Sunday, 7 September 2014

By Heck - Great Heck Topaz 6%

What is this strange brew? A hasty decision at a crowded bar brings into question the brew skills at Great Heck Brewery founded in 2008 in the heart of the Selby coalfield. 

Choosing Topaz a hefty 6% dark orange IPA left a bitter after taste in more ways than one. First taste: Yeast First Look: A clearly unfinished ale with a beige head that resembled a still fermenting yeast culture.

Far too bitter, tasted like fresh bread slathered in grapefruit marmalade washed down with bitter coffee, an early morning taste clash that's hard to forget. Topaz hops should make for a grassy resinous flavour with tropical notes, this ale had ample resins but the top notes were lost amid the overwhelming base, bitterness and yeastiness.


Lets hope this was a poorly conditioned cask presented by an inexperienced publican. A recent tasting of Mosaic leads me to this conclusion. Mosaic is bright single hopped delight to the palette with a tropical fruit hit at a steady session strength at 4% These two ales are so far removed from each other its difficult to believe they emanate from the same brewery.


I will still continue to seek out Great Heck ales with great names such as Voodoo, Powermouse, Amish Mash, Dave and Black Jesus there is much imagination going into the work of the brewers. Lets hope one bad apple (or hop) has not spoiled the barrel.


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