Breakfast Beer Tasting: Tolly Cobbold & Marstons Pale

Today I’m attempting something I’ve never done before. I’m doing a double breakfast beer tasting. Now I know what you’re thinking; don’t do it, you crazy romantic fool, it’s not worth it. But fear not, dear reader, I’m taking the low abv route today. I’m seeing just how low you can really go. Bring on the 2.8% thirst quenchers.

Tolly Cobbold English Ale
Of course, this isn’t really Tolly Cobbold, but our dear friends at Greene King trying to cash in on a bygone name. Now they’ve been brewing (in my opinion only, of course, it’s all subjective, blah, blah)) cack beer for years, so a 2.8% pisswater blend shouldn’t be beyond them.

It’s 500ml and poured with good carbonation and a medium off-white head. A traditional amber in colour, the aroma was reminiscent of shandy. As was the taste that slightly pricked the tongue with a little bread dough tingle and then dies off.

Not as bad as I feared, but the monochrome shandy effect-like the beer-wears thin after awhile. I can only see this as a distress purchase for any serious drinker as it fails to deliver on any level of the taste spectrum.

Marstons Pale Ale
This is 500ml and is described as a “light and refreshing pale golden ale.” Well it poured amber with gentle carbonation and an off-white head. The aroma was significant in its absence; as was any great discernible flavour in the beer itself. Slightly soapy in nature, this was more like watered down shandy than a real beer. In fact, the blandness of it made the mediocrity of the Tolly Cobbold seem almost appealing.

So, a win for Greene King today, but I won’t be rushing out to get a crate of it in.


RedNev said…
I tried the Tolly 2.8% beer on draught in Southport. It tasted extremely thin, a defect that they tried to cover up by putting in too many hops. The result was an unappealing, astringent, thin pint that I wouldn't want again. If I were driving, I'd rather have a J2O. Its price of £1.29 a pint might attract some custom, I suppose.

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