This South Pacific Pale Ale comes from Thornbridge Brewery at Ashford in Derbyshire, rather from some remote rocky corner of the Commonwealth.
Thornbridge is best known for Jaipur, a wonderful zesty bitter beer that helped shape the new generation of India Pale Ales which are now produced by craft brewers in the UK in the United States and, well, just about everywhere.
So despite having its roots in the Peak District, there is plenty about Kipling to suggest it hails from a more exotic home. There are bags of kiwi fruit in a really fresh and summery aroma – and it is that same juicy taste, perhaps with hints of fresh pineapple too, that is most evident as soon as the beer hits the palate.
In an instant though, its bitterness asserts itself, cleansing the palate like the tangy amuse bouche they might serve in the kind of posh restaurant where Oliver dines. Its warmth comes through in a distinctive aftertaste that leaves you thirsty for more. The beer is a lovely pale golden colour, and brewed to a mid-strength 5.2 per cent ABV. Kipling has won a string of awards for the Thornbridge Brewery in its cask ale form – and on this showing the bottled beer is a definite winner too.