Some things just go well together: Axel and Slash; John, Paul, George and Ringo; Jake, Elroy and their “Mission from God”; Magnum PI and Ferrari’s; “Evel” Knievel and broken bones. But nothing rarely goes together better than the footy and cold beer. And over the weekend while watching not nearly enough hours of my teams winning in the NRL, AFL and Super 14’s, I washed down the sweet taste of victory with James Squire Golden Ale.
As the name suggests, Golden Ale has a bright gold colour to it. I’d call it somewhere just past the colour of honey but not quite at maple syrup. It poured a good two finger head, which faded away quickly. There is a sweet aroma, with herbs and floral notes, I found there to be a slight smell of fresh pine trees too. The taste is a little subdued but lingers for a long time on the back of the tongue. It starts off with light malt/honey at first but then delivers a hoppy fruit finish. It falls a little short of its mark but it leaves behind a nice bitter finish which trails off slowly. A pleasant drinking ale, there can be no doubt about it. The Minister for War and Finance didn’t even pull her usual “beer offends me” face when she tried it. There are no real unpleasant characteristics, but the positives aren’t so strong that they become overbearing either. In the mouth it’s smooth and perhaps some will find it a little flat. For some reason the flatness doesn’t work against this one too much.
The crew at Malt Shovel Brewery deserve recognition for this one. Not that it will ever be the best beer in the world, but at least they have tried something different that is still a drinkable drop (the key word is “drinkable”, Carlton Dry Fusion). Launched five years ago, the 345ml 4.5% brew is described as an English Style Summer Ale. I’ve had the “pleasure” of an English summer, and while wearing my trench coat and beanie during the balmy 15 degree hot spell, I never found their summer beer to taste like this.
Certainly it’s a drinkable beer, but it might run the risk of being too sweet if you try to do a session of it in our FNQ climate, but a few with the Sunday pork roast or seafood will work a treat. If you are going have a crack at it, I’d suggest that you try this one first up, as you may not like it after you’ve had a few Carlton Draught’s, Cooper’s or whatever your preferred weapon of choice is.