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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Marston's Single Hop Ales

If you want to learn what the various ingredients in beer provide in the way of flavours, it is a good idea to sample them separately in their raw state; I was lucky enough to get to do this a few years ago at a local micro-brewery in Cambridge and came away with a much better understanding of the toasty cereal flavours of malt and the bitter, citrussy flavours imparted by hops.

Different hops have different characteristics and if you can't find a friendly brewery, the next best option is to try a range of beers with different hops.

Step forward Marston's Single Hop Ales - a range of six beers each brewed with a single hop, rather than the (more common) blend.

With the extended heavy rain of the last few months now a seemingly distant memory, I spent some time in the garden over the weekend trying out two of these ales.

Marynka - £1.80, Booths

Made from a Polish hop developed 25 years ago to provide a herbal, berry fruit and floral aroma, this beer commemorates Poland's hosting of Euro 2012 in June.

A deep gold colour, it is malty with lots of hoppy bitterness, floral and grapefruit flavours, complex with caramel and toffee notes, spice.

Sovereign - £1.80, Morrisons

Sovereign is an English hop with floral and mint aromas.

No prizes for guessing that this one is intended as a Jubilee celebration beer, and if National Pride is particularly your thing, it was also brewed on St George's Day.

Golden in the glass, this is malty and floral with grapefruit aromas and pithy hoppy bitterness.

Links

Marston's - http://www.marstons.co.uk/
Booths - http://www.booths.co.uk/
Morrisons - http://www.morrisons.co.uk/

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