Monday, 7 April 2014

Urthel Hop-It

Urthel Hop-It has confusing origins. The label states that it is brewed by Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeven, in Aj Tilburg, The Netherlands; however, the cap confusingly lists The Leyerth Breweries, Ruiselede, Flanders, Belgium. Also, the bottle says "Product of Holland", which suggests that the Dutch brewery is the real source.

The 330mL bottle features a a beer-swilling cartoon fellow. This brew is pretty potent, clocking in at 9.5% alcohol. It is billed as a special blonde ale, and pours a cloudy golden colour. It has tonnes of carbonation and quite a lot of yeasty sediment. Its bright white head is very thick.

The nose is very yeasty, with a citrus tang. It's quite a bit like a witbier, but without the coriander. This stuff has a really unusual flavour combo--it's very boozy, like a Belgian ale, starts out sweet, with some citrus notes, and its finish is exceedingly dry and bitter, though not exactly hoppy. There is clearly a whole mess of hops involved in the production of this stuff, but they don't provide the expected notes of evergreen, resin, or grapefruit. Instead, the hops create a very dry finish that prevents this beer from being too sweet.

At 9.5%, it's a good thing that this stuff comes in a small bottle. It tastes quite strong, but I'd never have guessed it was quite that heavily boozed up if I hadn't read it on the label. I found Urthel Hop-It to be a bit yeasty for my tastes, but it has an interesting, rich flavour that passes through a number of different taste and texture jurisdictions. Seldom have I tried a beer that started so sweet and finished so dry. It's a unique beer, but for some reason, not one that I feel all that compelled to revisit anytime soon.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.

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