Beer Disappointment Of Last 7 Days

Thornbridge Raven in the Marble Arch, Manchester. This 6.6% brew boldly states on the pumpclip that it is a “Black IPA”. A statement that raised a few eyebrows and no little interest. Apparently, they start with Maris Otter, Munich, black and chocolate malt. And then chuck in Nelson Sauvin, Centennial and Sorachi hops, before dry hopping with Chinook and Aramillo

If they had managed to successfully weld such an impressive list of ingredients, they would truly have produced a stunning beer. But they hadn’t. Well not on this showing, anyway. These multi-malt brews often underwhelm and adding all those hops just appeared a waste. Someone’s idea of home brew Guinness is the closest approximation I’d hazard.

Runner up was Marble’s Brew 14, but only at the Marble Arch-it was fine in Chorlton.


Tandleman said…
Tsk tsk. That's almost blasphemy, in some rosy eyes eyes anyway.

Not often you can repeat "eyes" consecutively in the same sentence!
Paul Garrard said…
sounds just like a beer designed by a committee.
John Clarke said…
Well, I tried it at the Magnet in Stockport a couple of weeks back and it was excellent
Tyson said…

Thanks for stopping by. To paraphrase the Stockport Stagger, it's only a snapshot. I can only report what it was like on that day in the Marble. I know you are a big Thornbridge fan, but I note that it has received mixed reviews. I can only conclude that either Thornbridge beers are incosistent or that Raven only appeals to a certain palate.
jesusjohn said…
Mmm...sympathies with all concerned here.

Had Raven on two consecutive days and had two different opinions - regarding the same cask!

First day, I had it after Jaipur and Seaforth. Perhaps these deadened my bitterness receptors - I found Raven bitingly hoppy, yes, but I liked it and thought it intriguing, if bonkers.

The next day, it was the first beer I had and, to be honest, I was overwhelmed by how much I disliked it. Harsh and rather ragged. As has been suggested by you, Tyson, and Paul - a cobbled-together pot pourri of different but robust and distinct flavours all fighting with each other and not complementing.

I must add - I think Jaipur and Seaforth are superb. I tried cask Kipling for the first time on Sunday - that really is stunning.
Eeyore said…
I find the comments here very interesting. I've also had mixed reports of it. I think, to be fair, that jesusjohn's (cool name btw) first experience will have been clouded by his previous samplings. The second occasion, to me, is more telling.

I think Tyson may be right in that it appeals only to a certain palate. However, I also believe there is a little of the "Emperor's New Clothes" going on here.

Thornbridge are much feted and in some quarters they can do no wrong. Any new beer of theirs will always be "exciting" and "innovative".

The fact that they may (and I say may) have produced a mess of a beer is simply, as Tandleman says, blasphemy in some quarters.
Anonymous said…
Thornbridge like most brewers produce good and bad beer.Live with it.
John Clarke said…
You make me sound like some uncritical Thornbridge groupie, when that is not the caes at all. Not all of their beers appeal to me but all I can say is that Raven is one that I really did hit the spot. Clearly not a beer with universal appeal though.
Anonymous said…
Thornbridge are hitting the problem that all breweries encounter. Because of tickers they keep having to contunually produce 'new brews' instead of conentrating on giving us a few good beers
Whorst said…
They don't what the hell they're doing. The grist in a Black IPA should include Carafa I, II, or III, which is de-husked roasted barley, which helps reduce the harshness usually present in highly roasted grains. Think along the lines of a high gravity, hoppy, Schwarz Beer.
Nobody mentioned this because no one is actually engaged in the arts. You write about the arts, but don't completely engage.
Anonymous said…
@Whorst "They don't what the hell they're doing. The grist in a Black IPA should include Carafa . . ."

You're now telling the world how to brew beer in a style which hasn't really been established - as it's only brewed in a handful of breweries in the world.

Not only that but you suggest it ought to taste like a German black lager & not, for example, a US/English style IPA - you'll forgive me if I don't bow down to your greatness.

Thornbridge are intimately involved "in the arts" being both passionate & very well-trained & the co. is well-paid for what they brew (despite them doing this so poorly as you'd have us believe) - they're probably the most adventurous & yet successful micro in recent UK brewing history, whereas you write sarcastic condescending vitriol, veneered with some brewing knowledge.

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