A life just as ordinary

Just like you, but different

Beer – #709 – North End – Sceptred Warrior

Something the same and different North End – Sceptred Warrior, an IPA of English hops. Unusual in NZ, this is a collaboration with The Grainfather.

An intensely hopped IPA with all English grown hops

From the FYO station this is 1 litres of the beer of 5.8% ABV, making it about 5.1 standard drink units. Thats around 174 calories a serve size. It’s of 55 IBU things.

Brewed by North End Brewing Co in the style that is  India Pale Ale (IPA) and they’re in the exotic sounding Waikanae Beach, New Zealand

Man with a plan

Man with a plan

Sceptred Warrior is an India Pale Ale made in the muscular American style but with all English ingredients. This beer defies the senses because it feels like it’s going to have classic American hop character, but manifests English hop character on Speed. It’s English hops like you have never tasted them!

This English wet hopped IPA is full of complexity and experience, with a pungent aroma of brambles, blackcurrant and an underlying earthiness. The flavour is magnificent with bitter marmalade and fresh tropical notes.

The name comes from the Shakespeare quote

“This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,–
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

So, what could possibly go wrong? I’m expecting this to be earthier over grassy, let’s see if I can at least guess that right.

I could be right, you might expect a burst of grassiness, but not so, this is more floral or fruity, blackcurrant perhaps. Unusual.

It is a glorious marmalade orange colour and has a lovely firm almost thick head that settles and stays, it is pretty.  The aroma in the glass is still not what you might expect from an IPA.

North End - Sceptred WarriorIt is bitter, in a style that I have memories of from the UK, and I also get ash in the taste profile, which I wasn’t expecting. There is a lot of citrus points in this though, at the risk of banging on a bit, this isn’t really like an IPA that I’ve had recently. I like it.

If I didn’t know better, and frankly I don’t, It’d be easy to close your eyes and imagine yourself in an English pub with this, it is at both times quite familiar and distant.

Including that ash taste, which might of course be morphing into earthiness as it warms slightly. But it isn’t quaffing beer, it’s not like it has a sweetness of malt in it, and although the dryness is a transient thing it is there waiting to catch you. Sort of.

Back to that aroma, which is of  English beer, obviously the hops do that, and that in again out again dryness, I don’t think I’ve ever had transient dryness before, perhaps I never noticed.

A beer then that reminds me of my life in England, an IPA that reminds me what a huge canvas that style is, and how broad a brush you can use to create a beer. It isn’t delicate beer, and, again at the risk of banging on a bit, has a lot of things going on at the finish, including that strange but interesting ash thing, and that smack of dryness that seems to fade.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. There is a lot going for this beer, but it is somewhat bringing coals to Newcastle and I get that you’re a fan and big on the English beers and crafting them, but you’re not the only one, Eagle Brewing make some English  Hop based beers if I recall, it’s like we can’t quite shirk off that colonial love/hate we have.

The double dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? I am in a fond memory of home way, but it isn’t a spectacular beer that I’ll be raving about.
  • Would I have another? I’m going to enjoy the second half of this indeed.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? As a counterpoint to the local take on IPA and with the local produce this is really interesting and intriguing, alas I feel that we’re point for choice though and this might not get the warm round of applause that it seeks.

Music for this : something different as always  ” Piano Magic ”   ” Set your clock by your heart”  on Spotify . This is a lot slower in pace and timbre than you might thing, almost moody.

Piano Magic is a musical collective formed in the summer of 1996. Their sound has been described as ambient poppost-rock, indietronica, dark wave, “arty baroque pop” and “English radiophonic soundscapers”.

INDIA PALE ALE & IPA

India Pale Ale gets its name and unique style from British brewers who were making beer for export to India. This style has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. India Pale Ale has a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body. The aroma is moderate to very strong. IPAs work especially well at cutting the heat of chili, vindaloo or Sichuan cuisine.

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