Oakham ales’ Inferno (4.4% abv) lends five different hops from the Yakima Valley – the first American viticultural area (!). The label boasts that the golden ale creates a floral aroma and a unique flavour promising “complex fruits across your tongue, leaving a dry, fruity, bitter finish, smothering your thirst.”
I can imagine writing a review “review” (as I understand my last incurred very little related review material) at 6 a.m. after having awoken 1.5 hours ago is possibly not the best condition to be writing and drinking about beer.
The bottle dresses in a fiery label of reds and yellows surrounded by a fading black border. It actually looks similar to something I could have designed in MS paint (and my skills are somewhat limited). Although, under the “I” of “INFERNO” I’m pretty certain I can see a couple of pterodactyls 😉
It smells of dark, wild fruits and it has something else underlyingly cynical in the smell though I can’t say it makes an effort to infiltrate my nostrils. The bottle’s brown glass secrets the surprise of the golden, musky, opaque liquid within. From how I pour it there sits 1cm of foam, which blankets the tiny dark bubbles that soothingly rise. It strangely calms and mesmerises me, though that could well be because I’m entering into a state of delirium.
Onto the taste, I promise I won’t stare at it all morning (and oh gosh, yes please!)
…Ooh, well that was not the taste I have been expecting. It has no impacting flavour, almost foresty with a thin yet soapy density. It offers a heavy, bitter, slightly numbing blanket to your tongue. I enjoy bitter and although it is one of my most preferred taste sensations I’d also enjoy the use of my tongue for other tastes in future.
Over half way through the pint and its character hasn’t evolved for better nor worse. I still struggle to break through the bitter wall and in doing so I start to get highlights of sweet and salty. It has taken me an embarrassingly long while to drink the ale and throughout I have had none of the promised complex fruit flavour. You’re more like the club Infernos in Clapham than what you should be as an ale. No offence.
I should probably move onto coffee and have a siesta.
Photo credit 001099