Beer review – Fuller’s, Rocky Red

Once again, here I am sitting in a Heathrow airport bar waiting for my flight information. This time it’s terminal two, so instead of being able to use my CAMRA Wetherspoon’s vouchers I’m in London’s Pride, the Fuller’s bar.

As airport bars go it isn’t the worst. I don’t get to claim 50p off as I would at Spoons, but the decor is light and airy, with a strange mix of fake books and tacky souvenirs decorating the shelves around me. As a drinker, I’m funnelled to the dedicated drinking section. They don’t want us mixing with the diners, apparently.

Rocky Red is the one Fuller’s beer on offer I’ve not tried before. It markets itself as an American red ale, so I’m expecting something dry and bitter, perhaps with some rye to give a little spice. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Turns out even the label boasts of how fruity it is, which a) sounds distinctly unamerican and b) serves me right for not reading.

Rocky Red is, in fact, red, true enough. But it’s far from dry: the aroma is rich, fruity and malty. I get red apples and plums.

The taste is more of the same: dark, malty and fruity. There’s a little spice in there, perhaps clove and ginger. The malt lingers on the finish.

I used to love beers like this. I was a malt fiend. But now? This is the flavour equivalent to being smacked on the tongue with a malty sledgehammer. Any subtlety is lost in a pile of residual sugars.

Not great, but it’s the last malty beer I’ll have for a while. Next stop, Paraguay. 2/5

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