Monday, 27 February 2012

Sharp's Doom Bar

Sharp's Doom Bar, named after the infamous sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary in North Cornwall is a nicely balanced dark amber ale made from only four natural ingredients - cornish water, UK malted barley, whole flower hops and sharp's unique yeast. Clearly the whole hop flowers give Doom Bar a distinct taste and aroma which sets it above many similar looking ales and on the first sip the palate is instantly hit with a clean, sharp and refreshing flavour. Dry and as bitter as its rusty orange translucence suggests with lemon and grapefruit citrus highlights, Doom Bar hits the palate with deeper cream soda notes as it goes down the glass and it laces beautifully with a Garibaldi biscuit and coffee finish. At 4.0% ABV this is an easy session ale that may seem weak at first but gathers flavour and interest as more is savoured. 

Image: Jeff Van Campen
Taste Notes Stuart Howe Head Brewer

“The aroma of Doom Bar combines an accomplished balance of spicy resinous hop, inviting sweet malt and delicate roasted notes. The mouth feel is a perfectly balanced and complex blend of succulent dried fruit, lightly roasted malty notes and a subtle yet assertive bitterness. The bitterness remains into the finish with dry fruity notes which implore the drinker to go back for more.”

What exactly is a Doom Bar?

The Doom Bar is a bank of sand at the estuary of the River Camel where it meets the Celtic Sea on Cornwall's north coast. A sand bank, centuries old, the Doom Bar protects and calms this beautiful estuary. Sailors respect the Doom Bar knowing it to be unforgiving if met with haste or arrogance. It represents a significant hazard to shipping, and there have been many ships wrecked there through the centuries. It became so notorious that many vessels would risk being wrecked on the coast rather than negotiate the entrance to Padstow.

The good news is Doom Bar is not only the best selling cask conditioned beer for pub chain Punch Taverns but also a recognised national brand due to its purchase by Molson Coors in 2011. While large corporate buyouts of this nature are anathema to the hardened real ale drinker it will mean Doom Bar will be on offer in more pubs across the country a welcome sight to most I am sure.

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