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India Pale Ale - Meantime Brewing Company Limited

Not Rated.
India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

542 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 542
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 38
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2005

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 542 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mortarit
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

OK
I read alot of the reviews before I par tay in the cold stuff. It is interesting how some of the postings relate to your own experience. I am really glad because it brings out features I would otherwise miss.

It does have that English style tone to the sip. And yes it is my first English style IPA. At first I thought I wouldn't like it from past occassions. The English style is to mellow for me. But this has a great texture may I say to it.

Lacing is more noticeable.

Head retention is better than most beers.

The bottle is a spin off from what is really in it so it throws you off at first.

Good call!

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle caged and corked, with "BB" dating etched onto bottle. Pours cloudy peanut butter amber with a decent amount of sediment especially on the bottom of the bottle. Tan head, cramy and long lasting, leaves respectable splotchy lacing. Nose I get is a touch of lime and some grainy hops. Resiny hops, more lime notes highlight this very charasmatic and worthy full throttle Brit style IPA. Nice to actually try an IPA created in England that has some character and complexity to it. Well worh a try.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The cork made absolutely no sound when it came out of the bottle, but I could see the foam moving up the neck almost immediately. Pours a peachy almost tomato juice like brew with a medium sized off white creamy head.

S: Cheap bubblegum, light caramel and some pinecone.

T: Begins with a solid blend of apples, under ripe peach and doughy caramel. Nice flavors at work here, nothing profound going on…nor anything entirely complex. Really basic pine flavors come next allowing a submissive bitterness to sneak in and round out the experience. Finishes with toasted biscuits and cider qualities.

M: Medium body, a little thin at times but over all fairly soft.

D: Good beer but pretty boring if you are used to West Coast IPA’s. But this beer has its own thing going on and its quite quaffable. The 750ml slid down the gullet with ease.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ripe kumquat with a flurry of yeast in suspended animation. I like perfect clarity on occasion, but give me a beer that looks like it's from the wrong side of tracks any day of the week. The crown is tremendous too. It resembles orange juice mixed with clotted cream, both in terms of color and texture. With more lace, I'd be tempted to give the appearance a perfect score. Even so, this is the best looking English IPA that I've ever laid eyes on.

The aroma is strangely underpowered. I smelled more on the pour that I'm getting now with my nose over the glass. With all the hubbub about how many hops are in here, I would have thought they'd be jumping out the glass and smacking me around a little. What I do appreciate is the classic quasi-citric fruitiness of Fuggles. Golding are a less obvious contributor.

I have no idea how old this bottle is, but with a 'best by' date of sometime in '08 (the rest is smudged), it has to be pretty fresh. All the more reason to be disappointed at the relative lack of hoppiness (at least compared to most hoppy American IPAs). As long as I keep reminding myself that it's English, I'll be fine.

That's a pretty easy thing to do when the flavor profile is dominated by the classic hops of the style, Fuggles and Goldings. As far as I'm concerned, Meantime had no other choice if they wanted the beer to be both authentic and good. Thankfully, it's both.

Sugar cookie-like pale malt provides the solid structure on which the fruitiness of the hops can shine. At least there's no caramel malt or toasted flavors to screw things up. Generally speaking, I don't like the peach and apricot flavor of English hops as much as the grapefruit and orange flavor of the U.S. varieties. This one, though, is impressively orange marmalade-like. It combines the bitterness of the peel with the sweetness of the jelly.

I'm having a hard time believing the ABV. Not that I think the brewery is lying, but there's no hint of alcohol on the palate. Zilch. While nothing much changes with warming, I'm beginning to appreciate the flavor profile more and more as I enter the bottom half of the '750'. It may not be a gobsmacker, but it's clearly a well-crafted beer and is as drinkable as the day is long.

The mouthfeel is a shade lighter than I would like. Having said that, it's a near perfect match for the flavor and easily deserves the score that I've granted. More resinousness and more chewiness would give what is a good mouthfeel a chance to be a great mouthfeel.

