Following on from my piece on Sierra Nevada Torpedo, the other new bottles to catch my eye in Waitrose this week were three well-dressed 330ml beers called Curious.
There’s a Porter, an IPA and what’s called a Brew (which, it turns out is a re-fermented lager).
From the labels on the front one could easily be forgiven in thinking that Curious is the name of the brewery, but look a little closer and, in the small print on the back you find that this beer has been produced by English Wines Group PLC.
So, this is beer brewed by a wine producer.
Each of the bottles currently sells for £1.20 making them cheaper than anything similar in the shop.
So, if these beers are any good then we’re getting a brilliant bargain, right?
Let’s see what they’re all about then.
Curious Porter (5%)
Soft dark chocolate malts, decent plum tones, light grassy dryness to the finish.
A pretty decent porter though I’m not convinced it’s bottle conditioned as the label says – I poured it without any sediment, and found none even when I swigged the last drop directly from the bottle.
Curious IPA (5.6%)
The little 330ml. bottle promises so much but it’s all a bit thin and watery.
There’s just nowhere near enough body to carry this off.
It’s not undrinkable but it is unremarkable.
There’s a suggestion of burned sugar and a pleasing, if slight, nettle tartness, but it just feels so lacking.
For the price you could probably do a lot worse, but regular IPA lovers will be left disappointed.
Curious Brew (4.7%)
Lager re-fermented with champagne yeast.
It doesn’t say whether they’ve brewed the lager themselves or bought it in and played with it.
Some nice toffee apple flavours and a flourish of bitter green grape at the end.
OK, but nothing special.
To sum up then, you can buy three bottles of beer – An IPA, a Lager and a Porter – in Waitrose for less than a fiver.
That’s a pretty good deal and the beer is drinkable, just very unexciting.
Or perhaps I’m expecting too much all the time.