Name - Jurassic
Brewer - Dorset Brewing Company
Classification - Premium ale
Strength - 4.7% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye - Rich gold, almost mango tinged amber.
On the nose - Robust sweet malts.
On the tongue - A rare beer of bitter sweet extremes.
On the subject - Priding themselves on their locally sourced ingredients, this ethically pro-active company brew some of the freshest tasting beers I know of.
On the market - Certain lucky enclaves have decent supplies, but mostly this is pretty hard to come by. For online options go to West Country Ales.
On the whole - 8/10
Usually, a beer is either predominantly bitter, or predominantly sweet.
Rarely is it both.
In fact, to be both - absolutely simultaneously - is pretty nearly scientifically impossible, and in this respect I can safely say that DBC's Jurassic seems to have comprehensively reinvented science.
This, in other words, is impossible beer.
Just how one of these increasingly popular 'flavour indication' systems could properly describe this distinct peculiarity is hard to imagine. Indeed, the limitations of these 'beer i.d. systems' - such as Cyclops for example - are quickly exposed in cases like this when they are limited to flying single word or single image banners to indicate individual aspects of a beer's character.
After all, it's hard to answer an overly simplified question like "Is this beer bitter or sweet?" when the only honest one-word answer is "Yes".
But that's kind of the answer that this extraordinary ale demands, and the result is a playful and quite mesmerising drink experience.
Basically, at work here is the most remarkable co-existence of sweetness and bitterness that I've so far come across. It comes fully loaded with sharp, crisp citrus and floral sweetness, which is instantaneously counterpunched by a bitter hop dryness the likes of which can usually only be found in a strong, straight-up iced tea.
Of the fruits - apple, pear, grapefruit, melon and green grape make the greater impact, but there are many others there to tantalise and delight.
The malt base is evident and lands with sufficient weight to add balance without ever attempting to intrude. The cereals here are more functional than cosmetic.
There are some wonderful aromas, but they are far sweeter than the drink ever becomes in the mouth, which makes the complete exercise a little bewildering after a while, albeit in the most enjoyable way.
This is a sophisticated drink, but it's also enormous fun - and I like that's a likeable blend of characteristics.
'Impossibly bittersweet sophisticated fun.'
That sounds like good beer to me.