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Plane drunk

Picked up a couple of bottles of Shepherd Neame Spitfire yesterday – at Lidl – they do a reasonable deal on Spitfire, Bishop’s Finger (also Shepherd Neame) and Wychwood Hobgoblin, for £1.50 each (500ml) and 5 for the price of 4 (= £1.20 each).  I know the arguments about cheap supermarket beer taking the trade away from the pubs – I’m sure there is an element of truth in those arguments, but I think that supermarkets are being made the scapegoats to a certain extent, because going to a pub is about more than just drinking beer – I think that certain chain pubs offering pints of bitter at 99p as a loss leader are far more culpable – but that’s another blog post yet to come.  Besides, I drink most of my beer at home, so I’m happy to take advantage of these offers.

Anyway, back to the Spitfire (4.5%).  I decided it would go well with our Sunday dinner of roast lamb – and I was right.  The beer is a deep amber colour, and smells very hoppy with a hint of toffee – in fact it does taste a little bit of caramel – not too much.  It is quite bitter, which I like, and has a long bitter finish – the flavour is strong enough to cope with even the mint sauce!  I’d say this is a good roast dinner beer.

We occasionally see this in the draught version in pubs – I think it’s the most widely available of Shepherd Neame’s beers outside the Kent area – we often go to one of their pubs when we visit my in-laws who live in Bexhill, though I have to say that I generally opt for the less-powerful Master Brew Bitter (3.7%) or Kent’s Best (4.1%)

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