Friday, December 13, 2013

A bunch of (mostly) UK only IPAs from Sainsburys

I decided to take a break from blogging IPAs (7 QFs down and 1 to go) and blog some wine, and to that end I asked Herself to buy a couple of Spanish reds in Aldi that I had heard good things about, while she was buying a bunch of useless crap there. I then discovered that I had actually blogged both of them before; the lovely Ribera here and the not quite so lovely Rioja here.

Anyhoo, I was in Norn Iron a couple of days ago for work and decided to pop into Sainsburys, mainly to look for Whiskey bargains but also to see what beer they had. First up - Whiskey. Boom! - Highland Park 12yo for £26. I freakin' love this whiskey, I really freaking love the 16yo and as for the 18yo, don't get me started. The last Highland Park I bought was the duty-free only 1998, which I didn't really care for.

I came across a bunch of IPAs and bought one of each. As I drink them I'll blog them. They are (l-r)

Greene King IPA Reserve 5.4% abv £1.97
Never had this before - should be better than its little brother (below)
- Not bad. I liked this a lot more than than its little brother below but I wouldn't go running to buy it.

Greene King IPA 3.6% abv £1.77
Had this a few times on draught in the UK and it's fine for what it is. Blandish mass-market IPA.
- No, don't like this at all. It has that harsh aftertaste of weak ale that I don't like.

Marston's Pedigree Pale Ale 4.5% abv £1.99
Got this in Aldi and didn't love it. But I'll give it another crack of the whip, so to speak.
- As before, this is not doing anything for me. It's not unpleasant but...meh, just meh.

Marston's Pale Ale 2.8% abv £1.39
2.8%!!! I didn't notice that tragic number when I bought it. I'm not hopeful as I've never had anything like a decent beer below 4% abv. 
- Awful. Dishwater.

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Tap Room IPA 6.3% abv £1.79
This guy liked
- I'm not so sure. All I'm getting is a slightly burnt aroma. It smells hoppy, but tastes of very little. I hope this didn't taste like it was supposed to. Disappointing.

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference American Pale Ale 5.3% abv £1.79
Also liked this
- This was pretty decent and light years ahead of the Tap Room above. Exactly what I would expect from an American Pale Ale. Moderately hopped and nicely balanced.

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference India Pale Ale 5.9% abv £1.89
But suspiciously quiet on this one...
- I was a little underwhelmed by this initially but I warmed to it after a while. Not a lot of hoppiness on display but it wears its alcohol well and has a touch of malty sweetness that I appreciated. Not one for the hop afficianado but good value as priced. It's brewed by Marstons, who have a couple of other beers in the frame - see above.

Titanic Quarter Beer Irish Pale Ale 4.2% abv £2.29
No idea. Pure punt.
- I have just discovered this is brewed by Hilden, who have form with IPAs. Looking at the abv I  wasn't hopeful but I like this. It's not massively hopped but it is clean and refreshing (I agree with the bottle on those terms), and would work well when something lighter is fancied.

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