Name – Old Intentional
Brewer – Derby Brewing Co.
Classification – Premium Ale
Strength – 5.0% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Copper. I'm sure there are other ways of encapsulating it, but in the meantime...copper.
On the nose – Very appealing for anyone who adores fruit cake and Garibaldi biscuits. Someone like me, for example...
On the tongue – Malty to the point of showing off. Complexity in spades, but without ever being difficult.
On the subject – Saviour of the much admired Brunswick Inn in Derby, Trevor Harris has since applied his Midas touch to the independent brewery business. This is one very clever Trevor!
On the market – Wide local supermarket presence in the UK Midlands and beyond, and Majestic have become big fans. Buying direct is still an option.
On the whole – 7/10
It seems silly to begin a review with the single word 'delicious', but some beers just have a way of sending me silly, so here I go...
Delicious and somewhat dangerous, I should add. This is one of those menacingly morish ales of a certain alcoholic strength which trick you into having incredibly stupid thoughts such as – “I reckon this is an excellent session beer..!” and “I'm going to drink this all night..!”
I was similarly conned by Greene King's 'Abbot Ale' a few years ago, and paid heavy price at breakfast time.
The reason they can trick us with such sinister ease is because these are the types of beers that speak directly to our mouths using words which mouths can really understand. Actually they really only ever use two words – the word “keep” and the word “going.”
This being said, I can think of several pals of mine who won't like this beer. Not a bit. They'd moan about the strongly metallic flavours, “it's like drinking copper,” they'd cry – foolishly believing that such an experience was a bad thing. Then there's the 'it smells like antiseptic' crowd who would take exception to the highly hopped fragrance which hits you at every sip. Pal's like these could go on making these 'novices errors' all night long when faced with a complex beer like this. But, as the witty name of this brew suggests – it knows exactly what it's doing.
There's an intensely nutty finish which, despite it's utter dependability, always comes as a surprise. That's a real achievement. Few beers can claim to repeatedly dazzle and bewilder you, gulp after gulp, with such apparently deliberate nonchalance.
This is a deep, rich, full bodied and fully rounded drink experience – not for the uninitiated – and I'm going to be careful to recommend it only to those with a wide repertoire, who do not consider 'copper' to be a swear word, and who do their drinking with the precisely the same Old Intention with which most brewers create their beers.
Those kinds of drinkers....will absolutely love it.