sour and with hints of sharp oranges. There was an explosion of bitterness that swiftly faded and it was VERY fizzy. This tasted like a gueuze to me, a style that I’m not particularly fond of. Yes, this is definitely a bit of a Marmite I think (although looking at other review sites I’m in the minority!)