MFBR Overall Rating
Overall MFBR Rating
It is not often that my day job plays well with this magazine. However, as a bag landed on my desk on an ordinary Wednesday afternoon my eyes glazed over it, and suddenly I was interested. Chapel Down, based in Tunbridge Wells, were promoting their new brews – and what a couple of brews they appeared to be. A nice sleek brochure, depicting a nice condensated bottle… I had to have it.
It was to my delight, then, that Alexandra returned one day with a cheeky haul of beer including not one, not two but three Curious Beers – the whole range of Curious Beers. As a big fan of IPA, it was only right to fly my inaugural voyage with this cheeky beverage. So, I’m strapped in, I’m definitely mystified and I’m getting stuck in.
You had my curiosity, now you have my attention…
Now, from what I know, Chapel are mainly about the wines. Beer is a relatively new venture – brewing with such elements as champagne yeast – but they translate their knowledge from wine to (
the much superior) beer! Curious IPA boasts 3 hops (following from the 3 grapes used by champagne, bordeaux and cote du rhone). Golding, King of England and Bramling Cross throw together a nicely balanced but punchy little number. It pours a deep amber with a rocky head, fragrant with fruity tones almost sweet but the strength of the hops give it that bitter scent.
With so much hype and focus on the craftsmanship of the beer – balancing their flavours and such and so forth, I must admit I am touch disappointed. The smell of the beer is so inviting, that fruity aroma, the tickling of the nostrils, the curiosity that reeled me in seems to be lost in physical flavour.
It’s bitter from the off, I’m sure you all know by now that I am a fan of bitterness, but this is too much too soon. It has a metallic twang which is a bit confusing. The citrus that was so prominent in the scent struggles to break through the intense coppery flavour.
I can’t say it’s a beer I’d avoid – it’s alright, it’s… nice. I hate that word. “Nice” is so neutral, so bland. But there isn’t a huge amount to say about this beer. Besides the usual “hoppy, bit of malt, bit bitter” stuff that really we try and shy away from on this site. In essence, Curious IPA is worth a try – it won’t blow your socks off, but neither will it kill your cat.