Friday, August 12, 2011

Bridge Road Stella vs Feral Hop Hog @ The Royston

Just back from the Royston for the second time this week (damn their parmas are good!) and while introducing Joel to the Hargreaves Imperial Stout, I decided to do my old thing of trying a hoppy beer with food (yes, still trying to train myself onto hops).

Starting with the Bridge Road single hop 'Stella' batch, did notice a bit of citrus aroma on a fairly light malt body. Not much malt comes through in flavour but the zesty orange does come through quite well with the hop, but does not quite have the bitterness I was expecting, unless it is hidden well with the zestiness. Therefore a good start for me. There is not much at the back, and with low bitterness seemingly though this hop variety, it did not need much to clean it up at the back.
Having not really had much of the Feral Hop hog on tap, thought it a good opportunity to taste it off against the Bridge Road attempt. The malt does come through a bit more on this one, but think it is needed with the more bitter hop also coming through. There is a still a little bit of fruitiness coming through with the hop, but it is the bitterness that is more that star with this beer. To be honest, I think there may be a bit more flavour or power to the hop in the bottle form, unless it is simply that after having the 'Stella', my tastebuds were already in that mode of hoppiness.
In terms of personal taste, I may just prefer the Bridge Road, just as there was more flavour and less bitterness in the hop, but in terms of a well rounded beer, I think the Hop Hog wins with good use of malt melded with the hop flavour and then also having bitterness to step it up further.

After these I ended up 'helping' Joel finish his Imperial Stout, and noticed more a roasted coffee flavour on midpalate and in aftertaste that I did not get the other night. It was good to have this beer warm and while my tastebuds were still working, and not just getting the major flavours of licorice and alcohol. It really does give you a bit of a warming jolt with its alcohol, but still, not so much of the warming contentment that I like to get from this style of beer. Have a I gone too far when I start assessing the type of 'warming' to come from a beer?



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