I recently received three bottles of beer from the Hawkshead Brewery, based in Staveley, Cumbria. It’s not long since I visited and blogged about my fleeting visit to the brewery and beer hall. The three beers sent to me are part of Hawkshead’s Well Hopped Ale series and include 330ml bottles of Windermere Pale, NZPA (New Zealand Pale Ale) and Cumbrian Five Hop.
6% abv. A hop blend including East Kent Golding and Citra. Poured a light golden colour, a small white head formed but quickly reduced to a thin covering. Floral, lemon aroma and a hint of sweet caramel coming through. First taste of punchy citrus fruits and immediate bitterness that moves around your mouth before settling out and blending with the biscuit and caramel malt flavours. I found the finish a little dry, but all that did was lead me to my next sip. Despite it’s strength I find this to be a light, easy going beer, but that kind of opinion could get me into a mess pretty quickly.
6% abv. A hop blend of Green Bullet, Motueka, Riwaka & Nelson Sauvin. I’ve had several goes on this beer and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. Big on aroma, big on flavour, big on satisfaction. One of my beers of the year.
Cumbrian Five Hop
6% abv. A blend of 5 hop varieties including Fuggle, Citra & Amarillo. For me this is the most complex beer of the three ‘well hopped’ beers, and ironically it’s the most well hopped! I found that every sip had me reaching for the flavours, a really interesting balance between malt and hops leaving me guessing as to what I was tasting. I drank this beer before looking at the notes on the bottle, and having recently proclaimed my disdain for Fuggle and Progress hops, I was pleasantly surprised to see the ‘F-word’ printed on the label. Tropical meets traditional.
Thanks to Hawkshead for the beers.