Wednesday, 12 May 2010

THORNBRIDGE HALCYON IS FUCKING AWESOME!

Excuse the tabloid hyperbole and screamy capital letters, but I don’t think enough people have said just how good Thornbridge Halcyon 2009 is yet (only Zak Avery, Hopzine, Reet Good Leeds, Real Ale Reviews 'an Innocent smoothie on acid', and The Ormskirk Baron [baron rating of 5/5]). It’s a beer blogger’s dream: limited release, once a year, hotly anticipated; green-hopped with new season UK Targets (forget the US C-hop, it’s all about the UK Ts on this display); a dangerously beautiful 7.7%; a sexy new label (featuring a sneaky peak of bust); a stream of updates - promises - from the brewery on its progress: we’re brewing it soon, it’s been brewed, it’s in the conditioning tank, it’ll be a few months yet, it’s almost ready, it’s tasting great, we’re almost there, bottling Halcyon soon, bottling Halcyon now, so close, just a little longer, it tastes amazing, it’s ready to go, YOU CAN BUY THEM NOW... it’s beergasm territory, get ‘em while they’re HOT.

Remember Fruit Salad sweets? That’s what it smells like first, then pineapple, then mango, then a little grassy and floral, then a tangy, pithy, resinous bitterness stomps on through. One line of the notes has both “Mmm” and “Yum” on. The hops are super fruity and unexpected; juicy and delicious. It could threaten to get a bit sweet but the bitterness rips through and it’s all backed up with a stiff malty backbone to keep it in shape. A knife-edge balance, perfectly executed.  

It’s hyped-up and laden with heavy sacks of expectation, but the beer smashes through that (I imagine it does so with a look to the skies, an impassioned roar, a paw at the chest). Big green hops, super fruity, full-on bitterness, but always just lip-smackingly good. It’s up there with the best IPAs this year (and I’ve had some shit hot IPAs this year).

I’ve got a mixed 12-pack of this and St Petersburg (another great beer, deserving of its own upper case exclamation, no doubt – imagine you BBQ’d a bar of dark chocolate and then blitzed it up with some coffee, and loads of earthy hops, it’s real goood, in a dirrrty kind of way, like eating in bed) but I’m seriously tempted to go back to myBrewerytap and order some more (especially as they’re now selling Marble, too).

9 comments:

  1. completely agree I absolutley love it, last years version was great (especially at £1 a bottle) but there is nothing like having it fresh

    i've still yet to try it on cask but im hoping to try it soon!

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  2. An outstanding beer, true enough. Took a delivery from Thornbridge Alex yesterday for use in a tutored tasting with a dozen brewers. I reckon it'll blow their tits off! Amazed at how fresh and floral Mr Cappers Hereford Target is. Intense hop pleasure without being over-bitter.

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  3. It's an excellent beer and this is an excellent post including all the other "we love it!" posts from around the beer blogging world.

    The best bit for me was that it was so balanced - sweet malt, citrus hops, lovely bitterness to keep it all in check - wonderful!

    The fact that it's 'limited edition' in such good looking packaging seems to make it taste better ;)

    P.S. Cheers for the link!

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  4. Dominic, Marble Brewery12 May 2010 13:32

    Well said Mark. It's absolutely stunningly beautiful - exactly what I would want if I tried to brew a similar beer! It gets a big thumbs up from the Marble anyway.

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  5. Just to get this straight, are you trying to say you like this beer?

    B******s! :D

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  6. Had a bottle of this one last Friday and I definitely concur. Lovely aromas, stunning flavours, incredible mouth-feel. Fucking Awesome, indeed. I might have to invest in another dozen before myBreweryTap sells out...

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  7. Michael Elliott13 May 2010 16:15

    I've got one bottle left from the pack I bought last year. It'll be way past it's freshest, but I'm still reluctant to render myself Halcyonless! Thornbridge beer isn't at all easy to get hold of in Northern Ireland...

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  8. Had a chance to taste it at the Pre ZBF and I absolutely agree ! Very Very nice. Now I'm planning a short trip in England to pick some bottles up !

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  9. It is arguably the worst thing I have EVER tasted.

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