Shepherd Neame‘s Dragonfire Ale (3.8%) is only available from the 1st to the 28th of April in commemoration to St. George’s day. So, I’m not entirely sure how I’ve managed to get my hands on a bottle considering it’s the beginning of October, but as it’s hitting 17oC anyway I’m more than happy to swill on an intempestive brew.
Morning, equipped with a couple of spanners (what am I doing with my life) I wrench the top off the bottle feeling a little like a Ninja Turtle. I’m fairly eager to find out if this nectar will be the fire to my
chelonian dragon. It’s a pretty fiery pour – the bubbles rush up in almost an explosion of rising smoke, leaving behind some energetic lacing.
The tall cloudy head has expired in a few minutes but it’s a sticky cloud and its residue clings to the glass as a reminder of what once (for all of the aforementioned few minutes) lay grandeur. Its colour, which is a semi-deep amber-brown, implies warmth and depth but it is disappointingly thin. The no longer energetic bubbles have slowed rapidly and give no delightful fizz upon entering my mouth. It tastes malty and something that should be spice but isn’t quite. I’m struggling with this pint.
The more I drink the blander it becomes, or stays – I can’t tell. There is no after taste, no film around my tongue or latching to the back of my throat. I’m desperately trying to find a use by date on the bottle because I hope it’s off. It’s weak and watery and I feel as if the beverage made a promise it could not keep.
Fact or Fiction
The beer/this particular bottle leaves no trace on 4/5 of my senses. The stats aren’t good folks, and I really did want to like this brew. Summed up? Dragonfire is like a dragon after all – in the mythical sense.