With so many beers in the world, it’s sometimes easy to lose touch with an old favourite. That’s especially true if it’s from a different part of the country and so rarely shows up in local bars and shops; even when buying online it’s too tempting to pick new and exciting beers, rather than going back to familiar ones.
So the last time I was topping up the beer cupboard I treated myself to some long time favourites that I haven’t tasted for a while.
Southville Hop is a beer that I fell utterly in love with the first time I tried it; I’m so keen on it that it serves as the example “5 star beer” on my Ratings Explained page.
It’s also a beer I probably haven’t had for over a year, and in that time the beer world has moved on. So I can’t help wondering, is it still as magnificent as I remember? Has it changed? Have I?
The nose is still just as I remember it; full of sweet tropical fruit – sweet citrus and pineapple, more Um Bungo than beer. it’s fresh and sweet and inviting.
The mouth is initially full of fruit too, sweet and juicy without becoming sticky or heavy. The resin bitterness builds slowly but surely, balancing delightfully with the sugary fruit, feeding into a perfect finish. The fruit and the resin exhaust each other, leaving a dry, gentle finish that just makes you reach for another sip.
This beer is like a super refined hop monster; it’s still jam packed with hops, but it’s not such a crazed assault on the senses as some can be. I’m delighted that Southville Hop still tastes as good to me as it did when I first found it, and there’s no doubt it remains a 5 star beer.