6 Vintage Blend (7.4%)
From the Connoisseurs range of bottled beers comes this deep/amber / red beauty, with an off-white head that stays well. Excellent carbonation helps to deliver a rich dark fruit aroma, with woody and herbal nuances. On the palate, one gets rich, boozy dried fruit, herbal and spicy notes, date sweetness, some candy sugar and glacé cherries. There’s alcohol warmth on the finish, which does retain a degree of the hop bitterness.
A beer to be savoured; to be drunk while reading a good book — not a trashy novel, rather something improving and deep. (30-06-2016)
Rising Tide (4.2%)
I suspect Sharp’s treats its Doom Bar bitter as both a blessing and a curse. For many drinkers it has become shorthand for bland, uninspiring, old-fashioned bitter, which I have to dispute. Granted, it’s not my go-to pint by any means, but when you find a good one it rewards with delightful balance and a good hop content for its style. It’s surely a blessing, though, because as long as Doom Bar continues to be the number one cask seller in the UK, the money is there for other projects.
Among these projects is a range of generally very good seasonals — so far this year, we’ve had Offshore Six-Hop IPA, Rockpool Honey Gold and Pointbreak Blonde Ale — and the latest, Rising Tide (4.2% ABV), is no exception.
Ideal for autumn, Vienna malt is the star of this amber-coloured brew, which pours with a white head. It’s no sweet beer, though, with balance from Citra hops and a Slovenian variety which is so new it is known only by a number. It’s an easy-drinking, very flavoursome brew, with a delightful bittersweet finish, the first to be created by Sharp’s operations brewer, Hayley Barton.
Five pence from each pint sold is going to the Blue Flag initiative, appropriately enough for Sharp’s Cornish roots. The group supports Cornish beaches, helping to keep them in good trade and, in turn, boosting tourism in the county. (15-10-15)
Perfect Storm Porter (4%)
A terrific beer — I find it hard to believe that it’s only 4%. Deep dark red with an off-white head, it has rich berry fruit notes with a hint of chocolate. Seems more like a mild at first, but good bitterness on the end may nudge it into the porter zone. (24-03-2016)
Rock Pool (4.2%)
Subtle honey marks out this as a special beer, coming through on the aroma and palate. Grapefruit notes add bitterness and create a smooth, well balanced beer, with a bittersweet finish. (30-05-15)
Sea Fury (5%)
A re-badged version of Sharp’s Special for the bottled market, Sea Fury is a deep amber / red beer with a beige head, which really hits the spot a a best bitter / special ale. Bready malt with some light caramel malt is married ith spicy hops, offering warming dried fruit, too. There’s a gentle, bittersweet finish. (27-06-2016)
Sea Mist (4.5%)
Unusually, a crystal clear wheat beer, golden coloured with a fluffy white head. The wheat really comes through and makes for a great smooth body, while there are refreshing herbal and spicy notes. Excellent beer. (05-07-2016)
Tripel O (7.5%)
Deep amber, this is an excellent interpretation of the classic Belgian style, on tap at The Front, in Falmouth.
There’s a rich malt and caramel base, with warming apple notes and a hint if honey sweetness. (04-03-17)