Thursday, May 23, 2013

Morland Hen's Tooth

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (886) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 23, 2013
I poured a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint glass. It cost $4.29 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: An ugly brownish/dark orange color. Not quite opaque, but extremely hazy. Forms a large, off-white, soapy head which is slow to dissipate and leaves minor lacing on the glass.

Smell: Standard English ale aroma of dark fruit and nutty malt. There is a distinct skunky smell as well from the clear glass bottle.

Taste: I always want to like strong English ales like Morland Hen’s Tooth, but most of the time I don’t. Probably because the Brits still use clear bottles and by the time their beer reaches the USA it’s skunked up and soured. Though this beer isn’t on par with a Heineken, thankfully. In fact, there are some good qualities to it, enough to earn a genuine thumbs up from me, but that’s about it.

There’s a prominent malt base of toffee and caramel. I detect a bit of nuttiness as well, which means this beer is essentially liquid Cracker Jacks. Little to no bitterness to be found, and the ending is quite pleasant with a cherry or plum-like flavor. There’s a sharp tartness as well, probably due to light-strike or heat damage. This distracts from the main palette, though it is interesting as it adds a candy-like sour flavor. I could see this beer being pretty amazing on cask in the UK, but out of a clear bottle over here it’s only okay.

Drinkability: Though there is noticeable sour notes to this beer, the actual delivery process is good. The mouthfeel is neither thick nor thin; neither effervescent nor flat; neither sticky nor watery. I actually did detect some alcohol warmth, which is surprising considering it’s only 6.5% ABV. It’s quite faint though and seems to disappear about halfway through. 
Grade: 6/10