If Bombardier – which I recently reviewed here at The Brewclub – can be considered a ‘special bitter’ – being brewed beyond about 4.5% ABV then surely Bombardier Reserve aka ‘The Colonel’s Choice’ must be a very special bitter.
At 6% ABV (in bottles, 5.2% on draught) it’s going head to head against Wychwood’s King Goblin, which you might recall is supposedly only brewed by the light of the full moon.
Charles Wells describe this as having ‘more hops in this beer than you can shake a stick at’.
We shall see, I’ve had some very hoppy brews of late.
Well, it pours paler that the standard Bombardier, but the head is even richer, still off-white, still lacing, but tighter, smaller bubbles.
There are a few hints of caramel malt and pine in the nose, but it’s not what I’d describe as ‘aromatic’.
The mouth feel is richer, the flavours more complex. The malt is dryer, the extra alcohol lurking, the hops subtle – evoking cut grass, pine and over-ripe apples. It’s far from the promised ‘more hops and stick shaking’, but not unpleasant.
The 6% alcohol gives the brew a warmth, this is a fine beer.
It’s strange, it’s a totally different brew to Bombardier, where ‘King Goblin‘ shows its ‘Hobgoblin‘ roots, the “Colonel’s Choice” is clearly destined for the “Officers’ Mess” rather than the “Bombardier’s Bar”.
I mentioned at the outset that this brew is going head to head with ‘King Goblin’, well after careful consideration, I think the Goblins win out, both against the Bombardier and the Colonel, they’re fuller flavoured and more complex.
Have you tried any of these? What did you think?