I love the Meantime India Pale Ale bottle and label. The brewery has done a fantastic job with packaging and has come close to putting a beer into that package that measures up to the best of the style. After Ridgeway's version, this is my next most favorite English IPA. If you're looking for a delicious beer than won't wreck your palate for the rest of the day, this one fills the bill quite nicely. Good stuff.

Photo of DogFood11
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 champagne style bottle. Poured into a pounder glass it needs a highly aggressive pour to get the desired results. Loose white head falls to rings. Orange body is chill hazed. Carbonation is super fine and cascades in the lace after each pull.

A fairly dry example of the style. Starts off with a slightly woody/fresh kendling starter. It then gets completely dry with grass and nuts. Hops are resin filled and snap it all together. Really the hops were the highlight of this offering as the malt bill was lackluster. Lighter citrusy fruits enter the picture namely oranges, lemon zest and rinds.

Notes: Another brew that grew on me in the span of 30 minutes. At first I thought it was average but as time went on the subtleties showed their face. I cant remember every having an IPA as dry as this and I liked that factor. Odd malt bill is the only detractor although I can see alot of folks digging it, I couldn't get into that part of the beer. Everything else was excellent.

Photo of russpowell
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle opended with a very timid pop. Pours a semi-hazy peach tea color with one finger of offwhite head. A whisper of lacing & head retention.

T: Herbal piney hops with hint of fruittyness upfront. Apricots dance with pine as this warms. Finishes bready,a little dry, warming & piney

S: Fruityness (dates & apricots)

MF: Medium bodied, very low carbonation & very good balance

Drinks easy enough for the abv, I suspect I'd like this fresher. I believe more lively carbonation would bring put the hop profile better. Not a bad EPA though, just believe this bottle-conditioned beer has to be at its peak to bring out the best in it. I will continue to seek out other offerings from this brewery as both this & the porter were pretty tasty IMO

Photo of cbl2
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2/22/2007 $8.99 750 mL 7.50% Best by 11/13/08.

Appearance:

Brilliant light orange with champagne fine carbonation that leads to half an inch of tightly packed white head that is slow to settle.

Aroma:

Some roasted nuttyness and toffee notes, but mainly dominated by fresh cut grass.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Herbal hop bitterness leads things off, and transitions into a mildly sweet and slightly acidic state. Finish is astringent, with the hops reasserting themselves. Notes of tea appear towards the end as well. Decent slick mouthfeel at first, though the bone dryness of the finish is offputting. Overall a good beer, though I prefer an American IPA.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was one of the strangest beers I have ever sampled. I poured it from a corked 750ml bottle. There was no "pop" as the cork released from the bottle. The color was a hazy amber, and there was a lot of sediment thrown. I have suspiscion that this beer was sitting on the shelf at the store for quite some time. The head on the beer was thick and creamy at first, but disappeared within minutes.
Aromas of malt and yeast overwhelmed the nose at first, but eventually the hops shined through. Notes of fig, spices, and iris began to come through.
The beer expreses flavors of almond and honey to begin with, but moves on to a dry hop finish.
This full-bodied IPA is thick and very flavorful. Definitely one of the better English IPAs I have tasted. At a modest price of around seven dollars for a 25oz. bottle, It is definitely worth a try. As odd of a brew this is, it definitely has it's perks...

Photo of rayjay
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked one up at BevMo; honestly I was a sucker for the speil on the bottle- I've always felt most British IPAs had malts that were much too sweet, and skimped on the hops. Swales Indian Summer Ale was my favorite so far, and its now out of production.

51647 was the only marking on the corked and caged 750 ml bottle. Not even a poof when I uncorked it; luckily an aggressive pour conjured up a decent head. Aromas of hoppy fresh baked bread, and an overall sophistication that reminds me of a worldly old man telling stories in his library. The nose strongly implies British yeast and a bit of carmel malt.

