Celt Experience Bleddyn 1075 Ale Review: Druid? Bruid!

The Celt Experience is a brewery with a Celt theme and a Celt origin (in Wales). They produce some very nice beers. Everything On Tap focuses on US craft beers, but we also like to highlight good craft beer from around the world. Celt Brewing is located in Caerphilly, Wales. The following is how the brewery describe themselves:

With a home-brewing background from an age that was a bit naughty, Tom Newman gave up his day job 10 years ago to take brewing seriously… well, as serious as Tom gets anyway. Starting with the Newman’s brand from his dad’s garage, Tom learnt quickly by trial and error and had some good fortune along the way, like buying up the majority of the sadly defunct Smile’s kit in Bristol and soon after returned to his roots by registering the Celt Experience name and opening the existing brewery in Caerphilly. Deciding to focus on the Celt brand, and letting Newman’s go quietly into the night, he launch Celt Golden, Bronze and Bleddyn – originally all organic. But, in the ever expanding craft beer landscape, Newman found himself hampered by this stricture and decided to start experimenting with all kinds of malts and hops in 2011, dropping the organic mantra, and the brewery has gone from strength-to-strength ever since.

In 2012 Tom developed the on-going Shapeshifter series of collaboration brews, with such names as Boxing Cat Brewery from Shanghai, Brasserie St Germain from France, beer blogger Simon Martin and beer writer & sommALEier Melissa Cole to create exciting and innovative American, Belgian and German beers with a twist. Not content with that area of innovation, in 2013, it was time for the Celt Ogham series to be added to the successful core range; the high ABV beers, varying between 8.5% and 10.5% were an instant success.

With the mantra that there’s no such thing as perfection Tom and his team of talented brewers continue to search for improvement and in 2013, aided by the craft beer explosion and the help of Gavin Davidson, a gifted financial director and investor on board, the journey continues into the unknown. Put simply, The Celt Experience is an open adventure into the world of beer drinking and pagan free living… Join us why don’t you? It’ll be a tasty ride.

Celt goes on to describe Bleddyn 1075 thus:

A commanding IPA balancing bitterness, sweetness and a grapefruit finish
An IPA to preside with you and your friends at the dinner table.
King Bleddyn, most merciful of all welsh kings.
Lived and ruled until 1075 and the number of our original gravity.
Pale – Balance – Grapefruit

I had the pleasure of trying Celt Experience Bleddyn 1075 Ale (5.6% ABV) at a local beer tasting, and I enjoyed it greatly. It is very much an IPA (India Pale Ale) in style. Here are my notes.

Everything On Tap Review: Celt Experience Bleddyn 1075 Ale:

Bottle: The 16.9 ounce bottle is of dark brown glass. The label is a standard rectangle and the background is an understated black. The lettering is burgundy and white.

Pour: The color is a bright, pale gold. The head is less than one finger thin and off-white. It dissipates slowly, acting more as a sudsy film than a head, leaving light lacing.

Aroma: The bouquet begins upon the nose as lovely fruit, including peach, citrus, and even Asian fruits. These fruits are joined by sweet, yeasty malt. There is also a nice whiff of sharp, ethyl alcohol to offset the other elements.

Flavor: The first flavors to hit the palate are hoppy flowers, some pineapple, some sweet citrus, and some sweet malted grains. This is followed by an intense hoppy bitterness. The hops flavor is strong on grapefruit, with sub-elements of pine, flowers, and grass. The flavor is lovely, and exemplifies what an IPA should taste like. The finish has a hint of acidity and ethyl alcohol. Though this IPA comes from Wales, it is certainly in line with the American style of IPA.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit above medium, very tangy and tart in the mouth without being overbearingly acidic. There is a profundity to the mouthfeel that is a result of good brewing technique. The carbonation is medium, just about right.

Structure: This is a well-structured IPA. It is solid and stable on the palate.

Food Pairing: I would not hesitate to pair this IPA with raw oysters; strong, aged Stilton cheese; roast mutton; magret de canard with red wine reduction sauce; and intensely spicy, Southeast Asian cuisine.

Overall Rating Out Of 5 Possible Beer Mugs:

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