Name - Suffolk Gold
Brewer - St. Peter's
Classification - Premium golden ale
Strength - 4.9% ABV
Verdict - At a glance
On the eye - A warm, apricot gold. Quite unique.
On the nose - Bold, rich, sumptuous malts. Very nice.
On the tongue - Dry, sharp, aggressive, and pretty darn marvellous.
On the subject - The extensive range of St. Peter's ales gets more impressive with every new example I try. Their rapid and unfaltering climb toward market dominance is making ever greater sense to me.
On the market - These days in the UK, there's very little problem finding something from the St. Peter's stable, though this one is perhaps a little rarer than certain others. Try the brewery's own online store.
On the whole - 8/10
The first words I wrote for this review are not the words you are reading now.
Those first words have been moved up to the 'On the tongue' section above, because after I wrote them I realised they were in fact a perfect summary of the beer.
But what then struck me - was that the fact that this beer had been the very first here on The Year which had made the full breadth of it's character so instantaneously apparent. But, then again - it's really not difficult to explain why that is.
Basically, this beer is monumentally direct in it's approach to the human mouth.
It's staggering dryness - which transforms the very idea of 'dry liquid' into an entirely new concept - is so impossibly potent that you almost become aware of it even before the fluid touches your lips, meaning that all the tongue eventually does is provide conformation of it at a later stage.
The brutally sharp hop bitterness takes exactly the same approach - grabbing and gripping the taste buds with levels of aggression I have rarely encountered in almost any aspect of life - let alone within a glass of ale.
This feels more like a weapon than a beer, and I'm specifically referring to the sort of weapon that is designed to kill rather than merely maim.
I do hope I'm getting somewhere near to properly describing the impact of this drink. It really does feel exactly as I'm suggesting.
There's complexity here too, though, with an array of minor flavours - both floral and citrus in nature - teasing you with faint suggestions of an entirely separate drink experience that you might be having if only the main, power-house salty dryness weren't so utterly dominant.
But utterly dominant it is. It marches forth and tramples over all other features and qualities, it makes absolutely no apology for it's apocalyptic leadership techniques and, by and large, that is something we should all very be thankful for.
Ultimately, I couldn't decide whether I liked this beer or loved it. It's certainly one of the two, but I can't help thinking my affection is based more on the sheer 'event' of consuming this stuff - rather than for the brew itself.
At the end of the day, I don't suppose it matters why you enjoy something - proving that you do.
That rather puts me in mind of all the varied types of thrill-seeking that we often go in search of - situations wherein we essentially pursue happiness via the risking of our lives.
And perhaps that's exactly why I'm drawn to this beer. Because it scares me half to death.
I guess that's the thing to stress most here. The rush.
If thrill-seeking is your thing - you really do need to take a ride on this beast.
I've little doubt it will impress you immeasurably.