Beer: Sunlit Uplands – classic English with a bitter twist that brings unicorns to mind

Sunlit Uplands, to get you in the mood for next month's utopia
Paul McConville

THIS week I'm going to talk about Brexit... no, wait... come back. OK, so it's not really about Brexit, but the whole sorry debacle/glorious regaining of control (delete according to level of sanity) is the inspiration behind a new beer from Mourne Mountains Brewery.

It's called Sunlit Uplands, a nod to the unicorn-filled utopia that Brexit will bring, or a chance to knock back a few quality beers and forget the last three years ever happened.

Anyway, the beer is billed as an extra special bitter and clocks in at 5.5 per cent. A classic English style, this is hopped with American hops to give it a new world, bitter twist.

It pours a deep brown colour with an off-white head and there are aromas of roasted malt, toffee and caramel.

It has a very smooth and light mouthfeel, although there are nice rich flavours of toffee and a hint of dark fruit before lovely, clean piney bitter finish.

If you didn't grow up in a traditional English pub or haven't been scrutinising the Coronation Street scenes in the Rover's Return, you're probably not too au fait with the different ranks of bitter. They go from mild to best to extra special, and this is broadly down to the strength, so anything from 4.7 per cent upwards is classed as extra special.

This beer will suit fans of dark ales, but it has a nice clean, bitter finish and goes down rather smoothly for something coming in at 5.5 per cent. It's not as heavy as it looks, but if you're looking for something a bit lighter and don't want to lose out on flavour, then another recent offering form Mourne Mountains will be right up your street.

Glacial Erratic is an IPL – or India Pale Lager. It's a kind of an IPA/lager hybrid – packed with the refreshment of a lager and the hoppiness of an IPA.

It pours a slightly hazy, light amber colour but has the smoothness of a lager with a nice malty base before a slightly floral and hoppy finish. It is reminiscent of MMB's Hop, a hopped-lager, but seems to have a bit more body about it.

Still, it is quite refreshing and drinkable and sessionable at 4.5 per cent. One for those sunnier spring and summer days when the ‘B' word is but a distant memory. As if.

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