Summerskills Turkey’s Delight (500ml bottle, 5.1% ABV)

With a label that looks like it was designed in the 1970s by someone with red-green colour blindness*, Turkey’s Delight is a Christmas beer by Plymouth’s oldest brewery, Summerskills.

They’ve decided to use Phoenix, one of Britain’s most unusual hop varieties. Phoenix is the only hop I know that has a distinct chocolate character. Usually a chocolatey beer will be made with darker roasted malts, which, even in small quantities, make the beer brown or black.

Turkey’s Delight
Turkey’s Delight

Turkey’s Delight is a red-amber colour with just a little surface froth. I’m expecting some chocolate aroma and yes, there it is, along with treacle and some spice.

The taste is a story of two halves. On the one hand there is pine and spice, the sort of flavour you might get from any number of hop varieties; on the other is chocolate and molasses, but it’s not the sort of chocolate character you’d get from a porter or stout.

It’s heavy on the tongue, and restrained on the fizz, ending with a spicy bitterness.

An unusual beer, then: intriguing, confounding and – yes – rather delightful.

Written by Richard Salsbury

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