Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Marstons Pedigree at 5 — Chum or Chump?
I’ve only just drank the 5% Marstons Pedigree I was sent last month and am pleasantly surprised. Sadly, it’s long been a beer that I’ve not really enjoyed mainly because I’ve not had it in the best of conditions. Usually too cold, which has helped to mask the fact that it wasn’t in the peak of condition (something one discovers halfway down the glass when it’s too late) and there are a lot more interesting beers out there. I don’t know what others think about Marstons putting it up to 5% but I was pleasantly surprised, discovering that there was still that hint of bath salts freshness on the nose along with a gentle handshake of light caramel, but the hop spice and bitterness alongside the soft billowing malt in the mouth was certainly very appetising. The carbonation is not as soul-destroying as I used to find on some of Marstons’ bottled beers (for instance, they bottle Exmoor Gold, which has long been a bit of a no-go for me in bottle). However, this is a surprise and welcome at that — it’s not a world-beater, but still an enjoyable old favourite. At the moment I’m savouring a three year old bottle of O’Hanlon’s Port Stout, which has really come of age: burnt currants, restrained sweetish port notes and a mouth-watering crispness that makes a mockery of BBDs.