Magic Rock, Thornbridge (to some extent) and Summer Wine Brewery follow this `progression`.
I was delighted to see an SWB ale on cask recently at The Broadfield. Furthermore, it was alongside its Huddersfield amigo, Magic Rock in the form of one of our favourite ales, High Wire. The Broady has had a whole host of great beers on recently, mostly on keg, but to see these two in their old-fashioned form was a real double-take moment. High Wire (5.5%) tasted very good even though it was the bottom of the barrel (can be a negative with some cask ales) but I could not wait to tuck into the Diablo.
At 6.0% Diablo is a devil of a beer. Bags of taste but none of it that overly alcoholic hit you can get from many strong ales and from some less successful IPAs (eg Thornbridge`s Rattlesnake). Citra is the dominant taste but this is showcased superbly whilst surrounded so skilfully with tropical fruit flavours. The tasting notes proclaim pineapple, papaya, mango and lychees so all very Indian Ocean. I`m not a big fan of fruity beer but, when balanced this well, they really take some IPAs into a league of their own and Diablo is a case in point. Some Yorkshire folk might baulk at the £4+ price tag, especially for a local cask ale, but this one is worth it.
Hailing from Huddersfield (well Holmfirth actually), SWB are one of the best brewers out there in our opinion. Although we differ slightly in our palates, I feel that beers like Diablo really allow you to sample the complexity of flavours therein when served on handpull without the distraction of added carbonation and cooling you get with keg products. That said, we have both enjoyed SWB kegged ales sampled this year at The Broadfield and at The Harlequin but a cask of the stuff is becoming quite a rarity even though the Hudd is only a `short` train journey away!
Mike`s Score - 10! (only improvement could be if it was 6.66%!)