The new James Squire release – The Constable – is a beer I’d been meaning to get around to writing something on for ages. As it turns out, I’ve taken so long that every other blogger has already done it. And even posted pictures of the media kit they got sent out.
Which means I can’t really post that same photo myself because it’s been well and truly done (it also means I can’t feel a little special about being a blogger who gets beer PR packs, because I now know I’m not the only one).
So instead, I’ll run this picture of a big-headed constable – Constable Care.
Yeah, okay, that’s pretty stupid. So here’s a picture of the bottle.
I really wanted to do something because I’m a big fan of small beers that taste good. I’ve long held that the low-alcohol end of the beer spectrum gets overlooked while brewers go nuts building seven, eight, nine, 10 per cent beers designed to punch your face off. As a homebrewer, I know high alcohol is a forgiving mistress – it can hide dodgy flavours or things that aren’t quite right.
Reduce the alcohol and there is less to hide behind. Any flaws become more obvious. And of course, there’s also the fact that, historically, low to mid-range beers have tasted watery. Sometimes because the brewer has literally added water to the beer so as to dilute it to the required alcohol level.
So the idea of a sub four per cent beer that tastes good has definite appeal. At 3.4 per cent, the Constable is below that mark, and it definitely tastes good. Which makes it just right for summer, where you can knock back a few and not be feeling light-headed.
The guys at James Squire call this a Copper Ale, which isn’t a style at all. Rather, it’s most likely a reference to the colour of the beer – and an excuse to call it The Constable, sort of keeping with the tradition of the beer names having some connection to the convict brewer James Squire (of which this brewery has no connection, which has been well documented. But I don’t care, the convict brewer is a great – and true – angle).
Pour the beer into a glass and you see that copper colour. Stick your nose into it and you get some nice, light melon aromas. The flavour? Well, that’s toffee with a hint of fruit – think of it as an Australian version of an English mild and you’re close enough to the mark.
I have to say, well done Squire boys – this would have to be my fave from the range.