Wold Top Scarborough Fair IPA

Reviewed by on April 22, 2014 in Gluten-Free Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wold Top Brewery

  • Origin: England

  • Rated On: April 21, 2014

  • Best Before: end of August 2014

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: English IPA

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Wold Top, a brewery on the Yorkshire coast in northern England, makes a range of traditional real and cask ales, including a few gluten-free offerings.  Their English-style IPA is quite the leap as far as gluten-free style choices go, I would heartily opine. It apparently contains barley malt, so they must have gone with an enzyme catalyst removal method, of some sort.

This 500ml bottle pours a slightly hazy medium golden straw colour, with one finger of thinly foamy and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves a solid rocky shoreline of painted lace around the glass as it evenly sinks away.

It smells of mildly biscuity, grainy cereal malt, a fleshy, pithy citrus fruitiness, lemongrass, a bit of perfumed florals, and some earthy weediness. The taste is pale, grainy cereal, an indistinct floral/vegetal bitterness, some soft stale butter notes, mild cooked maize, black pepper, and a subtle underlying metallic stony essence that never quite intrudes, but one can’t seem to shake either.
The bubbles are average, just doing their job and nothing more, the body an adequate medium-light weight, and actually fairly smooth, with a mild grainy tackiness. It finishes off-dry, the gritty graininess, faint blotted citrus, and muddled bitterness all melding, for the most part.

A whole lot more enjoyable than any of the, uh, other G-F IPAs I’ve yet encountered. Oh, right, this is actually the first, and as such comes off somewhat underwhelming, choppy, and well, strange – but that’s just the English nature of it through my New World filter. Sure, it wouldn’t fare well in comparison to your average well-made IPA, but against all others in the G-F realm, it performs remarkably well, and is actually more flavourful, minor defects included, than a lot of these new contract-brewed ‘IPAs’ now being pushed as the real deal these days.

Brady White



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