BREWER: Palmers, Dorset
STYLE: English Bitter
VESSEL: 500ml bottle
MOB RATING: 49.5%
I can’t quantify what I’m about to say because I wasn’t about back in the day nor am I a brewer BUT….
Back in the day, brewers used to be able to get away with knocking out beers to flog with some pretty standardized labelling and as long as you had a good reputation or a decent sales patter (or even better, both) you would do just fine.
Nowadays, competition is fierce, there are fresh brewers popping up all over the world everyday and a fair chunk of them are putting out some pretty decent, if not incredible, stuff. Not to mention some of the packaging out there today really is… out there.
So you have to stand out from the rest… and Palmers 200 does, but for all the wrong reasons I’m afraid.
I’d like to think the M.O. for the label wasn’t, ‘make it look as rubbish as you possibly can’, but if it was, whoever was put in charge nailed it. I genuinely can’t believe that something that looks so bad and dated could make it off the design table. Take away the weird red ribbons and the shambolic coastal picture and it might not be too bad. But we can’t can we, the image has been burned onto our retinas forever, so therefore IT. IS. BAD! Even down to the font telling us the quantity and percentage, it just looks like such little effort has gone in. Hopefully it’s not a sign of complacency or arrogance from a brewer that has been around for well over 200 years now.
I’m sure you can tell I’m none too happy so far but I have to say, it doesn’t get worse, but it doesn’t get better either…
The beer is pretty shabby I have to be honest. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I hated it, but I definitely didn’t like it. Starting with the nose, my instant thought on initial sniff was, “my life, that smells like a drip tray”. Now I know some folk have a thing for drip trays, but Jymi isn’t one of them.
It is pretty smooth to be fair, and if it tasted better you could have a truly enjoyable evening with 200 and some chums down a Dorset local.
But, the taste really isn’t great and I thought with their bicentenary beer these guys, with so much history would have done a whole lot better.
Jymi’s Rating: 46%
Let’s be clear, 200 is an uninspiring name for an ale. So uninspiring in fact, I had to motivate myself to try Palmer’s flagship beer. Once I’d psyched myself to get over the aforementioned name issue, I was then faced with the packaging. And on the positive side…it is packaged and one doesn’t have to cup one’s hands to create a vessel to drink it. That’s it. It’s packaged. There are no other positive I can gather from this offering around first impressions. Literally none.
Not a good start.
Moving onto the actual drinking, the nose is not great. It’s distinctively mediocre and the malt notes are hardly anything to write home about. Or anything to write to anyone about for that matter. Then when you do get over the name, the packaging and the nose you finally come to drink 200. And the drinking is exactly like all other factors of this beer: average. There are malty notes and it is full bodied. But it lacks depth and distinctiveness.
200 most certainly is not one for me. There will be those out there that like it…somewhere. It’s not offensive. It’s just not interesting or exciting.
Not a good ending.
Sammy’s Rating: 53%
MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 49.5%