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12-05-2010, 07:52
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Excuse the tabloid hyperbole and screamy capital letters, but I donít think enough people have said just how good Thornbridge Halcyon 2009 (http://www.thornbridgebrewery.co.uk/thornbridge-beers.php) is yet (only Zak Avery (http://thebeerboy.blogspot.com/2010/05/beer-and-curry-well-halcyon-and.html), Hopzine (http://hopzine.com/?p=1270), Reet Good Leeds (http://reetgoodleeds.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/reetgood-rides-the-zeitgeist-thornbridges-halcyon/), Real Ale Reviews (http://real-ale-reviews.com/introspective/2010/05) 'an Innocent smoothie on acid', and The Ormskirk Baron (http://theormskirkbaron.blogspot.com/2010/05/thornbridge-halcyon-2009.html) [baron rating of 5/5]). Itís a beer bloggerís dream: limited release, once a year, hotly anticipated; green-hopped with new season UK Targets (forget the US C-hop, itís 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 (http://twitter.com/thornbridgekel) - promises - from the brewery on its progress: weíre brewing it soon, itís been brewed, itís in the conditioning tank, itíll be a few months yet, itís almost ready, itís tasting great, weíre almost there, bottling Halcyon soon, bottling Halcyon now, so close, just a little longer, it tastes amazing, itís ready to go, YOU CAN BUY THEM NOW... itís beergasm territory, get Ďem while theyíre HOT.


Remember Fruit Salad (http://www.aquarterof.co.uk/fruit-salad-p-125.html) sweets? Thatís 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 ďMmmĒ and ďYumĒ 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 itís all backed up with a stiff malty backbone to keep it in shape. A knife-edge balance, perfectly executed.


Itís 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. Itís up there with the best IPAs this year (and Iíve had some shit hot IPAs (http://pencilandspoon.blogspot.com/2010/03/ipa-night.html) this year).


Iíve got a mixed 12-pack of this and St Petersburg (another great beer, deserving of its own upper case exclamation, no doubt Ė imagine you BBQíd a bar of dark chocolate and then blitzed it up with some coffee, and loads of earthy hops, itís real goood, in a dirrrty kind of way, like eating in bed) but Iím seriously tempted to go back to myBrewerytap (http://www.mybrewerytap.com/buy-real-ale/real-ale-by-brewery/thornbridge-brewery.html) and order some more (especially as theyíre now selling Marble (http://www.mybrewerytap.com/buy-real-ale/real-ale-by-brewery/marble-beers-ltd.html), too).
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