Name - Blandford Fly
Brewer – Badger
Classification – Premium Ale (With ginger)
Strength – 5.2% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye - Richly golden and inviting.
On the nose - Finest Ardennes pate. Spiced sweet potato and herbs. Ginger...? Well, maybe just a hint.
On the tongue - A classic ginger ale... but of the boozy kind.
On the subject - Badger's competitor in the war against the likes of 'Crabbies', this is one of those novel takes on the classic soft drink. In fairness, they don't pitch this product in nearly the same way, but the ultimate effect is not a zillion miles away.
On the market - Supermarkets and specialist dealers stock this one. Try the brewery's online shop.
On the whole - 7/10
The word 'subtle' is a slippery old eel.
The claim on the label of Badger's Blandford Fly is that this beer is "subtly spiced with ginger."
This, in the nicest possible way, is utter nonsense.
The use of ginger in this ale is about as subtle as the use of the English language on match-day in the average British football stadium.
There may be people who believe that the use of ginger in a can of Canada Dry is discreet, understated or nuanced. But most people just taste ginger ale.
That's certainly the entirety of what I tasted here. Alcoholic ginger beer.
But (and it's a fairly big 'but'), now that this drink's identity has been dragged out of the closet, it's probably worth pointing out that - as a beverage of this kind - it is a very impressive example.
In fact, it really is rather delightful.
Nicely pitched towards the crisp, dry side - but without completely abandoning sweetness - the idea of cracking one of these open on a warm, sunny afternoon is enough to make me leap on the next plane heading south.
It would need to be a chilled one, though, because unlike most ales - which can usually be drunk close to room temperature without being entirely ruined - this one would surely suffer the same fate as any carbonated soft drink when served too warm.
But then, I think that's really my main concern with this drink.
It's not really a beer.
It's an alcoholic soft drink.
Regardless of any technicalities that might qualify this as an ale, the overall effect of it's consumption (however tasty that experience might be) screams "boozy pop" at the top of it's voice.
It may appear that I'm being hard on this brew (especially in view of the fact that I've already stated how agreeably it tastes) but given the reality of it's overall taste, look and feel, there really seems very little point in not emphasising exactly what you should expect from it. And the dutiful public servant in me does feel inclined to redress the reality balance in response to Badger's gently misleading use of the old 'S' word.
But, I'll say it yet again, this is a pretty delicious drink regardless of it's classification, and for anyone who has yet to dip their toes into these adult ginger waters - there can be few better ways to take the plunge.