First impression: I was right with the carmel malt; it's the predominant flavor, yet it's not overused. Lots of hops, but not of the high-alpha northwest variety; these are full-blown British hops- Fuggles for sure, and I see Goldings are used as well according to the bottle.

Although it's not exceptionally strong, it is a rich full-bodied ale that is an obvious step up from a normal session ale. Creamy texture. The alcohol is not exactly hidden, playing a role in the mouthfeel by adding weight, and a tiny bit of heat, but never overstaying it's welcome.

I dig this beer; it has a smooth personality. It would be easily overshadowed by a west coast hop bomb, so try to ignore that when you drink it. It definately doesn't have the punch I was built up to from the label. Its got a high level of sophistication that makes it very fun to drink. I think this would rock from a cask. I'm inspired to try their porter now. Cheers!

Photo of gmcfarre
4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy orange with touch of yellow and a bigg fluffy head. Leaves beautiful lacing on the glass.

S - Lovely bouquet with floral and citrus notes. Malt sweetness is powerful, and hops are downplayed in the classic british style.

T - Unlike most US IPAs, the malt more than balances the hops in this brew. Floral and fruity accents abound with a slight bitterness. Delicious.

M - Smooth yet drying with only a hint of a bitter aftertaste.

D - Wish I could have this beer every day, but the price and availability limit that option. If you see it, buy one (or several).

Photo of cameraman
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper color, slightly cloudy in the glass, with a inch and half off white colored head forming on top. A surprising malt aroma hits the nose at the start, then after each following scent a hop aroma gains strength, with citrus and earthy aromas. A twinge of alchol is present in the scent as well at the end. The taste starts with that malt flavor, that gradually gives to grapefruit bitterness of the hops that lingers on the palate. a heavier fell than what one would expect, the feel of skim milk, maybe a bad example, but it does have some weight. A strong IPA, particularly for and english style one. This beer brings more hop flavor to the table, and it is most appreciated.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Intense carbonation, lots of floating yeast sediment, decent sized head with long retention. There are thick rings of lacing all down the glass. The color is golden, clear save the frequent pieces of brown yeast.

S - Grapefruit pith hops and a bit musty, earthy yeast.

T - A faint light maltiness is meshed with a mild pine and a stronger pine hops, but both are weak compared to the slightly sour mix of lemon pith and grapefruit flesh. Grapefruit pith hops dominate the aftertaste. Only a little bitter. Not as full a flavor as I had hoped.

M - Carbonation is high, but not as much as the visuals would let on. Pretty refreshing.

D - Okay. I might have this again, but I certainly wouldn't pay for it.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy medium amber with a beautiful offfwhite head. A cllassic IPA in appearance.

The aroma has nice round fruity hops and a grainy finish.

The taste is of beautifully rounded hops wwith a long fruity (cherry?) finish. Very balanced.

Perfect mouthfeel at 1st, with just the right body and fullness, but tapers off fairly dramatically.

A very nice IPA, very drinkable, and one I'll go back for.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy off orange, amber body with a good fluffy head. This thing kept growing. Became chunky in the middle and laced around the edge.
Smell of dry malt, some sugary biscuit and stale apples. the yeast seems to be more present than usual.
Taste: Nice bitter nose with some orange peel, raisin and light glazed donut. The hops are the nice English bitter types, not much citrus. Some hints of nut.
The bite I like in IPAs isn't there as much as I'd like. Almost a bit too creamy, and too sweet.
As it warmed it became harder to drink. Maybe I should have drank faster.

Photo of Zorro
2.89/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

In the glass this is a clear orange colored ale with a thin white head formation.

Smell is mostly sweet syrup to my nose. Little bit of butter and wood and that is about all that I can smell.

Taste is buttery and woody with fair amount of bitterness at the start. The taste stays buttery with just a bit of bitterness to it. Seems to lack dry hops. Doesn't taste like an IPA to me.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable? Well I finished the glass. Not that great to my sense of taste.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a lovely apple juice-colored amber, hazy but bright. Head is a thin wisp of tan.

