BREWER: Sharp’s, Cornwall
STYLE: Red IPA
VESSEL: 500ml bottle
MOB RATING: 71%
Sharp’s, a big brewer by anyone’s standards, has turned out some world-renowned beers. So is Wolf Rock one of these? In my humble opinion, sadly, it is not.
While Wolf Rock is not the worst beer by any stretch of the imagination, it lacks in all areas and the sum of these parts leads to an overall underwhelming whole. The poor nose from this ale is the first sign that something is amiss, and while the taste is not on the disastrous level of the aroma, it is still lack lustre and the shallow flavours leave you wanting more. It does slip down nicely enough, but having a string of Wolf Rocks is a battle that I wouldn’t want to enter into.
Although Wolf Rock will never be a trail-blazing beer for Sharp’s, or for anyone else for that matter, it does have its place and it will have its following. Unfortunately, I will never be one of them. However, I can see a place for this beer for a one-off on a cold winter’s day and I do, strangely, understand Sharp’s thinking with this one.
So it’s off to Cornwall we go and to the now world famous Sharp’s brewery, but rather than starting with their flagship brew we thought we would go with the still readily available, but slightly lesser known, Wolf Rock.
I’d first like to state that historically I am generally a huge fan of a Red IPA so was very much looking forward to testing this slick looking little puppy.
I’m going to start with the beer itself…
It’s tasty. I like it, I do. Blown away by it, probably not, but I do like it. The nose is curious, almost like toffee based soap! Is that a bad thing? I’m not totally sure!! It’s really smooth but also really rich so I’m not sure too many could go down before moving on. All that said, it definitely gave me the sense of being a Cornish Atlantic coast fisherman (not that I would have the first clue what that would be like as I’m pretty fearful of the ocean as well as boats and to be totally honest fish scare me a fair bit too), coming off the trawler after a hard few weeks out to sea and getting to the nearest pub for a good ol’ ding dong with my fellow workers and friends.
Packaging wise, I think it looks great. The colours work brilliantly together and somehow give the bottle an understated wow factor. The Grey backdrop with the Red and Silver hints I think are great. Really Sharp (sorry, that wasn’t even intentional).
Now here comes my problem. The taste and packaging of this ale don’t belong together for me.
The bottle doesn’t make me feel like a rugged brave fisherman and the beer, though good, doesn’t possess a wow factor nor is it sharp.
But all in all, looks good and tastes good, and that cannot be a bad thing.
MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 71%