Well, this is a turn up for the books. An actual beer review on this beer-related website. Hang on a second while I pick my jaw back up from the floor.
Sarcasm aside, it has been a while since I wrote a proper review for the site (beside my overlong, drawn out FyneFest article last week) and for that, I offer my apologies and beg forgiveness... I could come up with a myriad of excuses for my lack of content on here over the last few weeks, but it basically boils down to "I couldn't be bothered". No point beating around the bush - I was quite happy to sip on some average beer over the last month or so, which didn't really give me much source material to write about.
"An actual beer review on this beer-related website. Hang on a second while I pick my jaw back up from the floor."
Thankfully, I seem to have rediscovered my mojo over the past weekend and normal service should be resumed as of today. I didn't have a massive session over the weekend, but I did find myself drinking one great little beer on Saturday evening which has inspired me (or booted me up the arse) into writing this review. That beer was Fourpure's Session IPA.
You've probably come across the term 'Session' before on your beer adventures and you may have wondered - like me, admittedly - "what does that mean...?". Well, as far as I can tell - because even Google doesn't seem to have a definitive answer - it is, what it sounds like... a beer that you can drink a lot of over a prolonged period of time ('a session') without ending up completely mangled. This means fairly low ABV - anything from 3% ABV up to about 5% ABV - which in fairness, could leave you quite puggled if you sank enough of them.
In the case of Fourpure's version of the Session IPA, you're looking at 4.2% ABV, which is more than enough to give you a buzz (Fourpure, if you're reading this, you can have that slogan for free), but less than so-called 'premium' beer at 5%. Effectively what this means is that you could extend your 'session' (see what I did there?) and sink a few more cans in the process, thus looking even more studly and buff than usual (disclaimer: booze doesn't actually make you more studly and buff - it only makes you think you're more studly and buff. Please drink responsibly).
"Disclaimer: booze doesn't actually make you more studly and buff - it only makes you think you're more studly and buff. Please drink responsibly"
So what does Session IPA bring to the table that other session beers/IPA's don't? Well, for starters, it's from Fourpure, which means you know the quality is going to be there. That means no half-arsed brewing; its clean finished and fresh tasting. It pours a lovely, slightly hazy, amber colour with a decent amount of foam on top.
Perhaps mimicking the colour somehow, the aroma from the beer is an equally lovely mix of citrus fruits - think tangerine and orange, with a hint of zesty lemon. There's a sweetness there too - sugary, syrupy and inviting.
And as good things tend to come in three's, the taste keeps the orange/tangerine theme going too. The citrus flavours hinted at in the aroma definitely come through here - sweet tangerine, with a slight bitter lemon edge. There's a hint of icing sugar there in the background too - just another dimension to the sweetness, on the edge of your taste buds. It's just a great tasting, light, refreshing beer that pairs perfectly with this unusually good weather that we've been having up this neck of the woods.
It reminds me a lot of a couple of other beers that I really like; I haven't mentioned it for at least 3 seconds recently, so one of those beers is obviously going to be AND Unions Sunday Pale Ale. It's got the same overall look and flavours to Session IPA, but is maybe just a tad less sweet. There's also a hint of Pistonhead Full Amber to this beer - there's a similar bitterness to Session IPA as FA, but it's more rounded and less harsh. Considering both Sunday Pale Ale and Full Amber are two of my favourite beers, that's intended as some high praise for Session IPA.
To bring some balance to this review, the only fault I can find with the beer is that I had to go into Marks and Spencer to buy it. Yep, I know that isn't exactly a negative point - M&S is a bloody good shop, if a little expensive. My point is, it doesn't seem to be an easy beer to get hold of (up here anyway), which is a great shame as I think it would have a good mass appeal if marketed by one (or all) of the other supermarkets. So get out to your local M&S and buy up all their stock of Session IPA and show Fourpure some love.