Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Magificent Seven #2: Jaipur


Describing this beer evidently isn’t easy – famed food, critic Matthew Fort managed 600 words on it for The Guardian without ever actually mentioning what it tastes like. And taste is something it has more than enough of.

First of all, it’s an IPA (Indian Pale Ale) and IPAs tend towards being boozy and hoppy. Well, when I say ‘tend towards’ I mean in the way that Max Mosley ‘tended towards’ those nice German lasses.

And hops dominate these golden-hued beers, not as is often apocryphally claimed to preserve them for the long journey to the subcontinent, but to give them their trademark refreshing citrus edge. But this particular example of the style is the Pan Galactic Gargleblaster of IPAs. Not only do the hops give you the hit of lemon, you also get the gold brick to wrap it around and use to smash your brains out. However, unlike Douglas Adams’ creation, at least there’s no olive balanced on the top.

So whereas other IPAs are mildly invigorating, Jaipur launches a mini D-Day on your tongue, where the hops lead a frontal attack backed by a barrage of alcohol. Some claim to notice pineapple and grapefruit amid this citrus assault, but that could be the alcohol talking, and in a thick, hefty beer like this it does plenty of that. This particular ale also makes a terrible snakebite, but we won’t dwell on that evening for reasons of decency, amnesia and temporary blindness.

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