Dropped into the Sun Inn in Barnes village last night. Was attracted by the Adnams American Style IPA - part of the Adnams seasonal beer program. This has the potential to be an excellent beer but on this occasion failed due to flavours of clove and butterscotch that spoiled the taste and aromas of sweet biscuity malt backed up by a strong American hop character. Look out for it - on a good day this beer will blow Fuller's Bengal Lancer away.
I like the new Bengal Lancer from Fuller's but I think it is overcome by the sweet orange character that comes from the Fuller's yeast in their stronger beers. I think a more liberal use of hops might have given the beer a more distinct IPA style. Both beers of course are aiming at balance to provide the regular beer drinker with variety and choice rather than amusing the rather boring, style obsessed, beer geek.
In my experience the Fuller's beer is always of good quality. I look forward to finding the Adnams in good form but in the meantime Bengal Lancer will be my first choice out of these two.
One nice observation of the English attitude to service was observed last night. An old man with a stick, settled in the corner with his dimpled glass almost empty of Doom Bar, stopped a passing barman, thrust a fiver at him and asked if he could get him another pint. "Sorry" replied the barman, "We don't do table service". Table service ? He wasn't asking for table service, he was asking for kindness. Another customer stood up and went to the bar for him. You could not make it up.