Sunday, 20 November 2011

Marston's Pedigree Very Special Old Pale

Marston's is one of England's premier breweries.  They are responsible for a number of really excellent beers.  So, my expectations were high when I pried the cap off of their Pedigree V.S.O.P.

The V.S.O.P is sold in fancy 500mL bottles that are individually numbered and bear the signature of Head Brewer Emma Gilleland.  The brew measures a ferocious 6.7% and hails from Burton Upon Trent, England.
Pedigree V.S.O.P pours a crystal clear gleaming gold colour.  It is crowned with a very foamy tan head and leaves behind enough lacing to make some lame curtains.  The aroma is fairly mild, featuring notes of copper, hops and a hint of toffee.  The V.S.O.P.'s flavour was really quite surprising.  What I expected was a hop-heavy and highly alcoholic tasting ale.  What I got was a reasonably sultry and well-balanced brew.  There is definitely a healthy does of hops, but this element is complimented by a malty front-end.  The ale definitely doesn't taste like a 6.7% offering, though it does pack a wallop.  If anything, the taste is a touch milder than expected.  The only real strike against this beer is a flat note struck somewhere in the aftertaste that isn't terribly pleasant.

On the whole, this is a pretty good ale.  Not elite or remarkable, but definitely solid.  For the price, it's a pretty good strong beer and it's definitely got character.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

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