Prologue: The Queen has inspired a number of beers over the years and although the story behind some of this might be questionable, I’m looking at you Crown Lager, the story behind Red Hill’s latest brew is clear. It is inspired by the brewer’s recent trip to the mother country and released to coincide with old Queeny’s 60th anniversary of her coronation.
Packaging: Nicely English – A bigger than normal 500ml bottle, stout and old fashioned, nice hand-drawn label featuring the Union Jack, a crown and some diamonds. I should say it is a radical departure from the normal (quite restrained) Red Hill labels – I do like it though.
Appearance: It’s a deep orange colour with a dense head that suggests a strong malt backbone, which would be appropriate for a British style IPA.
Smell: Smells like sweet mandarins, I also felt I sensed mangos in there as well. A bit like the Queen had broken out the Valiant gone on a driving holiday to Queensland (well it is her land I guess) with everyone’s favourite racist Prince Phillip riding shotgun and Horsey, Old Big Ears and Shit Sibling in the back (I assume Eddie was so unimportant that he got left a home that day).
Taste: It was actually a fair bit different than I was expecting, There was a touch of funk in there that I wasn’t expecting for a traditional IPA, the carbonation was also a little bit spritzier than I was expecting as well. It was also a tad sweeter, sure there is a lingering bitterness, but it has these gentle fruity, almost apricot puree undertones.
In conclusion: An unusual beer, at least for this antipodean more used to Australian and US style brews. I have to say I enjoyed it a lot though, it was full of interesting characters and really demanded my attention.
Long Bow YouTube clip: It has to be Queen doesn’t it? There is no shortage of amazing songs to choose from either, but I’m going with ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ as it has one of the best bass lines in modern rock, plus I love canary yellow singlets and red sweat bands, not to mention hats with horns.