This is a dark, malty ale that's uncomplicated in flavour, but exudes a little sense of indulgence.
Hailing from Christchurch brewery Harrington's, it looked good when first poured. A big frothy head sat atop a brew that was deep amber and clear in appearance. Bubbles fizzed and hopped around in the glass, but there was no sense that it was too carbonated.
It was aromatic - citrusy, earthy and a little like toffee - although the exact smell was hard to pinpoint.
Drinking the Razor Back was a pleasure. It was easy to consume, with subtle toffee flavours and a lingering but not unpleasant bitterness.
There was body to it and sweetness, although my tasting partner thought it a tad too sweet.
He also found the malt favours more obvious than the hops.
Consumed slowly with roast chicken, the Razor Back was satisfying and I was keen to move onto another bottle. Instead, we settled for a close-at-hand Amstel Bier lager - there was no comparison. One was gassy and tasteless and the other dark and aromatic. The 500ml bottle is generous enough to share and at 5 per cent, the beer has an alcoholic bite.
Harrington's has been brewing since 1991, with about 25 different beers available under the label.
At Liquorland in Fitzroy, New Plymouth, the range is popular with punters, says manager Amie Murphy.
Unforgettable names might have something to do with it: in addition to the Razor Back, there's a Wobbly Back, Rogue Hop, Pig and Whistle and Classy Red. They sound like quaint English pubs that need exploring, but this Harrington's is an accessible brew that retails at a reasonable $6.99.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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