Lidl often have a few Shepheard Neame bottles about the place but I tend to shy from them because of the clear glass and homogeneity of hue. This time I decided to grab all three on offer and taste them all at once.
They share a lot in common; all are 4% abv, all require a degree of scrutiny to distinguish a difference in colour and all are faintly light struck. How do they differ? By quite a bit thankfully. When tasted sequentially they prove to be an interesting waltz through the world of Kentish ale. Autumn Blaze is perhaps most quintessentially English giving toffee, a full body, lovely Goldings hops up front and some cold tea tannins. Tapping the Admiral is a lighter affair - sweetish with a marshmallow like sensation on the tongue, little on the nose and worst afflicted by light strike. Can't say I tasted too much of the brandy mentioned on the label, but the sweetness got to me after a while. Thumping in last of all came Rudolph's Revenge, a seasonal offering packed full of earthy hops and a lingering bitterness resting on reassuring malt. There was something festive in there that I couldn't quite place, but it added a little something to an already solid ale and made it the best of them for my money.