Finally in bottle here it comes;, Monsieur Rock and all its works, the prodigy of Sharp’s Stuart Howe and Orval’s enigmatic brewmaster Jean-Marie Rock. I tried the wort on brewing day (here) and also had a mini-keg back in December, but at last here’s a bottle — on the nose the freshness of newly laundered clothes, but also a pungent, dirty, musky hop note that sends a tingle down the spine, then the ringing, singing, lightly sprightly note that’s nothing less than the mutant child of a reckless dalliance between grapefruit and pineapple. On the palate it’s fresh and light, a dainty tip-toe on the tongue in which I make out banana notes (esters?) and yet more blasts of greater grapefruit. Yum, then there’s the bitter finish, assertive but not harsh, accomplished and devilishly encouraging another swig from the glass. It’s 5.2% but I seem to recall it was going to be 4.5%, so I emailed Mr Howe, who replied post-haste: ‘The beer superattenuated owning to the vast amount of sucrose used. We could have cut it to 4.5% with some de aerated liquor but that would have thinned it out too much and that’s not how we roll.’ So there you, a fantastic beer that showcases the Saaz hop, a hop which amidst all the excitement about Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, Sorachi etc (and rightly so), still manages to float my boat. Next I would love to see a collaboration between Howe and say Kocour or Matuska or even more exciting Eric Toft at Schonram. Now that would be something to behold.