This week’s review is a one time only deal! Not only because the beer is marketed as a “single release beer” but also because The Handmade Beer Co are now trading under a new name. After re-branding they are now “New Religion Brewing” and the single release beer idea seems to have been dropped. Having tasted their previous “Onetime” offering, a Late Hopped Amber Ale (which I enjoyed), I’ve got high hopes for this one. Let’s see how it fares;
It presents itself as a standard brown ale, with rusty/earthy colours. When poured. it develops a reasonable off white head . It displays moderate carbonation with slowly rising bubbles. As far as the branding goes it’s pretty lacklustre, with dull brown tones. The only thing that makes it stand out is the “Onetime” title, instantly implying that it’s limited and exclusive.
The first thing on the nose is coffee, followed by coffee…..and then the tiniest hint of malt sweetness. I stuck my nose into the glass multiple times to see if there was anything else, but that’s all it had to offer. A little disappointing on the aroma front, but it does deliver on the coffee, I suppose.
As soon as this beer entered my mouth, my tongue was met with an immediate drying and watery mouthfeel, which developed into an almost unpleasant tartness. There is a subtle coffee taste, which leads to a glimpse of malt sweetness. At the back end, there is a slight hint of yeast spice which presents itself just before the drying quality bites once more. The finish is of medium length, with the drying sensation developing into a tart, metallic tingle on the tongue.
A beer that is rather disappointing across the board, lacking any real depth of flavour. I’d expect a brown ale to be moderately sweet with some caramel and biscuit malt tones, which would have complemented the coffee. Sadly, there is nothing to carry the coffee as the targeted base style is so weak.
It has some astringent qualities which I would associate with dry stouts, but it doesn’t bring anything to the table to balance that out. I will note that this particular bottle is close to its best-before date and so it’s possible that the yeast has eaten away at the more complex sugars that build body, though in that case the best before date should not have been so generous. Very disappointing.