Name – Piddle In The Hole
Brewer – Wyre Piddle
Classification – Session Bitter
Strength – 3.6%
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – The best bit. Quite flawless. A rich, copper glow. A visual promise that is never quite fulfilled.
On the nose – Cookie dough. Home baking. Again, all pretty promising, if a little hard to detect.
On the tongue – As you will see below, regarding taste - your guess is as good as mine.
On the subject – Named after a Worcestershire village, the brewery shows genuine ambition, but that ambition fails to translate into this particular brew. At least not in bottled form, I hasten to add!
On the market – On tap in over 50 'local' pubs, and now in bottles at most Morrisons.
On the whole – 5.5/10
The concept of 'subtlety' is something the beer brewing industry is always keen to exploit.
In terms of both flavour and fragrance, a well crafted ale is often said to have 'hints' of such-and-such, or 'notes' of this-and-that, which all serves to add by small degrees a little something extra to the main theme of a beer's character.
But it's a rare thing indeed to discover a beverage which does away with any principle flavour characteristics and chooses instead to make a feature of subtlety itself.
I can't tell you that 'Piddle In The Hole' is a bad beer... not at all. I can tell you it has a pretty unsettling name, but that's quite another matter. To be frank, I would have started work on another bottle of this with very few qualms. But the fact is that if it really was a bad beer, the sheer dominance of it's overall subtlety would mean I'd probably never notice it was bad. It's just not enough of anything at all to be either offensive or appealing.
I could overplay my abilities as a taster of tastes and speak of the vaguest 'hints' and 'tones' of this-and-that, but the reality is that no one characteristic pokes it's head above the parapet and lays claim to any real identity on behalf of the drink.
Again, it really isn't 'bad' as such, and there are certainly beers I would bypass in favour of another sample of it, but beyond that, I feel like I'm being prevented by the beer itself from getting terribly excited about it.
And I do like beer to excite me.
A beer doesn't have to change my life, but at the very least – it has to want to try.
I drank the whole bottle with an open mind, and by the end I was literally willing it to make some kind of effort to impress me.
Sadly, it never really tried.