Pouring a rich amber and donning a thin head – which quickly dissipates – Old Empire is Marston’s offering of an IPA. A rich, hoppy scent with malty background tones it offers a full mouth feel with a more rounded bitterness and hints of sweetness throughout the drink.
Ale aboard, IPA, ho’!
I’ve boarded the vessel, hoisted the anchor, thrown up the mainsail and have begun my nautical adventure into Marston’s IPA. The Burton-on-Trent based brewery is most famed for its official beer of Britain – Pedigree – so how does their India Pale Ale measure up? Walking the gangplank I’m hit with the familiar aroma of earthy hoppiness with a slight malt undertone.
It washes smoothly into my nostrils, beckoning me out of the harbour and into the open seas. I take the plunge and swill enthusiastically. Met with waves of that familiar citrus bitter flavour, its carbonation is subtle but quite prominent on the upper deck (roof of your mouth – okay, that one was definitely a bit tenuous).
The aftertaste lingers, it’s a pleasant bitterness – no cannon-blast of flavour, it fades into a kind of sweetness, teasing your tongue. Having sailed the seven seas with Marston, it was a pleasant trip. The sea was calm, the beer was pleasant. There were no storms, no thrills, nothing particularly remarkable in the captain’s log (this is surely too much). It’s a very drinkable beer, very traditional and a good choice for a Pale Ale fan. Although I won’t be hoisting the Jolly Roger and commandeering any Marston vessels that head my way – I’d happily sup on this if it’s there at a port in the storm.
Cheers Marston, here’s to the Commonwealth!