I got a chance to sample this beer on tap in Bitter and Twisted in Chipping Norton (no website…just a telephone number and an address – ain’t that quaint? 1 Middle Row, Town Centre, Chipping Norton OX7 5NH 01608 644466)
B&T seem to specialise in very good food, jovial staff and a decent range of beers and cocktails…so Eve and I will be visiting them again, no worries.
Anyway onto the Bath SPA – which, at a glance, could be mistaken for the actual Roman baths in Bath. SPA actually stands for Special Pale Ale…so there you go.
It arrived via a jovial chap – who I think was the manager – and was all lagery-yellow (the beer, I mean. Stop it.) SPA sports a sticky, lacy head and looks not unlike a pint of Boddingtons, although maybe a smidge darker.
The aroma was all malty with hints of autumn fruitiness; a honeyed biscuity caramel theme also wove through that suggested a much darker beer than SPA actually is. There wasn’t a lot in the way of hop aroma, and certainly nothing that especially poked me in the eye.
The taste made me think that there was biscuit malt in there somewhere (I since discover – by reading their webpage that it’s made with lager malt and wheat!) SPA continued to surprise by being both sweetish and dryish with a very faint sour tang. There was also enjoyable creamy, almost dairyish notes that reminded me, for some reason, of malted milk biscuits.
There wasn’t much of an aftertaste or even really any bitterness, the whole thing being over and done very quickly…but it was different enough to be enjoyable and an interesting diversion.
This would be a beer for people who really don’t dig bitterness in their beer. Not bad at all…