A superb pale ale that appeals to both the head and the heart
The first thing to notice – apart from the shimmering blue and turquoise branding of the Big Drop can – is the rich, beery pour that clouds up the glass momentarily, then resolves into a nice firm head above the burnished gold clarity of the beer itself. The nose is subtle, the faintest hint of rose sitting beside freshly unwrapped toffee, something indefinably clean and pure to it. In the mouth there’s that hint of rose again, set deep inside an overall complexity of creamy caramel and citrus – a refreshing limey crispness in the cheeks yet balanced by something deeper and darker on the palate with a hoppy bitterness at the back of the throat that contributes to a lovely long finish. The one thing we didn’t get was pine – thankfully perhaps – but maybe that was what contributed to the apparent cleanness of the nose, so subtle as to have more to do with mood than flavour.
All in all, this is an utterly intriguing – and delightful – beer that appeals as much to the head as to the throat. Having confidently done its main job of refreshing, relaxing and satisfying, it sets about posing questions to the drinker. Like: what exactly is this mix of weirdly wonderful flavours and how did they get them to marry up so well? The answer, clearly, is all in the balance of the Magnum, Mosaic and Amarillo hops mentioned on the can – although Milk features as well, so who knows? But that’s for the geeks. For our part, the most pressing question this beer asked was: can we get another round of these in, please?
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