Friday, 24 June 2011

Day 98, Beer 98 - St. Austell's "Korev"

Today's Beer

Name – Korev

Brewer – St. Austell

Classification – Cornish Lager

Strength – 4.8% ABV

Verdict - At A Glance

On the eye – Vivid straw gold

On the nose – There's just way too much to say here (See full review...)

On the tongue – A very excellent assemblage of cleverly chosen and cleverly pitched flavours.

On the subject – It is becoming the done thing for breweries to have at least one craft lager on their lists among the usual crowd of bitters, golden ales, premium ales, milds, porters etc. This effort from St. Austell has to be among the best, and sits as well in their range as any other of their brews.

On the market A growing presence nationally would be great news for lager in general. In the meantime, try the breweries own online store.

On the whole – 8.5/10

Full Review

I have to begin with what struck me first.

This is easily one of the most violently aromatic beers I've yet uncapped (although 'unleashed' might be more appropriate term) here on The Year.

As I was setting up the 'pour shot' I was essentially being gassed by huge wafts of the most glorious vapour rising from the glass – which is all the more remarkable when you consider that the beer itself had been significantly chilled as the variety demands.

What a truly striking sensory experience the fragrance of this ale is!

But what about the next bit, which many would argue is ever so slightly more important?

Well, I'm happy to report that the taste of this drink ain't all that bad either. However, the flavours at play here – whilst they are in abundance and really quite wonderfully complex – are far more nuanced than that powerhouse aroma would suggest.

This, though, is no bad thing, because if those flavours were equally strong - this would doubtless be a very tough beer to drink any more than a few mouthfuls of, whereas in reality it's the sort of beer I could stick with all night with consummate ease.

A flurry of flavour themes – dry ones, citrus ones, nutty ones, peppery ones, grapefruit and berry bush high notes, tree bark and old leather low notes – all compliment and contradict each other with a playful quality that serves to dazzle and delight.

St. Austell have produced a master-work here. In some ways it's a very traditional and authentic rendition, and yet in other ways this is a quite visionary lager - which all lovers of beer should seek out and savour.

'Korev' literally means 'lager' in traditional Cornish language, which makes this a lager named Lager.

I think that name speaks for itself.


Curmudgeon said...

Sounds excellent - I'll have to look out for it. I was very impressed by the similar Thornbridge Italia, which I only ever saw once. (I think that was a one-off rather than a regular beer)

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

Thankfully, then, this is a mainstay of the St Austell range. It's made the supply of supermarket lagers in my fridge somewhat tricky to swallow.

I'll persevere though.