Thursday 4 August 2011
IPA Day with Wadworth’s India Pale Ale
Even though it’s International IPA Day all over the known world I’m giving beer a break today but here’s my own contribution to this most beloved of beer styles (types?) — a week ago I went over to the Bath Priory Hotel to sample some new beers from Wadworths (the Beer Kitchen range). I will report on the evening in full in several days when I get the time (it was a fascinating night of beer and food matching from a brewery often dismissed with the word 6X), but for the moment in the spirit of IPA day here’s a few words on one of the Waddies’ beers, their 6.2% India Pale Ale. It was introduced by the hotel chef Sam Moody who started off by saying that IPA and chilli crisps was one of his most favourite food and beer matches. Crisps weren’t on the menu though, but tempura chilli squid with roast lobster compressed melon and coriander salad (Moody had gone away and thought about the beers and came up with a great menu). The beer itself had a gorgeously earthy, orange blossom and ripe satsuma nose plus a dustiness that made me think about a hay barn during a spell of dry weather. The palate was orange-satsuma-fiery-dry-bittersweet all in one big mouthful with a hint of macadamia nuts also somewhere in the mix. It was gratifyingly bitter with a good mash-up of spice and the sweetness of the seafood and the spices were both lifted to greater heights of sensuality by this luscious beer, both the beer and food offering uplifting hymns of praise to each other’s gustatory strengths. And in the finish the spice and bitterness were still clanging away with all the fury of Quasimodo going off on one of his bell-ringing jags. Great stuff.