Darkstar/Thornbridge Thornstar is 4.7% and was sampled in the Sheffield Tap. On paper, a marriage made in heaven. Two great breweries joined in holy unison. But how many marriages have foundered on the rocky shores of relationships. Ok enough already with the marriage metaphors, what was this like?
I’m informed it’s one of these new fangled Cascadian Dark Ales or a Black IPA as they're known in the cheap seats. Well it was certainly black, but seemed to lack the classic IPA hop aroma. This had a pungent earthy, agricultural, nose that wasn’t particularly appealing on first sniff.
The taste was chewy with a little roast malt, some sour fruit and a little hop kick followed by a short, slightly sour, finish. Not great. Quite underwhelming really. Which is somewhat of a surprise as a passing beer guru told me that it contains 6 varieties of New Zealand hops.
It's been compared to Thornbridge Raven and whilst not that bad, definitely more one for the beer geeks rather than the masses. Basically one to sip while you discuss the merits of German malts rather than neck and go back for another.