Staying on an IPA theme it is about time that I gave a shout out to the new National Trust beer that Robert Wicks from Westerham Brewery sent me long before Christmas.
The beer is a traditional IPA style beer called National Trust - Viceroy India Pale Ale. It is named with a nod to Lord Curzon who was Viceroy of India and responsible for the restoration of historic buildings, notably the Taj Mahal. At the end of his tour of duty, he returned to England and set his mind to our own historic buildings hence the connection with the National Trust. He was also a great beer drinker.
The beer itself is a 5% bottle conditioned, India Pale Ale, brewed at Westerham Brewery in Kent using organic malt and hops from the local Little Scotney estate, another connection with the National Trust.
The beer is amber coloured and pours with a fluffy white head. The hop aroma hits you first with appetising floral and grassy notes enticing the first slug. The flavour is big, with a spicy hop bitterness that envelopes the tasty honey and apricot sweetness. The finish is long, dry and bitter to the end. This beer is delicious, the bottle carbonation giving enough tartness to cut through the resinous, peppery hop character. It is a very distinct and complex beer.
It is brave of Westerham Brewery and National Trust to agree that their beer should have such character. It would have been very easy to bring a drinkable but dumbed down IPA style beer for the visitors to National Trust properties. This will usually be a one-off discretionary purchase by visitors wanting to put a bit more into the Trust funds. They are going to get a pleasant surprise when they taste it.