BREWER: The Three Legs Brewing Company, East Sussex
VESSEL: 500ml bottle
Some products deliver on the exact level that you’d expect them to deliver on. A beer branded as English IPA should be unwaveringly bold in both its Englishness and it’s IPAness. It should be all things expected from an English IPA. I want to have clarity around this from the outset…on some levels English IPA does deliver…
Let us begin with the Englishness. Firstly, on the nose you get a heavy foresty odor; a little like a walk through an English woodland on a wet autumnal day. And that’s very English. Secondly, the taste is like burnt compost with the aftertaste of tea that has been left to brew for ten minutes too long. English people like to garden and build compost heaps and they like to follow this activity with a nice brew of good old Rosie. So once again, English IPA gets a big tick for its Englishness.
So English IPA is definitely English.
Now let’s consider the IPAness. I’m afraid it’s bad news. The English woodland nose doesn’t make for a very pleasant olfactory experience. And as for drinking one’s garden experience in a beer…well I think you can probably guess it’s not particularly pleasant.
So English IPA is definitely not IPAish.
Given that the IPAness should heavily outweigh the Englishness, and that’s very obviously not the case, this beer is, rather sadly, a very big fail. I’ll stick to my real compost heap and over brewed tea thank you very much.
Sammy’s Rating: 45%
So there I was, sat sitting, a progressive beer swilling 9 year old listening to my history teacher go on and on about something in the past….. things are very different now but back when I was younger I just did not see the point in learning about stuff that had been and gone (great attitude I know). I was all up for looking forward and pressing on. Now Mr D, the aforementioned history teacher, could always sense my disinterest of the subject so used to hit me up with random questions to make sure I was awake. I distinctly remember one day a certain question came my way…. James, how long did the Hundred Years War last for? I sniggered (great attitude I know). I thought, who is this guy? What kind of ridiculous question is that? So I answered with aplomb, 100 years sir. The rest of the class sniggered.
So I approach the next part of this review with caution as clearly history didn’t work out too well for me whilst at school….
The Three Legs Brewing Company is based in Brede in East Sussex which is close to Battle which is close to Hastings (geography did work out at school). So I am concluding that we have Norman Longboats on the packaging of English IPA. Though this could be wildly inaccurate!! Huge apologies to everyone involved if this is the case.
I like this packaging… It’s very different without going down the vogue route of cartoon and wacky. I’m not sure it would stand out in a crowd as over all is quite dull in colour but that almost makes me like the look of this bottle more. Understated, subtle and classy.
As for the beer, one thing immediately struck me as I took down that first big gulp…. This IPA is one dimensional. What I mean by this is there is no real journey of taste. With most beers you get an upfront leading flavour accompanied by the nose followed by the taste after you have swallowed and then a finish. With English IPA there were no stages, just straight up beer. Kind of a, here you go, it is what it is vibe. Now I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing as the beer was pleasant enough without being great. It was almost refreshing to have a straight up non complex what you see is what you get ale coming my way for once.
English IPA, from packaging to taste it’s not singing and it’s not dancing and that is not always a bad thing in this wonderfully wild world we live in.
Jymi’s Rating: 60%
MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 52.5%
MOB review next weekend: KOMPAAN HANDLANGER by BROUWERIJ KOMPAAN