Smell: A smokey, wood-like malt presence, perhaps from the cork, dominates the front end of the nose. Truly does smell like it came from the hold of a great, trans-Atlantic ship. Molasses, fig, date, orange marmalade. A citrusey, bittering hop presence on the back end.

Taste: Mmm English malts. Woody and smokey, with a bitter slap coming from the Fuggles and Goldings. Slightly champagne-like notes. Bitter orange zest. White grape, fig, slight hint of molasses. Not as sweet as some British brew, but then again it shouldn't be, should it? It's an IPA. The malts are, again, far more earthy than sweet, in my opinion. Really, I very, very much enjoyed the taste. Just shy of perfect. Certainly the best EIPA I've tried.

Mouthfeel: Juicy, slick, carbonated lightly. Very pleasant.

Drinkability: Could drink these all day, if not for the rather high ABV. Speaking of the ABV, it is exceptionally well hidden. A very balanced and lip-smacking beer. Would love to try again, but 10 dollars is a bit steep. Still, one can tell Greenwich/Meantime puts a lot of care into crafting this beer, and it shows in the quality of the brew as well as the beautiful presentation.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed, dusky orange appearance, big and boisterous, creamy white foam.

Out-loud nose: wild, funky, sour, citric, big orange with a twist of lemon...zesty!

Huge hops load the palate, band on board, and slideaway with a satisfying tingle. Same flavors as found in the nose, primarily the big, slick, raw, naked lemon zing...some spicy extra kick, as well. Drink again and a new tingle ensues, then fades again. Nice, tasty, delicious, and easy drinking.
Medium bodied, long, lightly citric/spicy finish...moderate enough to ease in the drinking, quite mellow. And I've got me a whole 750 ml bottle to myself, glad it's not too strong, this one.

I can feel the nicely turned effect of the dry-hopping in this, but these particular hops don't really flip my wig anymore. Fuggles and Goldings don't really turn my tastebuds, but that's nothing against them, that's just my preference.

A nice ale, like I said...but I could have spent the $7.99 on much more beer per volume. Oh, well, ya lives, ya learns...

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a beautiful hazy moderate brown in color with a modest caramel-colored head. You can check out the little floaties in this EIPA. Cool.

Smell – There’s a small yeast aroma here to go with the English hopping, but otherwise a constrained bouquet.

Taste – Oh, yes, the lovely yeast comes out well. This ale is fuggelicious indeed! The sugaring is candied and brown.

Mouthfeel – This is shy of medium-bodied. It has a wonderful mouthfeel which starts off with some light carbonation then brings up the perfect sweet, yeast, and hop combo. It’s incredibly well-balanced.

Drinkability – This one hit the mark for me. The careful balance and session-style flavors make this a real treat.

Photo of delicious
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The straw colored hazy body turns to amber with the inclusion of suspended sediment. This sits under a large, fluffy white head.
It's a leafy hop aroma - like smelling the flower on the vine. The taste is milder and more gentile than the nose. It's bitter and dry at the end with just a bit of citrus, and the light carbonation and smooth mouthfeel make this a very drinkable IPA.
It was expensive and that's too bad because I really like this beer but probably won't repeat the purchase because of the price.

Photo of sinistrsam
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper/amber with moderate cloudiness and a small off-white head; rather foamy and left a good retention on the glass. When held up to the light ans swirled, a decent ammount of small bubbles could be seen.
Wonderfully hoppy aroma, with a LOT of vanilla, mild citrus and spice.
I couldn't really get into the flavor, I have to admit. It did have a hoppy punch but it wasn't really dominant, and nothing seemed ot take its place. Sour fruits, some vanilla, but nothing much besides that. Perhaps this is more of the English style I'm not used to?
Mouthfeel was more of the same. Came off watery with little bite from carbonation and a bitterness that rose slightly above the wateryness. I think I dislike the feel/taste mainly becasuse it reminds me of a pale ale I homebrewed last year, that went a little sour and watery after it was aged too long.
I do have a slight suspicion that maybe the bottle was bad? When I popped the cork, there was no 'pop'. I basically pulled the sucker out, no fanfare at all...might be the reason for little to no carbonation feeling.

