Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Magic Rock - Un-Human Cannonball
Magic Rock have long been the subject of my main brewery man-crush. They have the best name, the best branding and make some of the best beer so when this year's release of Un-Human Cannonball came out, I had to get a bottle.
MR have a pretty logical way of classifying their pale beers by strength. 5% is Pale Ale, 7% is an IPA, 9% is a Double IPA and 11% is a Triple IPA. Quite neat, really. An 11% ale isn't exactly going to be a mass-appeal drink, so to keep it special, the brewery's triple IPA, Un-Human Cannonball, only gets made once a year using the freshest hops.
It came in a 660ml bottle, costing £12.85, which is a ludicrous amount to spend on a bottle of beer in the cold light of day. Such was the excitement surrounding this year's release though, I had to have a bottle and the price was not a consideration as I simply trust Magic Rock to deliver something worth the money. Such a special beer deserved a special occasion so I waited until Giggsy's first game as manager to crack open this beauty.
The sense of occasion started well before the moment the cap came off. The bottle itself was beautiful, with the Richard Norgate artwork screen printed directly on the glass and the cap being symbolically held in place by a sticker in the shape of a pointing finger wrapped over the top. A nice touch.
My one and only criticism is that the yeast used seems to be so flocculant that it forms really big clumps in the bottle, which just don't settle and stick to the bottom. I stood my bottle in the fridge for 24 hours but it made no difference, the yeast just stubbornly hovered a centimetre above the bottom of the bottle and some inevitably made its way out into the glass.
The beer poured a lovely light amber colour and the carbonation was spot-on, with a fairly vigorous pour releasing all the aromas and resulting in a moderate, velvety head. The first sniff was fantastic, unleashing an all-out assault of hop aroma. I had to have about five big sniffs, it was so good, leading to some funny looks from across the room.
The taste was incredible - I struggle to describe tastes, suffice to say that it was a fantastic onslaught of hops. The most remarkable thing though, was how easy it was to forget that this was an 11% beer, it was so easy drinking. It was clearly a very strong beer, with the warm alcohol sensation never far away, but if asked, I've had said it was 8 or 9%.
I polished the bottle off no problem at all but have to admit that the football was getting a little out of focus by the end of it. Un-Human isn't exactly the sort of beer you'd drink regularly but once a year, it really is a special treat.