Like many beer nerd, I have a 'Wants' list. It stretches as far as the eye can see most of the time, but since late last year, one beer has been firmly at the top; Sharp's Monsieur Rock (5.2abv). Luckily, those nice lads at Beer-Ritz recently nabbed a haul, and I managed to fight my way through the scrum and secure myself a couple.
MR was hyped by us Beer Bloggers upon release, and I'm now proud to say rightly so, in my opinion. It's quite unlike anything I've drunk before but in subtle ways; yes, it's lagered, but it's so much more than lager. There's a complex nose, which I'm sure I haven't really nailed yet, but I'm getting Peach, Pear drops and Orange pithyness all wafting upward. It's quite possibly the palest beer I've drunk (you were right, Ghostie) and - this is something I don't say often - perfectly lively; the bubbles are light and champagne-esque, lifting all that summery, light, complexity out of the glass, onto your tongue and up your nose.
There's a little malt-biscuit backbone to hold things up, and it drinks with a little more Lemon poking through than on the nose. It's 100% hopped with Saaz, and that grassiness is evident in the final part of the sip - the cleanest lagered ale I've drunk, without a doubt. There's almost zero aftertaste.
Aplogies - I know this has been a somewhat hyperbolic post from me, but I really can't get across how much I enjoyed this beer enough. Grab some whilst you can. Stuart Howe's blog can be found here, and he details how he made MR with Orval's Jean-Marie Rock. Do read. It's one of the best blogs out there.
I'll also take this opportunity to wish Stuart and all at Sharp's best of luck for the future, whatever that might hold.