Caledonian – Newcastle Summer Ale

Tasting: June 3, 2011
Style: Summer Ale

I have to say seeing this in a liquor store really surprised me. I think of Great Britain a place of time-honored traditions. So, releasing a happy summer ale with a cheery blue label — seems a bit out of character. But then again, Great Britain is also known for dry humor (see any Brit-Com). The cheery label doesn’t reveal much about this beer. It has a simple statement that reads “Hops and Glory” which I assume is a parody of the patriotic song called The Land of Hope and Glory. The reverse side of the label tries to make a connection between a fair called a “hoppen” with beer hops. So, I’m left with a lot of guess work on what to expect from this beer.

A lot of the summer beers we have on our shelves are wheat beers. As far as I know, this one isn’t a wheat beer. As mentioned in earlier posts, I’m not a fan of the cardboard quality that wheat lends to beer. Reminds me of a bran cereal. I’m having a hard time imagining this as a hop heavy monster. How about this — I’m going to lay out my expectations before I drink this one. I’m going to guess a light hop and subtly malty nose. I’ll also guess the light malt and mineral taste you’d get from their brown ale and I’ll guess a slightly elevated bitter hop. Unfortunately, my imagination far exceeded reality. This beer is a dumper. It has little flavor. If anything, a mild grain and subtle but a foul bitterness. The thing I hate most about this beer is that I have five more in my fridge. I give it 62 points.

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