Roosters, High Tea – UK, 6.2 % £3.30 for 500ml
Once upon a time, this beer was sold under the brewery's 'Outlaw' sub-label of experimental beers, but it clearly did well enough to enter the main stable.
If it sounds alien to you, well you should probably just give in and try it. Brewed with jasmine flowers, jasmine green tea from Taylor's of Harrogate, and in collaboration with the renowned beer writer Melissa Cole, this beer has 'promising' written all over it.
Pouring a hazy gold, and giving rise to a rich meringue-whip head, the aroma is unsurprisingly jasmine-lead with only the faintest suggestion of rich tea biscuit malts in the background. It's the first sip that's the most exciting; a sweet, perfumed beer, High Tea fills your entire head with notes of tangerine, parma violets, and yes... jasmine, before a surge of green tea adds a herbal, slightly acidic, bitterness.
Pungent, delicate, and reasonably balanced, the bitter finish of the IPA is taken further by the dry green tea tannins, and it is this flavours lack of abrasive quality that keeps this IPA from becoming hard to drink.
Obviously if you don't like jasmine tea, you might not like this one (or maybe you're brewing your tea improperly), but you should give this a try regardless. It's genuinely refreshing, and could be just the ticket for next time the sun comes out.
Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, 48 Stonegate, York