07 April 2014
So what have we got? 7.5% ABV -- "Strong as a double scotch, less than half the price" ran the strapline: an all-time classic of superliminal advertising -- it's a wholesome dark gold colour. The head doesn't hang around and the body is barely troubled by bubbles. It smells like a fairly typical pale bock: nettles and sugar, though there's also an edge of sherry in there hinting at something more dangerous. And yet it's surprisingly innocuous on tasting. There are no really strong flavours, no tramp-juice sickliness or overdone booze heat. Rather it's smooth, lightly sugary like candyfloss, and with some subtle mango and apple flavours in the background. No, I'm not taking the piss. The alcohol does get more pronounced as it warms, unsurprisingly, and some nasty marker pen and acetone begins to creep in.
Overall, not the disaster I was expecting. I can see how it survived the darker days of 20th century British brewing, offering something with a bit more personality than insipid canned lager or insipid canned bitter. Today it's deserving of some retro cred, I think.
*of Sheffield. Not be confused with Tennent's, of Glasgow. Thanks to Ron and NBW for the comments.