(Follows on from here)
My research into alcohol-free beers continues!
Big Drop Pale Ale
I don’t know whether it’s just because I’m getting more accustomed to alcohol-free beers (I think I only had two alcoholic drinks in January: a bottle of Sharps Doom Bar and a bottle of St Austell Proper Job) but as I put this one to my lips and took the first sip, I very consciously thought to myself “you know what, this is better than a lot of alcoholic beers!”
This is quite lovely to drink, it’s got a bit of citric sourness and a bit of bitterness but very little of that metallic tang that I dislike. I sense that I shall come back to this one again and again, availability permitting.
Big Drop Stout
This beer would be a fantastic stout – and I don’t mean “fantastic for an alcohol-free stout”, but just a plain old unqualified fantastic stout – were it not for one fairly serious shortcoming. It tastes, and smells, rather a lot like stale cigarette smoke. This is a fairly disconcerting quality, as it’s a flavour that I associate with things that need to go into the laundry, not things that I should be inserting into my mouth.
That said, given that stouts and porters are traditionally my “thing”, and the competition in the alcohol-free stakes is St Peters (and we all know how badly that turned out), it may be that the stale cigarette quality is one that it might be worth learning to live with.
Wheat beers aren’t usually my scene, so purchasing this in the supermarket was a bit of a random move. However, I’d heard really good things about it, and given that there isn’t really much in the way of choice available for those seeking an alcohol-free beer, I figured it was worth giving it a try. The alternative would be to start dipping into alcohol-free lagers, and I don’t think that I’m quite that desperate yet.
First impression was that it comes in pints, whereas most alcohol-free beers come in 330ml bottles or cans.
Second impression was that it’s a bloody lively one. The phrase “do you want a flake with that” springs to mind.
Upon putting glass to lip, I was very impressed. It tastes like a wheat beer, which is both a negative (because I’m not a fan of wheat beers) but a positive (because it doesn’t taste at all inferior to the full-alcohol variant). And it’s got a nice weighty velvetiness, none of that thinness that seems to be unavoidable in most alcohol free beers to some degree.
From a neutral standpoint, if you like wheat beers, or have a broad taste in beers, then this is a damn fine alcohol-free offering. However, for me, it’s just not a flavour that I particularly enjoy.
More alcohol-free beers to come, we hope!