Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Beers Of London Series
33. Rocky Head Brewery - Hop Ditch 6.0%
Back in review ten when I reviewed Rocky Head's Pale Ale, I assumed that was one of only two beers they had made (the other, the Selfridges one, I touched on previously). After an unscheduled stop at The Rake on Bank Holiday Monday, I realise the error of my ways. Not only is there an American Pale Ale that goes by the name of AAPA, but they have also produced a Sour Ale, Hop Ditch, that I'll be reviewing here. To quote the back of the 500ml bottle (the Pale Ale is 330ml) it's their 'take on a Belgian sour ... Tropical flavours and just a refreshing kiss of acidity'. Now I'm not one to be swayed by bottle descriptions, I didn't actually get around to reading it until after I'd written my review (on a napkin of all things), so let's see how fair a description that is.
It pours a cloudy orange with a tight white head, with a fresh zesty aroma of tart orange-lemon and grapefruit, and when I say fresh I really mean it, but there's a heaviness too it as well, almost physically dragging my head down. Sharp and smooth over the tongue, the taste is dense sour mango, quite intense and rich, overlayed with a gooey lemon and grapefruit tartness, with lots of white and black pepper ground in for good measure. It's got a warm spicy tingle too it. The finish is gooey and intense too with more sweet peppery mango, sharp, dry and indeed sour, but with that same 'heaviness' that continues throughout.
This is certainly a different beer, an unusual but justified take on a Belgian sour and they have achieved what they set out to do here. It's definitely refreshing and a beer that I would have again, but as to whether I would drink two in a row then I'm not so certain.