Quite what Restoration Pale Ale is I’m not sure. I know what restoration comedies are but cannot make a link. What drew me to it was that (once again) it was brewed by an American, that it was Pale Ale (something I’ve written about quite a lot on Elitistreview) and it was of properly refreshing strength for a swift academic half (that being half a quart) at lunchtime.
I nearly didn’t, though, as this US brewer had been installed at Wadworth – a detestable brewer of the kind of brown soup that is a boil on the name of British beer. So tumescent and infected a boil that when it bursts the pestilence it would spread would probably kill scores of innocent drinkers as well as terminate the inept, incoherent British real ale industry. I think with Americans leading the way there is a hope of a cure.
Mark Wilson of the Abita Brewing Company was presumably so shocked at the products of Wadworth he decided the only way to battle against such vile tedium was to go screaming butt-hole crazy with what he was going to brew. This was the oddest, but one of the best, of the many fine ales we’ve tried on our recent trips to Winchester’s excellent branch of J D Wetherspoon, The Old Gaolhouse.
Pale Ale should have a floral or fruity aspect to it and this certainly did. The Editor nailed the exact nature of those fruity aromas – this beer smelled of Chateau Grillet! Chateau Grillet is, of course, over-rated and not all that nice, but because this was a beer with other (albeit somewhat overshadowed) more normal beer aromas as well, the character of abused Viognier was really nice in in this brew.
It also had good density and weight, which made it an excellent match for my tasty lunch of barbecue ribs. It has good bitterness making for a refreshing bite on the finish which was a good foil for the slight sweetness coming from the 5.2% alcohol. Top tortoise stuff, but definitely odd as hell.
Based on this I will hopefully look for Abita Brewing Company beers when I go into a new bottle shop and I feel if you have a source you should start exploiting it.
on quickie.tumblr.com: http://quickie.elitistreview.com/post/66292134756