As regular readers may remember, Hogs Back have been the subject of a previous Brewery Tour-At-Home but that didn’t include this particular beer – the strongest of their range.
This is A Over T, a 9.0% Extra Strong Ale. The name obviously stands for Aroma Over Tongham (the village in which Hogs Back are based) and certainly not Arse Over Tit, which is what you’ll be after a pint of the stuff.
It’s a rich, deep copper in the glass, with a thin but lingering fine bubbled head to it. The nose is just what you’d expect; rich, sweet dried fruit, vanilla, a distinct alcohol heat and some lurking orange peel.
In the mouth, it’s one of those joyous beers that takes you on a journey – starting with sweet dates, moving slowly through caramel with an almost pithy bitter tone before leading into a leisurely port-like taste with fruit and alcohol in perfect balance, and finally ending with a long lingering tannic dryness which distracts you from the warming alcohol burn slipping down your throat.
This is a seriously good beer; the complexity of flavours make every sip a joy to savour. I only wish I’d bought a case.