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Belgium comes to Cornwall with Sharp's new range of connoisseurs bottled beers

Added: Thursday, June 14th 2012

Stuart Howe, head brewer at Sharp’s in Cornwall, is an admirer of great beer styles from other countries as well as Britain, and this is reflected in the first three beers he has produced under the general title of Connoisseurs Choice.

All three are bottle conditioned and the beers labelled No 1 and No 3 draw heavily on the Belgian tradition.

Quadrupel No 1 (10%) is a stunningly complex beer, brewed with pale, crystal and chocolate malts, and hopped with Aurora, Centennial and Hallertau varieties. The colour is deep ruby-red and the beer glows like a slow log fire in winter. It has a massive aroma of vinous fruit, and is reminiscent of old vintage port with hints of oak and smoke along with roasted grain, a hint of chocolate and peppery hops. The palate has warming alcohol, rich vinous fruit, roasted grain, chocolate and spicy hops, while the long, bittersweet finish has blackberry and redcurrant fruit, rich grain and slowly-fading hop bitterness. This is a memorable beer.

Single Brew Reserve No 2 (4.5%) uses a single hop, whole cone Saaz from the Czech Republic. The beer has a bright gold colour with an aroma of floral hops, lemon fruit and freshly-baked bread. The palate has a delicious sherbet-lemons character with juicy malt and light hop resins, followed by a long, quenching finish with tart lemon fruit, gentle hop bitterness and sappy malt. It’s a wonderfully refreshing beer.

Honey Spice Tripel No 3 (10%) is brewed with extra pale malt, Cornish honey and candy sugar, with Czech Saaz and Styrian hops, coriander and citrus peel. It’s fermented with a yeast culture obtained from a Belgian Trappist brewery. The golden beer has a big aroma of honey, rich pear fruit, “fresh bread” malt, and a powerful hint of coriander. The dry palate is dominated by honey, pears and herbs, with rich malt and gentle, spicy hops. The finish is sweet to start, with honey, ripe citrus fruit and coriander, but finally becomes dry with light but persistent hops and juicy malt. The interweaving of aromas and flavours make this a full-flavoured and rewarding beer.

The beers are available from:

Quadrupel: £55 for a case of 12 bottles.

Honey Spice: £55 for a case of 12 bottles.

Single Brew Reserve: £35 for a case of 12 bottles.