Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference serves up Tap Room’s 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 (Beer Revs 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, 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 (sparingly) and I’m very glad it’s a relatively high percentage.