Kicking off with a simple 5 style concept, they’ve since expanded, producing limited runs and seasonal specials, as ever in the world of craft beer, you can’t rest on your simple concept for long, the public demand more and quickly.
Southern Latitude is probably my favourite of their recent run, although on closer examination, rather than the previous “Mmm….” before chugging its contents into my pie-hole, I’m not quite as big a fan as previously thought.
In my, admittedly patchy, memory, this was a beer with a huge voice, operatic, and ranging through big juicy high notes, to baritone depths. It made me sit up and say “wow” to the hop varietals contained therein – Galaxy, Topaz and Centennial, sweetly playing along with the American Pale Ale vague descriptor – one that is bastardised all over the UK with its variant of innards.
This, however, was nothing of the sort.
I doubt it’s age – it’s only been a couple of months since it’s release, and canning, as we are now starting to wave the flag for more rapidly, is more likely to preserve its inner quality. Maybe, with the squinting eyes of someone trying to subjectively talk about a beer, it’ll affect the palate, purely by focussing on what you’re subjecting it to with magnifying-glass-like focus.
As you can see, it’s completely opaque. An orange cordial that primary-aged children would make, given half the chance. A huge frothy head clings to the glass desperately, giving off HUGE juicy orange peel aroma. It smells like Umbongo. Not a bad thing at all.
The taste is not in line with its aroma – expectations of sweetness a given – instead swiftly dealing an initial cold, harsh, possibly even brash initial bitterness that very much belies its light and thin mouthfeel. Watermelon rind. You feel there should be grassy particles, as the aftertaste gives way to an almost chlorophyllic hit right at the back of the mouth.
It’s certainly tangy, and easy drinking, but not as nice as I remember. A shame.