Friday, 16 December 2011

Badger 'First Gold'

I have a vague theory that labels indicating hop varieties will become much more commonplace. Perhaps not to the point where single variety beers become as common as seen in wine, but to the point where they are used much more as a shorthand, an indication of what the beer might taste like. In wine this has tipped over to the point where it has almost become meaningless. There are many wines on the supermarket shelves that, while ostensibly being varietals, only pay a sort of lip-service to the flavour potential of the grape variety.

That said, this beer confused me a bit. I'd suggest we're not really at that point of hop-variety shorthand yet,  and so for a beer to be varietally labelled, and not particularly to demonstrate the characteristics of that hop, was rather surprising.

Poured reddish-brown. There's a slight hazelnut aroma. The palate is mellow, malt dominated, with a faint orange pith background and there's a smokiness to the finish. Overall just an average bitter. In contrast to the Oldershaw Caskade, if you were to ask me what first gold hops taste like on the back of this beer, I'd be struggling to answer.

4% abv. £1.59 (50cl) from Waitrose

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