I have so many problems. All the wine in my cellar is too expensive to bring to friends’ houses for parties. My neck aches but my favourite massage therapist is busy on a retreat to Bolivia. I’m struggling with jetlag because there were too many movies I wanted to watch on my flight back from Hong Kong.
All these gripes fall firmly into the realm of first world problems. Thank goodness one problem I no longer suffer from is a lack of beer. Sainsbury’s now stocks beers from Stewart Brewing (you may remember them from Cauld Reekie and Radical Road). Faced with a miniature Lichtenstein on a can, my only problem was deciding how many to bring home.
FWPs sells itself as a Belgian IPA. It comprises an absolute tonne of hops (specifically Magnum, Amarillo, Mosaic, Pacific Gem, and Lubelski), an arcane grain bill (barley, rye, oat and wheat malt), and an obscure Belgian yeast strain. This beer couldn’t have been more obviously designed by a mad homebrewer…which indeed it was. At 6.2%, I’m certainly expecting to find a lot of flavour packed into this little can.
Deep amber with a healthy, white, foamy head, right from the get-go FWPs gives off a tempting marmalade aroma laced with grapefruit rind and caramel. Already there’s an underlying rye spiciness hinting at the malt flavours to come.
On the palate FWPs starts orangey and malty rich. As it warms up in the mouth we’re joined by more spicy rye goodness and a hint of green dankness, evolving to a moderately astringent, hoppy bitter finish. My mouth is left dry, confused, thirsty for more.
Is this the best beer I’ve ever tasted from Stewart? Sadly, no. But whingeing about having this beer but not Cauld Reekie in my local supermarket sounds suspiciously like a first world problem. 3/5