Photo of Gavage
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange 2" head that lasts a while. Some light lacing develops.

Aroma: mild bitterness and citrus tones are detectable.

Taste: caramel / toffee, pears, hints of tart citrus, and a decent bitterness. Definitely an English IPA as the bitterness is more of a compliment of the maltiness - not focused on the hops to stick above the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth and dry at the finish. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste.

Drinkability: this is an easy to drink, definite session beer. Worth picking up.

Photo of TheBungyo
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'll be honest ... I don't care for this at all. I am rating it not as an American IPA but as an English. Were it an American IPA the scores would be far lower.


Poured with a decent half inch head. Body is the color of warm honey. Minimal Lacing.

As for the nose, I just can't smell anything. There's a slight aroma but I don't have enough to work with.

Wow, this is a nice unobscured taste of fuggles ... I don't really care that much for it but this IS an English IPA so one should expect to be treated to generous amounts of them.

Mouth is creamy and nice.

If I wanted a true English IPA I would reach for this everytime. My personal feeling is that this is not the beer to quench an IPA craving, unless that craving is for an English IPA. Tastes good but not good enough for me to buy again. Those are my personal feelings and did not impact the overall rating.

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.69/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Update: a few months after original review (see below). I was going to be happy to just have a couple of bottles of this, and leave it at that, but my local kept putting bottles out, and the more I tried it, the more I liked it. The drinkability of this is just totally nailed. Not a wild west IPA hop monster, it's subtle, and works on those levels. I've talked with some who didn't care for this much, but IMHO, they are missing out on the subtle nature of this and all I can say is, more for me! Scores modified accordingly.

Original Review: A new find in the Inland Empire of southern California (certainly not to be confused with the Empire from which this beer travelled). Maybe it's no longer an India Pale Ale from Britain- it's an Inland Empire Pale Ale (IEPA).

750 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in early August 2006, for $8.99 and popped a few days later on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

A beautiful bottle and label reminiscent of an expensive champagne- looks very high class. Cage comes off easily to show a Meantime-impressed cork, but a sticky substance covers the bottle rim and part of the cork- rather unsettling. But past that, onto the pour: I chose a proper British Imperial Pint glass nonic from Carlsbad's Pizza Port festival for a bit of authenticity.

Pours a cloudy orange golden amber- no head to speak of at first when poured colder, a hard pour was required to get a rise from the brew. It settled quickly back to a thin cover. A subsequent top-up when warmer provides a much more satisfatory head.

Aroma is perhaps the best part of this beer. I almost gave it a 5. Sour orange, scented pine, and a hint of black pepper sit atop a slightly sweet malt. Very nice.

Flavor is pretty good as well- the aromas are all there, as well as a much more solid hop punch towards the end of the swallow. Lots of grapefruit dancing with sweetness that keeps the tartness down. Reminds me more of the American IPA hop predominance, but using a lovely British palette for the base.

Mouth is rich and full, solid, although the hop astringency at the end keep the drinkability down.

Overall a solid beer, very nice. Glad I have another put aside. They claim this is bottle conditioned and suitable for aging, but for a hoppy beer, is that doing a good thing? I don't know. Probably won't have the patience for it anyway.

Recommended.

