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Sanda Blonde IPA

Rating: 3.55

A fourth beer from Fyne Ales for me now and a relative bargain too, I managed to find this one on special in a Morrisons supermarket recently and quickly grabbed a bottle, along with their Sanda Black IPA as well. The two beers are similar offerings, both coming in at 5.5% and using the same base with one being a black IPA and this one being an American style IPA. I previously tried the black IPA version of the beer back in late 2013 and quite enjoyed it, vowing to try this version when I got that chance but in the three and a bit years since, this is the first time I’ve taken notice of it and decided to grab a bottle. The beer also follows on from the brewery’s Nice Christmas beer and their Zombier homebrew competition winner but will be my first new beer from the brewery since December 2014; I really should start picking up a few more of their bottles this year.


Appearance (3/5): A slightly hazy amber colour with a thin, foamy white head on top that’s only a couple of millimetres tall but still manages to cover most of the beers surface and has the odd bubble there too; a fairly average looking beer so far.
Aroma (7/10): Nice and lively initially on the nose, there was a good amount of citrus hops coming through with a couple of floral ones backing them up and it was also a little stronger on the nose than I’d expected. Some hay and a few biscuit malts started to come through once the initial burst of hops settled down a little, there was even some faint sweetness in there at this point too. Around the middle some zesty notes such as orange featured with a hint of tart as well but it was definitely a hoppy nose up to this point. Nearer the end the sweet from the malts got a touch stronger and there was further bitters and background fruits rounding things off nicely.
Taste (7/10): Not quite as hoppy as the nose was initially but some floral touches did come through in the early going. The biscuit malts from the nose take more of a front seat here and as a result the beer isn’t as sweet or hoppy as expected when it comes to the taste. There was some grassy flavours though and a little citrus in there alongside a couple of subtle earthy flavours. Around the middle some of the fruits start to come through a little stronger and I managed to detect some orange, grapefruit and a little grape too; nice stuff all in all.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and a lot more zesty and crisp than I’d expected going in, the beer was a very fresh and lively offering that had strong carbonation but came with a nice balance. There was touches of sweetness at times, particularly nearer the middle and end of the beer but it was an enjoyable, easy one to drink.

Overall (15/20): Pretty nice stuff from Fyne Ales, it definitely opened up stronger and more hoppy than I’d expected with a lot of citrus and floral hops kicking things off. Things settled down a little once things had time to open up some and at this point touches of sweetness and the odd earthy flavour started to make itself known, there was even touches of tart with the nose at this stage. The beer had a decent balance and was quite an easy one to drink throughout, the carbonation was good and there was a nice, crisp feel to proceedings that was enjoyable too. It’s a nice and very sessionable IPA from the brewery but I probably preferred their Sanda Black IPA to this one and am looking forward to trying that one again over this.

Brewed In: Argyll, Scotland
Brewery: Fyne Ales
First Brewed: 2012
Type: American IPA
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Morrisons (Glasgow)
Price: £1.00

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