San Blas

English IPA Lord Chambray


San Blas, an English-style IPA by Lord Chambray

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San Blas is an English-style IPA brewed by Lord Chambray, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a cup from a bottle.


The ale pours a crystal-clear golden orange and is topped by a finger-thick cap of white foam that shows excellent retention.


Its aroma has a pleasant scent of fresh pine needles.


The palate begins with a taste of doughy bread that crests to a bite of peppery, herbal hops and orange peel. Hints of toffee and tropical fruit balance the finish. Its base is bready and a touch earthy with a taste of leather.


Its feel is smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. The finish is somewhat astringent.


Its bitterness is bracing at first but as the beer warms, the malt asserts itself, and a nice balance is achieved. Its palate is appropriate for an English IPA and it tastes wonderful. High marks around. If you’re traveling to Malta, San Blas needs to be on your list.

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About the English IPA

The English IPA dates back to the 18th century as a hoppy beer that was exported to India. Hops act as a natural preservative and kept the beer fresh for its long voyage. The style began to dominate the market and by the 1830s was given the name “India Pale Ale”. But by the 20th century, the style had almost disappeared entirely until the modern craft beer era reinvigorated interest. Its color ranges from gold to amber but most examples of the English IPA are pale. Its feel is smooth with a medium-light to medium body and moderate to moderately-high carbonation. Its alcohol strength is moderate. Its aroma and palate are typically hoppy and can be floral, peppery, or citrus-orange. Malt can consist of biscuit and toast or sweet with toffee and caramel. Some fruitiness may be present. Comparatively, the English IPA has a greater hops presence than the English Pale and Bitters but its balance leans malty when compared to the American IPA.