This morning I went over to the dark side. Yes, it was time to balance out all those IPAs, pseudo IPAs and Pale Ales. And what better way than with Downton Chimera Dark Delight?
The basics: Downton is the experimental sibling of the Hop Back brewery. This beer was a finalist in the Tesco 2004 Beer Challenge and has a complex mix of Challenger, East Kent Goldings, Pioneer and organic Fuggles. There’s also a little maize in there as well. It’s 500ml and bottle conditioned.
It was very lively and poured a slightly hazy chestnut colour with a large off-white head. You could detect the Pioneer hops in the aroma, along with chocolate malt and coffee.
Conclusion: If you’re a diehard fan of Old Ales, then this might hit the spot. Otherwise, the casual drinker might struggle with its singularity. I suspect it will be a lot better in its cask form. One for your second cousin.