Review: Thornbridge Pollard
My final brew while at the Meet the Brewer event at Craft earlier this week was Thornbridge‘s Pollard, their Coffee Milk Stout (at ABV 5.0). So far I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from Thornbridge, though it’s a relatively small selection – those Darbyshire beers are hard to get down south (except, of course, for their excellent Jaipur and Kipling offerings, available at a Waitrose near you)!
Pollard is one of those beers that does exactly what it says on the tin (bottle? cask?): the roast coffee and milky caramel are right there on the nose, and then stays on. This is very much like drinking a cold, sweet and slightly watery latte. There’s that lactose sweetness, a creamy undertow and subtly bitter and strong roast coffee notes. It is particularly impressive that Thornbridge manages to pack so many distinct, strong flavours considering the relatively low ABV (remember the days when 5.0 was considered a high ABV?) – I think Pollard stands up well to similar offerings in the Imperial range, like Southern Tier‘s excellent Creme Brulée Stout or the Jah*va.
My one gripe is perhaps that it doesn’t exactly do any more than it says on the tin – it is, in a way, a novelty beer, one you can have a pint of (or half, in my case) and enjoy but hardly something you’d want to drink again and again as it is ultimately one-dimensional. Still, that one dimension is pretty well crafted and this is an enjoyable beer, no doubt about it.
The verdict: 3/5.