Tap Room IPA

Overall MFBR Rating

Overall MFBR Rating


Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference serves up Tap Room IPA, advertised as an IPA US Craft Beer and imported from Rochester (don’t worry, not the home of Ama-danger-ous, but New York’s very own) it’s a punchy little number at 6.3%. After hunting around for a bottle opener for 15 minutes (MFBR Towers is currently a mess) I am surprised to read that this is a twist off cap. Easily accessible beer is the best kind of beer. If the contents are as agreeable as getting into it – I’ll be a happy beery bunny.

Twist ‘n’ Shake

Not much of a head on this one, quite thin and it has dropped to a film very rapidly – not always a bad sign, but the smell gives very little away. The spiciness and boldness I’m promised from the vintage style label are nowhere to be…smelt. It’s a weak scent, I’ve got a big nose and fitting it into the glass to get a good whiff is troublesome, perhaps the lack of head is a good thing or I’d look like Rudolf after one of his special meetings with Santa (let’s be honest, he’s gotta be the lead reindeer for a reason).


Okay, so that subheading is a little harsh. It’s not a punchy beer and I can’t agree with the “bold” title on the label, but there is a rounded beery taste. I was expecting a big citrusy initial hit and a strong hoppy bitter finish as with other typical American IPAs – the Tap Room IPA, though, offers no strong flavours, it’s more mellow, almost mild. Slightly nutty, roasted caramelish – they’re hard to work out, not exactly offensive, but nothing to write home about.

It has an oily finish, coating the old oesophagus in the wrong kind of way. I feel a bit sticky having swallowed – I’d love to make a certain reference but, you know, keep it classy. There is a bitterness to it, but it has wavered on each sip sometimes mellow, sometimes with a bit of a spike at the side of the tongue. Not very consistent or likeable, but drinkable.

Fair enough, this is a contract brewed beer for a supermarket (but a supermarket that runs the Great British Beer Hunt), so I shouldn’t have expected too much – but smacking a Taste the Difference label on it is setting a challenge they’re probably not going to win. Let’s just say I’ll happily drink it if it was given to me every so often and I’m very glad it’s a relatively high percentage.


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