Name – Extra Pale Ale
Brewer – Nottingham Brewery
Classification – Pale Ale (Extra!)
Strength – 4.2% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – I'm not feeling sufficiently inclined to argue with the label. So, its appearance is extra pale.
On the nose – Surprisingly creamy. Well rounded. Very enticing.
On the tongue – Relentlessly top heavy – in the most marvellous way.
On the subject – Originally the Bramcote Brewery, Philip Darby and Niven Balfour were kicked out of their first premises by the local council. The Nottingham Brewery was born. Town planning departments do make the most delicious errors every now and again...
On the market – Local presence is pretty good. Online stores are a good bet. This was slipped my way by The Real Ale Store.
On the whole – 7.5/10
Grapes and grapefruit.
These are the first things to hit you when you drink this brew – square in the jaw with maximum force, as it happens – and this barrage is swiftly followed by the sharpest hop-fuelled bitterness I've sampled for a good old while.
Now, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this level of flavour-based violence would be somewhat off-putting to an imbiber of ale. You might think it would leave a drinker inclined to swap his glass for one filled with something a little less determined to rip him to shreds.
All I can say to that is – think again!
It could well be that (without ever realising it) I'm actually something of a Sadist, who secretly fancies getting a bit of a beating every now and again, but the fact is that my hand kept reaching out for more of this stuff with ever increasing regularity until it finally became impossible to continue trying to write about it.
Its intensely sharp, its fiendishly bitter, and that bold citrus element only adds further aggression to the generally high-end flavour model.
But if this is punishment – let it long continue to be dished out!
In effect, this beer will refresh you and impress you whether you like it or not, and any resistance is futile.
If it were any better balanced (with a sweeter malt, or softer citrus) it could very quickly lose its deliciously combative character, and that would be a great shame.
This beer is a pleasure to be thwacked by.
I recommend that you let it forcibly assault you a soon as possible.