Summit is a single variety American hop (Vienna) IPA from the Northumberland brewery Allendale Brewery. If you believe the bottle label, it’s brewed specially for Marks & Spencer, however it is on the brewery’s extensive list of beers as Summit Single (with a different label design). It is sometimes available as part of the M&S dine in for two for £10 deal instead of a bottle of wine.
It pours with a small head that quickly fades back to a dusting of bubbles. It sits a mid-golden colour and relatively clear. In spite of the lack of a head, it’s actually quite highly carbonated, though the bubbles are very fine.
There’s not a huge amount of aroma, with slight citrus hop and a hint of malt – it actually smells a bit like a run of the mill lager. Certainly not a robust citrus aroma as the label would have you believe and certainly none of the promised orange zest.
The initial taste is fairly sweet malt, with a slightly fruity hop shortly following. The fruitiness is mostly lemon with a hint of pink grapefruit. Due to the sweetness it reminded me more of lemon sherbert than bitter lemon.
Summit has an okay mouthfeel, there’s some body to it thanks to the use of oats, but the carbonation gives it a bit of a gassy presence and a slightly marshmallow like texture. The finish is quite dry and has a medium bitterness. Again, none of the promised big flavours of tangerine, and the pink grapefruit was only subtle. It could be that I over chilled it which has muted some of the more subtle flavours.
Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, and I expect that the breweries other offerings are probably going to be better. I’d stick to a bottle of wine with the M&S deal instead of two bottles of this.
A bit of a non-event, middle of the road IPA