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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Breakfast Beer Tasting: M&S Sovereign


Single hop beers have been giving beer geeks a hard-on for some time now and with Marks and Spencer now entering the fray, it was the perfect excuse to road test a few. As if hop lovers need an excuse to crack a bottle open for breakfast. Unlike Brewdog, the M&S range are all 568ml bottles and are brewed by different breweries. Which is ok as it gives the various breweries the chance to impress. Or not.

This is a 5% offering from Elgoods. This long established, family-run, Cambridgeshire brewer might not be the first name that springs to mind when thinking of hops but although we know from the bottle that Sovereign is a relatively new hop (1995), it is definitely not one of the new wave of aggressive hops. It is softer, more gentle you might say, and so perhaps a better match for a traditional brewer.

Despite being called a “Golden Ale”, naturally it poured orange in colour with a small off-white head. The aroma was subdued: light cereal and toffee notes. This subtlety extended to the beer which was on the bland side. There was bread and toffee along with a rather annoying, not the say cloying, honeyed edge. Not surprising as it contains “honey flavouring”. Why, I don’t know but it takes the edge of this beer for me.

Tyson says: Elgoods have made a bit of a mess of this. Sovereign’s delicate nature needs better care to get the most out of it. Here instead of off-setting the sweet malt flavours, it seems that the master plan was to add some honey syrup to the mix. In my opinion; not a good example of a single hop beer.

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