Added: Thursday, March 1st 2012
Adnams have launched a draught cask version of the recent addition to their bottled beer range. Described as an “American-style IPA”, the draught version is 4.8% while the bottled version is a robust 6.8% -- more in keeping with both Victorian originals and modern American interpretations. Head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald, who has busily expanded the Southwold, Suffolk, brewer’s range since he took over, says he loves the aromas and flavours of American hops, especially their powerful citrus fruit character. He uses no fewer than five American hop varieties in the beer: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus and Willamette. The malts are pale, crystal and Munich with a touch of malted wheat.
Adnams was founded by George and Ernest Adnams in 1872 and they were joined by the Loftus family in 1902: a member of each family is still a director of the company. To keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for their beers, Adnams installed new fermenting vessels in 2001, 2003 and 2005 and has since built a new energy-efficient, 300-barrel brewery that has the flexibility to produce a wide range of beer styles.
IPA is bronze coloured with a good head of foam, followed by an aroma of cracker biscuits, piny hop resins and tart citrus/grapefruit. Citrus fruit builds in the mouth, with grapefruit joined by lemon and orange. Hops continue to make their presence felt and there’s a good balance of dry, slightly toasted malt. The finish is long and complex, bittersweet fruit vying for attention with increasingly bitter hops that develop an iodine note. The malt holds up well, providing a good oatmeal-like base.
The draught version is described as a “winter seasonal” so hurry while it lasts. As well as Adnams’ 70-strong tied estate, the beer is also available in selected Wetherspoon’s pubs and is part of Punch Taverns Finest Cask range. The bottled version is on sale in Adnams’ Cellar & Kitchen stores and also online: www.adnams.co.uk.