Thursday, 12 July 2012

Summer Wine Brewery Rouge-Hop

Good evening all. Tonight's beer is Rouge-Hop, an Amber Ale from Summer Wine Brewery (Holmfirth, UK). I received an order from Summer Wine's online store this morning, containing a veritable plethora of their offerings and an attractive branded glass, so there was no doubt in my mind as to what I'd be reviewing this evening. I've heard a lot of very positive feedback about Summer Wine recently, but up to this point I'd only tried their Saison and felt this had to be rectified immediately. Earlier in the day I sampled Diablo IPA and found it to be pretty incredible, easily convincing me that another one of their beers deserved the proper treatment on the blog. Review after the pic....

Rouge-Hop (5.0% ABV) pours an amber colour with a bubbly white head that dissipates to a thin halo around the inside of the glass. The aroma is fruity and sweet but surprisingly subtle, with caramel, grapefruit and hints of lemon. As with most amber ales, the fruity hops and malty sweetness combine very readily to produce a uniform tropical candied aroma which is initially predominant, but further inhales separate these senses into individual components. Although it lacks the power of other ambers such as Evil Twin's "Hop Flood" and BrewDog's "5 A.M. Saint", it's still very good and does make a welcome change to the usual candy floss sweet, resinous amber ales on offer. The taste continues along these lines with the grapefruit hop flavours and the malt-derived sweetness, although this time the hops take precedence over the malt as opposed to the even playing field with the aroma, and the finish packs a surprisingly bitter punch with some grape flavours in the aftertaste. The hoppy bitterness lingers for a while after swallowing, accompanied by some burnt sugar notes. The mouthfeel is quite light and the beer is moderately carbonated, which doesn't mask the subtle flavours too much. Overall, this is a nicely balanced beer with some well-executed flavours and a puckering bitterness in the finish that's sure to satisfy the most ardent hop-heads. I'd happily get it again, and it's definitely increased my interest in trying other Summer Wine offerings. Fortunately I've got a fair few still, so expect more reviews in the near future!

Until next time....

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