Name - O1
Brewer - Otley
Classification - Golden ale
Strength - 4.0% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye - Vibrant pale yellow gold.
On the nose - Understated warm malts, equally subtle zesty hops.
On the tongue - A delicate, dry, citrus cocktail.
On the subject - Wales based Otley have brought a highly unique ethos to the marketplace, both in terms of their branding and their beers. This is their flagship brew.
On the market - Otley beers do tend to bring out the explorer in you. Outside of their immediate environment they can be quite tricky to locate. Feel free to ditch the map and try online at Real Beer Box.
On the whole - 7.5/10
The popular phrase 'less is more' is often used to describe clever use of understatement.
I think understatement and 'less is more' were what Otley were aiming for here, and they have done so with a fair degree of success - the ultimate result of this being that I was very much left wanting that elusive 'more'.
The only slight snag, though, is that I was left wanting more during almost every sip.
In effect, they've conjured up a marvellous recipe - but deliberately stopped short of including abundant amounts of each ingredient.
You get a sense of an excellent beer - without every getting the full effect of that implied beer. This makes for a tantalising experience, but also a slightly frustrating one. Personally, I'm all for being teased and tempted, but only when I finally get the payoff in the end.
The ale which they actually give to you is a good one - but the one they suggest to you is magnificent. By the end, I was astounded by the brew I might have just enjoyed - which is a very odd sensation I don't mind saying.
The beer in the bottle is dry and zesty, with a nicely judged saltiness to counter the fruits - but this balancing act is a miniature affair, like an excellent puppet show version of a grand Broadway show.
The bottom line is I liked this beer, but it filled me with the sense that I could have enjoyed it even more.
Soft waves of melon, gooseberry, peach and apricot combine wonderfully - albeit in a highly restrained way - and that salt bite makes for an experience which you could imagine repeating for a decent session, especially given the relatively inoffensive alcohol content.
But given the quality and breadth of the competition in the current 'golden ale' scene, it's hard to see how this one could stand out.
This is a pity, because all the elements are there for a genuine market leader.
It just needs those elements to shout a little louder.