Not quite as IPA-like as I’d like it to be: Malt the Brewer – IPA

20140705_200738Sometimes you get an idea in your head of how you’d like a beer to be, even before you get it out of the cupboard and cracked open.

To set the scene: it was a Sunday evening and I was on the hunt for hops.  A quick rummage through my “to be reviewed” stocks turned up this bottle of Malt The Brewery IPA.  An IPA?  Perfect…this is bound to be hop-tastic.  Unfortunately, nice though it was, it wasn’t THAT particular hoppy brew that I was after.

In a glass, MTB IPA is all best bitter brown with a head that zips away fairly quickly.   The aroma is a little bit fruity, almost winey and very malty indeed.  I imagined that I was smelling a lot of crystal malt, but that could be just perception.  One thing I didn’t get in the aroma was the massive hop injection I was hoping for…

The taste was powerfully malty with lots of yeasty fruitiness.  I think I understand why these folks are named “Malt The Brewer”.  To achieve this level of maltiness without straying into that crystal malt cheesiness (I have no other way of explaining it) is a great trick.

If you love a malty pint, you’ll love this…  Unfortunately, again I just didn’t get enough hops to satisfy my cravings.  The mouth feel was spot-on and the and the aftertaste was enduring and satisfying.

To my mind this IPA is a little bit lost in the stylistic no man’s land between ESB and something almost like an English interpretation of a Bock.  But hey, it’s nice enough and you might really dig it if you’re a speckled hen, doom bar, malt-loving type of person…and there’s a load of people out there who are gonna love this beer.

I’d drink it again, but maybe not for a hop fix.  Can we have loads more hops in your next interpretation, MTB?

I look forward to sampling more of your other wares in the meantime…

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