Siren, UK, Vu Du Yu Lu - £3.30, 7.3%

IT’S been a fantastic year for Siren, with two landmarks passing in quick succession.

Most recently, their Broken Dreams breakfast stout has been crowned Champion Beer of Britain at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival – a remarkable achievement for a brewery as adventurous as Siren.

And not long before this, they celebrated brewing their 1000th batch of beer by creating this week’s bottled beer; Vu Du Yu Lu, which is a double IPA take on their Earl Grey tea pale ale.

Pouring a faintly dusty honey gold, a loosely bubbling head rapidly drops away to a thin ring of white foam around the edges of the glass. The aroma is delicate and sweetly aromatic. Sweet caramel malt gives way to peppery hops. Meanwhile, musky bergamot and the subtle bite of black tea linger in the background.

Light bodied and dry on the palate, Vu Du Yu Lu opens with a burst of freshly grated lemon zest, backed by a laid back toffee sweetness.

This develops into the full and rounded aroma of Earl Grey tea, brightly aromatic with orange and nutmeg counteracted by the build up of bitter tea tannins.

The finish is low in bitterness, despite being billed as a double IPA – Siren have managed to brew a high strength pale ale that doesn’t punish the palate. The body and sweetness lent by the alcohol fight against Yu Lu’s inherent lightness a little, but it remains a delightful and refreshing IPA nonetheless.

Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, York