Ilkley Brewery Mary Jane Export (330ml, 6.0%)

“On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at” is one of those classic folk songs that every seems to know at least a bit. It also has an educational aspect, in that it acquaints you with how Yorkshiremen don’t speak. Yes, it’s all good merry fun until you realise it’s about death from exposure and cannibalism by proxy.

The Ilkley Brewery have fully embraced their namesake song and named one of their beers after the love interest, Mary Jane. (Love and death: now that’s a proper folk song.)

This review, though, is not for the standard 3.5% Mary Jane, but for her more full-bodied sister – the 6.0% Mary Jane Export. Strangely, this version doesn’t appear anywhere on Ilkley Brewery’s website. It’s also arrived here by way of the US. Given that it barely makes sense to English people,Ikely Brewery one wonders what the Americans would make of “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at” …

It’s a golden beer with a little fizz on the top that soon dissipates. The aroma is very appealing, with hints of orange peel, passion fruit and malted biscuits.

Given the lack of fizz, the mouthfeel is surprising: it slips down very easily on a raft of bubbles that seem to appear out of nowhere, leaving flavours of orange, peach and grapefruit. The sweet fruit and bitterness work very well together, neither of them grabbing the headlines, but working in concert. A floral aftertaste finishes things off nicely, and reminds me of a similar taste in Ringwood’s classic Old Thumper.

A thoroughly good beer, to be drunk without thy trousers on.

Written by Richard Salsbury

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