McColl's is an innovative new brewery based in the North East of England and whilst their core range includes traditional ales like IPA, Porter, Belgian Blonde and Best Bitter, they have taken these old favourites and 'made it their own', as Louis Walsh would say.
I'm definitely a bitter fan so first up is Lady Marmalade. It's a bit lively on opening so it took two pours to get it in my glass but it's well worth the wait; it's a stunning hazy golden hued ale with a huge frothy cream head. It does need a careful pour as there's quite a lot of sediment in the can to give it that lovely hazy appearance.
The aroma is deliciously fruity with citrus notes of orange and grapefruit combined with a hint of spice and slightly floral hops. This is replicated in the taste with rye adding a hint of spice and the floral citrus notes resulting in a long lasting bitter finish. The lingering bitterness seems a bit pithy at first but I found this surprisingly palatable and I soon got used to it. It sure is bitter though; it really gave my taste buds a good old tingling!
A decent medium bodied ale, it's quite fizzy with prickly bubbles that burst like fireworks, scattering flavours of citrus and rye across the tongue. The carbonation works hard to maintain the amazingly frothy head which lasts and laces well.
“It’s bitter, Jim, but not as we know it.” Lady Marmalade is a fresh and funky bitter for a new generation of beer lovers. Although I personally prefer my bitter to taste like I’ve sucked a handful of copper coins, there’s no doubt that Lady Marmalade will appeal to more palates with the bitter balance tipped towards citrus zest reminiscent of an IPA. It's a core beer to have in any beer stash and Ale Be Seeing You again!
Brewed by McColl's Brewery, Bishop Auckland
My Untappd score: 3.75/5