Photo of jettjon
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presented in a dark, attractively labeled 750 ml caged cork bottle, decants without a carbonated “pop.” Pours a dusky orange color with no bubbles. Some sediment in the pour due to turning the bottle on its side; sediment is undetectable on the palate. Head is initially small, fading rapidly to a thin cap that sticks around for quite some time. No lacing. Nose is not as hoppy as I expected in an IPA, but upon tasting I quickly understood why. There’s also some sweet malt on the nose. Taste is of mild hops quickly balanced with sweet malt. The balance on this beer is near-perfect, but hop-heads will be disappointed no doubt. I was reminded fondly of the DFH 90 Minute IPA which is similarly balanced. Flavors are delicately subdued; finish is on a lightly bitter note. Mouthfeel again reminded me of the 90 Minute IPA: it’s an excellent creamy, semi-syrupy feel that is incredibly smooth. This is one of the best-feeling beers I’ve ever tried. Drinkability is logically very high due to the well balanced flavor and incredible mouthfeel.

Overall: This is an outstanding IPA, but scoring it is a bit of a problem, as the lackluster head, off color, and very subdued nose detract. Further, IPA lovers expecting a bold hops presence aren’t going to find it here. Still and all, it’s an outstanding beer in its own right, and I heartily recommend it.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml brown glass flask shaped bottle with a dimpled base. Sealed with a cork, cage and steel cap. The cork is branded with the Greenwich Brewery logo on the top and bottom and the sides are branded ‘Meantime share to be different’. The steel cap is equally ornate, silvered background has a white letter ‘G’ set against a dark blue background into the design of a Pocket Watch, signifying the historic importance and contribution of Greenwich to World time. Listed at 7.5% ABV. No freshness date but a ‘51647’ code is inkjet printed on the bottles neck.

The uniquely shaped black, green and silver front label has the words:
“The long sea journey to India transformed pale ale, brewed big and hoppy, into the mighty IPA that slaked the thirst of an empire. Just downriver from IPA's original London home, Meantime is once more shipping beer overseas to undergo the ageing process that makes Meantime Britain's only brewers of authentic India Pale Ale.”

The reverse label continues….
“Small batch production allows us to apply the attention to detail and care we require to produce an authentic IPA especially for you. Pound upon pound of Fuggles & Goldings hops are needed to enable us to achieve the dry hopping rates necessary to recreate this great beer style. Enjoy with hot foods and spicy friends, or vice versa.”

Appearance: Ruddy amber body with a light marmalade hue. Off-white head rest to a thin covering, but never breaks, starts at a few inches deep on the pour but the overall appearance is of an unfiltered offering.

Nose: Caramel, toffee and a light bitterness with a dry aspect. Earthy aromas are generic and have a soft lemon character to them.

Taste: Malty start with a noticeable contribution from the Fuggles and Goldings, but the overall hop bitterness levels seem a little lacking and the toffee malts are dominant. Sweetness is prevalent and tones down the hops I find. As I worked through this I craved the explosion of hops, but it never delivered. Now this is strange because when I sampled this at the Greenwich Union in London only two months ago it was much hoppier as I recall. Bitterness is dry, the hops push through slowly and do contribute to the finish, lingering as it does, but it’s not enough.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is fine tuned, super small and the tiny bubbles lend a velvet texture. Feel is substantial and the body is viscous.

Drinkability: Whilst I was a little underwhelmed by the lack of hops in the taste, the soft malty tones and fine conditioning certainly make for a tasty brew that is a great afternoon partner.

Overall: Cost $9.07 at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, a little on the high side price-wise but damned good and I truly enjoyed supping this one. It is certainly an authentic IPA, but it is my no means the only one produced in the UK for my money (despite Meantimes label claims), nor the best, and it is rather expensive I feel. At times I think that Meantime play a little too heavy on the “high end” marketing and authenticity card, this is certainly the case with the IPA, and it could be better and falls short in a few areas for me. Still, this is well worth trying and seeking out nonetheless. I hear that Meantime export most of their production to the States and indeed California too - knowing that, would I swap this for the keener priced and better West Coast IPA’s out here that it will surely compete with? Erm, nope!

A nice enough English IPA, that pulls on authentic DNA, but I honestly feel that the bottled version has too much toffee malt and sweetness though. Given the price I will not be picking this one up again.

India Pale Ale from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
87 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.