[Shepherd Neame] Premium Spitfire Kentish Ale 4.5% 500ml Clear Bottle

This 'acquired taste' style ale is worth trying. It's probably the hoppiest ale I've ever tasted. Named after JR Mitchell's famous Spitfire aeroplane as it was used in World War 2 during the Battle of Britain. It plays out a pun, calling itself The Bottle of Britain.

While it says, "Since 1698," this ale wasn't brewed until 1990. I would guess the Shepherd Neame brewing started in 1698 and if this is important to you, please feel free to find out and let me know.

This is actually my fourth official tasting of Spitfire and you can see how it's grown on me. See the previous ones at

Spitfire has a deep copper colour and pours with almost no head at all, yet you can see the bubbles fighting viciously for position. It has a distinctive hoppy scent for an ale.

Heavily carbonated and with a medium to light body, this ale attacks your palette with fervour. Consider the last thing you did to cleanse your palette beforehand and you'll see how it interacts with it. I've tried different things in the past and they've shown me various facets of Spitfire. This time it was coffee.

The first sip was pretty foul and leaves a long bitter aftertaste. Good luck figuring out the flavours as you try to dodge it's fire. Those who enjoy sour and bitter flavours may find this quite appealing and it indeed has a way of charming you into lowering your defenses. It crashes heavily into the back of your tongue leaving very little debris for your stomach. This makes the ale seem hard but light.

It's a fantastically fun ale that kicks you in the balls over and over making you rethink your proclivities.