@redhillbrewery Diamond Jubilee IPA
60 years is a long time. Anyone got a bottle of wine from ’52? Or a car? In fact, anyone still remember 1952?
For anyone who doesn’t know, it was 60 years ago that the Queen became the Queen. And that is as good a reason as any for brewing a special one-off brew.
I have been looking forward to this beer since I first heard about it. It speaks to me in a thousand ways; I’m a Pom. I’m a royalist. I have an interest and enthusiasm about beer that some suggest is unhealthy. IPA is a perennial favourite of mine. And I have liked everything from Red Hill Brewery that has ever passed my lips. How can I not? They’re one of my local breweries, and they’re very very very good at it.
In the interests of presenting a fair and impartial review, I should admit that I’m sampling this beer in less than ideal conditions; I’m sitting outside on a chillsome overcast day, and am in danger of being drenched from a nearby puddle which is just waiting for a child to jump into. But worst of all, the health and safety police have decreed that I be served in a plastic “glass”. Surely, the brewers die a little every time one of their beers is poured into plastic.
But, the beer…
For an Englishman, there’s something reassuring about a proper old-fashioned handpump. My pint took a minute to settle and reveal a beautiful golden caramel colour. It’s low on fizz, just as it should be for the style.
Served a little too cold for a British IPA, it warmed and grew in my hand, eventually giving a nose preminiscent of dried apricots and cloves.
There’s a lovely mouthfeel, it’s almost thick. Not quite creamy, but definitely unctuous.
Initially sweet, the bitterness comes through almost instantly. It’s a blink-and-you-miss-it sweetness. But the bitter roasted malt lingers in the mouth after swallowing.
It’s a great beer, although not an earth-shattering one. But… it does make me long for my old local village pub on a winter’s evening, when I could sit by the fire, with a dog curled at my feet, amongst the fog of pipe smoke. And for that reason, it does what it sets out to do, so is a winner in my book!
God save the Queen!