|Aesthetics are everything folks!|
Well, there was much buzz and the Beer Ritz Twitter feed was in overload again this week. That's because Zak popped in on Tuesday to, among other things, deliver us some cases of the most recent Odell imports! First let me talk about the artwork: just take a minute to admire these bottles. Odell are clearly a brewery that take immense pride in their beer (rightly so), and what better way to display that than by presenting their beers in the most interesting, unique and attractive ways possible? This brewery produces some really distinct artwork and labeling that you often just don't see these days. Odell's branding reminds me of a post by GhostDrinker last month, highlighting the importance of presentation. The Yanks are getting everything right at the moment, let's admit it. For example, although Buxton Brewery beers are obviously turning heads in the UK at the moment, I can't help but think their labelling is just too bland to do any justice to the delicious contents of the bottles. Same with Mallinson's of Huddersfield, while their next door neighbours Magic Rock are really making an effort and, in my humble opinion, attracting a lot more attention in doing so. So, if any brewers are reading, please take note that presentation counts for a hell of a lot; that's not just coming from me, it seems more and more evident that people are easily swayed by inventive and aesthetically pleasing branding.
St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale & Myrcenary Double IPA
Needless to say, I was really looking forward to tasting these beauties. I love Odell's beers, and this particular night I was extremely thirsty for something pale and hoppy. The St. Lupulin was up first, pouring a nice clear golden colour with a pretty decent head (which unfortunately shrunk rapidly), showing obvious signs of lively carbonation. The aroma was very pleasant, dry hops at the forefront with some honey, soft citrus and a nice maltiness. That carbonation makes itself known immediately, also present is a mellow fruitiness and big, but unobtrusive, tasty hop character. The swallow left me with a lingering crisp bitterness, with hints of peach and apricot in the throat amid a slight grassiness. This is a good, refreshing summer beer with a nice overall floral quality in the aroma and taste. Worth the hype, but I will admit I expected a little more; still, would definitely buy again!
Onto the Myrcenary, and I was certainly very intrigued by this one. My experience of double IPA's so far has been altogether brilliant, and this one basically sells itself. Again, it poured a clear golden colour, but with a marginally bigger head and much softer carbonation than the St. Lupulin. It did present a very similar aroma, except for having a more full frontal hoppiness. My immediate thought as it hit my tongue was 'fruits, lots of them… but which ones?' I picked up some grapefruit, but there were more that I just couldn't put my finger on - tasted like something in between pear and banana (perhaps something like a kiwi?), especially noticeable in the finish. When left in the mouth for a few seconds, a lovely lemon citrus flavour starts seeping through and the swallow leaves a pleasant flowery bitterness in the throat. Big hop presence, good stuff. I enjoyed this one more than the St. Lupulin; it's a very complex beer with a GREAT aftertaste which is immediately fruity, leaving a long floral bitterness. What a beer!
If there's still any left at Beer Ritz, get your hands on some. I'm yet to try the Double Pilsner (can you just use that prefix on anything these days?) but judging by these masterpieces, I'm sure it will be another resounding success from Odell. Cheers to them!