There’s nothing quite like a bubble bath at the end of a busy, tiring day. But you wouldn’t drink it, would you?

Or would you?

It’s fair to say that Farmageddon’s Gorse IPA is going to split opinion. Coming out of the can, it foams like a bubble bath. It tastes of soap, but in a good way. Is there a good way for something to taste of soap?* That’s the question I asked myself as took my first few sips, but by the end of the can I was converted.

I blame/credit the Japanese.

Bear with me. There are certain national stereotypes to hops. English hops are ‘spicy’, German hops are ‘herbal’, American hops are ‘citrussy’. I only know of one variety of hop native to Japan – Sorachi Ace – and like much of their food, it’s a unique experience for anyone with a Western palate. It tastes of lemon and dill. It casts a powerful influence over any beer. Combine it with the mango flavour of Mosaic, the pine character of Simcoe and some gorse flowers, and you end up with something very floral indeed.

If you like your beer traditional, this is probably not going to be your cup of tea; if you consider yourself a beer adventurer, you might lap it up. The only way you’re really going to decide is to try it yourself.

Written by Richard Salsbury

* Ringwood’s classic Old Thumper has a soapy character, and that never did sales any harm.

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