Name – Tiger
Brewer – Everards
Classification – Best Bitter
Strength – 4.5% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Orange meets amber and they fall in love. This beer is their first-born child.
On the nose – Planet Malt!
On the tongue – A sweet, zesty delight. Packed with traditional bitter character.
On the subject – The third and final of Everards bottled offerings to be sampled here on The Year. All in all, I think the best word to reach for is 'impressive'.
On the market – This beer is Everards' best seller. Considering the in-house competition - that's a very impressive fact. Found everywhere from supermarkets down in the UK. The brewery do have an online store.
On the whole - 8/10
Sometimes, when malt dominates the flavour of a beer, it can do so with the most glorious conviction.
In the case of Everards Tiger, we have a malt which displays that very same 'glorious conviction', but which also steadfastly refuses to dominate what is the most delectable hop presence that any bitter could possibly wish for.
The result of this epic conjunction of flavour elements is a beer which almost redefines the word 'balance' within the context of beer production and appraisal.
The malts and the hops found in this ale - when taken as separate entities - are performing at the very highest level imaginable, and this makes for the most intensely enjoyable 'tug of war' contest between the two. Despite the beer's name, there's nothing overly fierce at work here - either in the oaty, ginger biscuit malts or the citrus, faintly peach hops. But a battle between the factions does rage, nonetheless.
The irony though, is that whilst this tussle constitutes the major appeal of this brew - it is also something of an Achilles Heel. I reckon the beer might well benefit from a slightly emboldened 'middle ground' in the flavour department, something to thread together these two mighty taste extremes.
To be honest, though, I'm on pretty flimsy ground here.
In fact, I'm very much splitting hairs, and goodness knows that after my recent exposure to the two other bottled beers in the Everards range - and the effusive praise which resulted from those samplings - it's possible that I'm feeling somewhat inclined to 'get tough' on this company and work extra hard to find something that might qualify as a failing.
The grim reality, though, could merely be that Everards are just very, very adept at making beer, and I'm merely the latest ale drinker to become aware this simple fact.
Tiger, much like the wonderful 'Beacon' and the majestic 'Original', is a very fine tradition ale which - try as I might - I find myself with little option but to thoroughly and whole-heartedly recommend.
Their bottled beer portfolio may be relatively limited for a company of such renown, but few companies in Britain have a roster of ales to match the relentless quality of the Everards range.
Of that they should be extremely proud.