It's funny. In September 2009, Mark Dredge sent over a box of beers almost like a pre Blogger Beer Swap exchange, if you will, with him receiving a bunch of home brew and some German beers. As well as some lovely Ramsgate, Hopdaemon and Thornbridge beers, Mark had sent a bottle of Worthington White Shield, a beer I'd read much about, but never had the pleasure. Well, I had the pleaseure last May, but only now realised I'd never posted my notes. And what prompted that discovery? Well, thanks to a tweet from Kristy McCready (is there Irish ancestry there) of Molson Coors, a box arrived yesterday morning, containing not just a bottle of Celebration Shield that was offered, but a P2 Imperial Stout, a Red and a White Shield. My week was made! When I was about to drink the bottle of White Shield that Mark had sent, the Reluctant Scooper had suggested I leave it for another year, but I couldn't. Now, thanks to Molson Coors, I've another, that is going to be left for some time and, along with the Celebration and P2, will take a special place in the cellar.
So what did I think of White Shield last time I tried it? I was really surprised by the intensity of the caramel flavours, like melting demerara sugar followed swiftly by big floral hops, with light juicy-fruit and tannic tones in the mid-ground. A much gentler bitterness than I has expected, but with what I described as a real English feeling, fruity, floral, mild spice, with a brush of tea-like dryness. It leaves a lingering dried apricot, caramel sweetness and those luscious floral hops. I have to admit, I had been expecting something more punchy, but instead was swaddled in a real comfort beer. I'm looking forward to trying it again with a bit of age on it.