I’ve been a wee bit sceptical buying imported craft beers in the past and buying this UK specimen was no different. It’s often that I’ve been disappointed with beers that have accumulated significant mileage to get to me. I find they can become quite bland, sometimes losing any semblance to what’s advertised on their labelling.
Then I happened upon this post from Luke at Ale of A Time which put my mind somewhat more at ease, post-purchase. Essentially, the guys importing this bad boy, ExperienceIT, transport their craft beer caches using refrigerated shipping and warehousing, aiding in the preservation of the beer’s quality and freshness. Yippee!
And so it was with a renewed confidence that I cracked open this offering from Oakham Ales. It’s a single-hopped (hence the name) American pale ale which they describe as a “light refreshing beer with pungent grapefruit, lychee and gooseberry aromas leading to a dry, bitter finish.” Interestingly, the label also claims Oakham as the first UK brewery to brew commercially with CITRA hops.
On pouring it, the aroma certainly seems to have kept intact – strong sweet lychee with robust, intermingling hits of zesty citrus. I’m so delighted by it I can almost hear Liam’s voice in my head telling me to ‘calm the eff down’. I feel like I’m in for a treat.
The beer’s almost luminous hue is a bit of a surprise. Definitely one of the lightest coloured beers I’ve seen in a while. It’s grand head briefly crowns this layer of liquid straw before fading to a thin white top coat with the soft carbonation doing little to replenish it.
To taste it’s a little on the sweeter side up front with tropical fruit flavours that hold their stead until overtaken by the medium dry hop finale where the Citra comes out to play without being too overcooked. If you’re a Citra fan I’d recommend giving it a go.
While it’s good and is a well put together beer, it’s not a ‘wow’ beer for me. I think I’d love it with a bit more carbonation just to make it pop a bit more on the palate. Personally it’s just a bit too sweet and not quite dry enough for me. That said, maybe the journey did affect it after all but just a smidge.
- Genre: American Pale Ale
- Regionality: Peterborough, United Kingdom
- Strength: 4.6%
- Rating: 2 / 3 taste + 1.5 / 2 ancillaries = 3.5 / 5
- Plus: Aroma is off chops
- Minus: A bit mild on the palate despite the promising aroma.