Salopian Brewery are a new one to the Beer Ritz shelves, and a very welcome addition they are indeed! I think they fit in very well with their classic range of Bitters and Ales which are all very nice, but the brewery also creeps into the bigger beer range too with a couple of newbies that I'll be trying tonight... (by "bigger beer" you could take that to mean - craft beer, geek beer, stronger beer, more experimental beer.. and so on, etc..)
Before checking out the beers below, do read the opener over on the Beer Ritz blog here.
First up is Automaton 7.0% IPA
It's certainly a very lively IPA with a big chalky white head filling a third of the glass. It has a lot of Citra aromas about it, but the addition of Saaz mellows and balances the scent slightly. Fresh melon, peach and mango flesh fill the nose making for one juicy looking beer. Lots more citrus in the flavour though. Good body, perfect carbonation. Lots of orange and tangerine with some lemon and lime spritz mix with some caramel malt sweetness making the perfect bittersweet balance. Slightly grassy, slightly floral - soft and accessible, it's dangerously drinkable for a 7% beer! After trying (and thoroughly enjoying) the three (more classic) other Salopian beers I can say this is a little out of step from those mentioned, and that's pretty damn OK with me!
Vertigo 7.2% Black IPA
I'm not sure if this will make any sense, but this beer smells cold, and I don't mean temperature wise... The aroma is certainly different - it's sort of minty, rocky and earthy, some mineral elements with wood elements too, pine and oak chips. All these aromas are massively amplified in the flavour and body of the beer. It's certainly a bitter beast, but I feel it lends a lot of that bitterness to earthy woody flavours rather than citrus fruit hoppiness. Looking a little deeper there's quite a bit of orange juiciness coming forward now which masks the alcohol very well once again. It's a really nice beer, and one I'd highly reccomend..
I think the overall look, feel, taste and presentation of these beers (all these beers) is pretty great. I reckon this brewery is going to be lurking around our shop for quite some time...