A couple of months ago I received two parcels in the post. There was no note on them, or letter attached, so I was slightly shocked when I opened them up and found 48 bottles of beer with my name on them! The bottles came from Harviestoun Brewery.. 24 of their new Pale Ale and 24 bottles of their new Amber Ale. At first, I thought there must have been some mistake, and they only meant to send me one bottle of each and not a full case each. I received no e-mails or letters on the subject mind, so could only assume that this was part of the huge generosity that is Harviestoun life.
It would be incredibly rude not to post my thoughts on the beers here then, and with my last two bottles I'm going to do just that now! (had to make sure I liked them right!)
The Ridge - 5% Pale Ale
Named after the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, this fresh and zesty Pale Ale combines hops from both the US and the UK producing a bold flavour.
The aroma is intensely fruity - big on the peach and mangos, with subtle hints of grapes and lychees creeping in the background. With an added mixture of lemon, lime and orange peel zest in the aroma, this Pale smells like the perfect accompaniment to any summer barbecue, or even just a mild spring doing the gardening!
The flavour is initially light and floral leading you into false sense of quaffable security... - That's when the very powerful bitterness hits you, completely coating your cheeks and throat in a beautifully moreish and refreshing manner. The smaller bottle size will also have you reaching for another before you even sit down... Possibly dangerous at such a drinkable 5%!
Broken Dial - 4.5% Amber Ale
A beer packed so full of Simcoe hops you'd be forgiven for thinking this beer had come from America not Alva! This beer has such an incredibly juicy aroma it's almost impossible to put it down.. It smells almost like a mixture of jam and marmalade. Sweet peach and pear flesh on top of a sweetness which makes you recall honey drenched oats.
The flavour is perfection. A true cut above any other Amber Ale I've tried before, and believe me, I've tried my fair share... American Ambers just don't do it for me, and British ones are normally just too boring in my eyes. This however, is packed full of flavour. With a perfect balance of sweet meets bitter it commands your attention - think candyfloss sugars that meet orange rind bitterness which then has strawberry syrup poured on top. More than that I can't say with words.. It's a beer which needs to be drunk to show you what it is, and I'm seriously not just saying that. Maybe I've been blinded by how much I love this beer, but right now I don't really care...
P.S. I bloody LOVE that mouse! ;)
Note: These are 100% my genuine feelings on the beers, they were a gift to me from Harviestoun Brewery, one which I managed to pass on a little when I shared a good portion of the bottles with staff and a few customers in Beer Ritz.