Saturday, 25 July 2015
Beer In Essex - Review
Bishop Nick Brewery - Revelry 4.5%
As I'm currently writing some longer posts about this fair county of mine, I though it would be rather fun to do the occasional quick review of Essex beer, Essex pubs, and anything generally beery in Essex that I deem fit. This will enable me to post more quickly as required, given an up to date account as things happen whilst I continue to work on writing that requires a little more research.
For the first of these I've opted for a beer that I picked up only yesterday at Ales By Mail and is the eighth and latest limited edition ale from the Bishop Nick Brewery. I briefly featured Bishop Nick in the first part of my review of Essex bottled beer with a single offering, their 1555 which is a gorgeous tawny-red ale with some delicious light cherry and toffee caramel flavours. All of their beer I've had previously has been of a very high calibre, which is as you might expect when you consider their pedigree so I'm looking for something rather special here.
Revelry is brewed with the dual purpose Rakau hop from New Zealand balanced against the British Archer hop all "packed in like tents at Glastonbury" as it says on the bottle. It was launched at the breweries own festival this year, Revelry Day, that too place on the 21st of June, Fathers Day. There was a hog roast and barbecue, a bouncy castle assault course and magician, with wine from the local Felsted Vineyard (which is also the home of the Felstar Brewery) as well as plenty of the brewery's own beer. It is a celebration of summer, and this Revelry is aimed squarely summer festivals so let's see if it's glorious sun-soaked weekend of a beer or a total wash out.
It pours a golden amber colour, like highly polished copper that glows in the sunlight, and this is topped with a tight off-white head. The aroma is initially earthy, characteristically British which surprises me somewhat, but floral fruitiness pushes its way through, most noticeably mango, peach, passion fruit and gooseberry, that hint at what might be just under the surface. It's quite full bodied, which catches me a little off guard, and a good varnished wood bitterness is followed by gentle notes of raspberry, apricot, pear and pine, but these disappear almost as soon as you spot them, washed away with a little toffee apple caramel and finishing with that earthy woodiness once more.
With its blue and yellow pump clip / bottle label design (along with a distinctive white cap) it's certainly a beer that stands out on the shelf or bar, but for me it doesn't really deliver that tropical fruit punch that I was expecting. It may well be a taste of summer, but it's a peculiarly British one, with the occasional day of warm rain and turning a little chilly in the evenings, not quite the scorcher I was hoping for.