Origin: Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire, England
Peak District-based Thornbridge continues to demonstrate its world class credentials with its latest batch of special bottles. This limited edition of Halcyon, already an impressive India Pale Ale, was brewed during last year’s hop harvest and dosed with “massive amounts of freshly picked Target hops from Mr Capper’s farm in Herefordshire”. Target is not a variety commonly linked with the phrase “massive amounts” in the brewers’ vocabulary but it certainly makes the best of its turn in the spotlight here.
For those unfamiliar with green hopped beers, unlike most beers which use dry whole hops, pellets or extract, these use fresh hops straight from the farm. The result, well demonstrated here, should be a definite hop character accompanied by a freshness and slightly vegetal quality that’s notably distinct from conventional hopping.
This pale gold hop-hazed beer pours with a thick off-white head, exuding a piny, resiny and peachy aroma with slightly sulphurous and lightly honeyed notes. There’s peach and strawberry fruit up front on the palate but intense piny, resiny hop flavours soon develop on the tongue, although with a very smooth and creamy touch. A clean, lightly malty finish stays smooth while developing an assertive lettucey bitterness.
Thornbridge has flourished as one of Britain’s most innovative and consistent craft breweries under brewery manager Kelly Ryan. Kelly is about to return to his native New Zealand. Beer Culture wishes him the very best of luck and looks forward to sampling the great beers he’s sure to continue brewing in the southern hemisphere. He’ll be a hard act to follow in the northern one.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/thornbridge-halcyon/84956/