This is a blonde that is worthy of the name. Jorvik is a delicious pale gold colour that looks refreshing from the moment that it is poured. There’s a light fizzing head and the aroma is lemon and fresh. It’s a beer that delivers on taste too, a little bitter, but with that refreshing lemon note and a hint of honey. This is a truly enjoyable ale and at 4.6% ABV isn’t going to stop me from having another! Would be great on its own on a warm summer’s day (like today), or with salad and a barbecue.
Category Archives: Blonde
And finally, the third of my three 4% ABV blonde ales from Marstons, all brewed to the same recipe with the exception of the hops used. This third ale uses the 200 year old english Goldings variety. Once again, the beer is a light orangey amber colour, and this time it has a head that is creamy and really lasts. There’s a lovely aroma of caramel, which continues through to the flavour, and this is a great balance for the classic english bitter taste.
This group of three beers has been a real enlightenment, and a great demonstration of the effect that the choice of hops can have on the character of a beer. I’d like to have tried more but unfortunately didn’t manage to track down further bottled examples (though I understand that the original plan to create twelve beers – one for each month in 2012 has been extended into 2013). I’ll continue to keep my eyes open for more examples, though…
So now to the second of my three 4% ABV single hop blonde beers brewed by Marstons to the same recipe, with the exception of the hops.
This time the hop is Sovereign, an English variety that produces a beer that has a slightly lighter amber colour than the Marynka, and with a head that lasts somewhat longer. The aroma is somewhat more subtle than the Marynka too, floral, and only slightly herby. The taste is hugely different, though; biscuity, buttery and much less dry. This is a very enjoyable ale, appealing to my English palette very well.
The Single Hop Marynka is one of a range of single hop ales brewed by Marstons. I really like the idea: create a range of beers where the only difference between them is the single variety of hops used, and so showcase the hop, and the contribution that it makes. All of the beers appear to have a 4% ABV.
This first of the series that I’m sampling uses the Marynka hop. The bottle tells me that Marynka is a comparatively new hop, developed in Poland around 25 years ago. The ale is a light amber/orange colour with a head that dissipates very quickly. The aroma is very fruity, and just a little spicy and floral (though I couldn’t detect the claimed herbal tones). The flavour is slightly fruity at first but then quite dry and bitter. It’s an interesting ale, but not one that I’d necessarily be queuing up for. More interesting will be how the next two single hop ales that I have from the same brewer compare with this.
Wychcraft claims to be a blonde beer, and reinforces my expectation of something quite continental by adding ‘Biere Blonde’. So it’s a little darker in colour than I had expected, but still a crystal clear light amber colour, with a head that dissipates quickly. The flavour is light and refreshing, with hints of toffee and butter. This is a beer that would go down well on a warm summer’s day with a ploughman’s lunch. Not the most characterful of Wychwood’s ales. For the record, the ABV is 4.5%.