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18-01-2016, 10:24
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‘I’m not putting it on until you’ve drunk that one,’ we overheard as we approached the bar of the Star Inn, Crowlas, on Friday afternoon. There was definitely what passes for A Buzz in sleepy West Cornwall.‘What’s coming on then?’ I*asked Steve the barman, eagerly studying the ‘Coming d’reckly’ part of the chalkboard beer menu.
‘Hoptimystic. It’s new.’
http://i0.wp.com/boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/crib_pub.jpg?resize=250%2C237We did our bit to help finish off the blocking cask by ordering a couple of pints of a perfectly decent Blonde from Great Heck and sat down to play cribbage in the corner by the fire.
Then, a couple of rounds in… Was there a sudden hush among the garrulous gang of middle-aged pals at the bar? Somehow, anyway, we just knew it had arrived and so drained our glasses*before dashing*up to to get in on the action.
It looked a lot like Pete’s other flagship beers — 11/10 on the clarity scale and pale gold. (Sorry — maybe ‘light straw yellow (http://edsbeer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/beer-colour.html)’.) The taste was a revelation for me. I usually dislike coconut — the real thing, in real life — and find any suggestion of it in beer a bit off-putting, but here it was overwhelming and yet at the same time delicious. There were some hints of tropical fruit too, such as*mango and (slightly unusual) lychee, but without tasting like the syrup from a tin of Del Monte. No, quite the opposite — it was extraordinarily clean and refreshing, even at 4.7%.
It was so good I caught*myself (old habits die hard) evangelising at the bar:*‘You really want to try that — it’s like coconut! No, trust me, I don’t like coconut either. Can’t stand Bounties. But this is amazing!’ Not that most of the regulars seemed to need convincing — we could hear them coo-ing over it as they played pool, exchanging tasting notes.
Steve was able to tell us that it is single hop beer, which*he pointed out isn’t something Peter Elvin does generally (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/12/beerylongreads2015-the-quiet-one/), and that, though he couldn’t recall the variety,*‘It’s experimental, he used a lot of it, and it was expensive.’*Everyone on the Internet told us it must be Sorachi Ace which we doubted because it seemed more subtle than that. But, having checked with Darren*‘Beer Today’ Norbury (http://beertoday.co.uk/), it turns out the Internet was right, and the subtlety is probably down to the Elvin Effect.
Darren also tells us that some of the regulars, on balance, are finding it a bit weird — ‘a hop too far’ was the phrase he used. Certainly Bailey was less convinced than me, more intrigued than delighted.
For my part, I’ve*made a note to remind myself of it when the time comes to decide on a Beer of the Year for 2016. Good to have that out of the way in January, eh?
Hoptimystic at the Star Inn (http://boakandbailey.com/2016/01/hoptimystic-at-the-star-inn/) from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Over-thinking beer, pubs and the meaning of craft since 2007 (http://boakandbailey.com)

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