Stephen Clarke

An introduction to the Cabin Fever Session IPA

WAY back in the early 1990s, my wife and I went on a tour of the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburgh, Tennessee.

It rates as one of the best things I have done on a holiday.

Our guide was an older gentleman, who showed us around the charcoal burning, the spring where the water comes from, and around the stills in general, where even older gentlemen whittled sticks and told yarns.

Lynchburgh is a dry county, a quaint holdover from prohibition in the US, and you cannot even buy any alcohol at the plant. That notwithstanding, it conformed to the marketing image of the way whiskey is slowly and carefully made in the American South.

What they didn't show us of course were the 500 guest workers toiling away in the bottling, packing and distribution lines, which were well hidden a couple of hills away - so the whole image belied the fact that this is a world power in distilling.

James Squire is a bit like this too - while reading the story behind the beer on each bottle you tend to forget they are part of the global brewing giant Kirin.

Their latest release, Cabin Fever Session IPA, doesn't disappoint.

India Pale Ale was a style developed with much higher hops and alcohol to preserve it for the long voyage from England to the Indian colonies.

Cabin Fever, named for the period of being confined to a small room on the long voyage out to the colony when people might start to go a little stir crazy, is a lower alcohol India Pale Ale - the style often tops 6.0% - although it still tips the scales at a respectable full strength 4.5%.

It is a really well-balanced drink, delivering a heap of maltiness without being overpowered by an overabundance of hops which can be a characteristic of some West Coast USA IPAs.

Hugh the Neighbour and I enjoyed a couple of bottles last weekend, along with another go at the Little Creatures Fire Falcon reviewed last time, and the beers are quite complementary.

For more, go to myshout@newsregionalmedia.com.au



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