Name – Chesil
Brewer – Dorset Brewing Company
Classification – Traditional Pilsner
Strength – 4.1% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Luminous, regal gold.
On the nose – Fruit loaf, blackcurrant and toffee.
On the tongue – Dry. Oh so dry. Plenty of subtle fruit complexity.
On the subject – Launched in 1996, this expanding micro has an impressive list of awards under its belt. Their passionate focus on ingredients is certainly evident in this brew.
On the market – The brewery has an online shop, and local walk-in outlets are varied. Specialist stores and the web are the best bets further afield.
On the whole – 8.5/10
This really is quite special.
Dry, fruity, full bodied, and in no mood whatsoever for small talk.
There's a mean streak to this creature, and a confident allure which says 'You will do as I say'.
And what it mostly says is 'drink me!'
There's a lot going on in this beer, and it seems wrong to single out just one appealing quality among the great many. However, the bitter fruit dryness combined with the smooth, rich body of the drink makes for a seriously classy experience.
These elements then benefit further from subtle use of dark berries and watermelon, and I'm consciously incorporating the term 'use' in respect of these flavours – as though I were suggesting that these ingredients really were physically present in the glass – and it's the startling freshness of this drink which is to blame for that.
For drinkers of mass produced lager who instinctively avoid 'proper' beer, this brew would be the ideal first step in a wonderful new direction.
I don't know how the brewery have achieved it, but there is a real sense that this beer was transferred into the bottle only moments ago. It has a youthful vitality and a sense of authenticity which sets it apart from almost all other bottled beers I currently know.
There are more beers from Dorset Brewing Company to come here on The Year, and it will be interesting to note if the others share this characteristic of 'just bottled' freshness.
In the meantime, there are a good few drops of this one remaining so, if you don't mind, I'm going to go and savour every last one of them...