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scrapes in   decent   good   excellent   sublime

Cobra, Cobra Beer (India)
The first thing to say, of course, is that this is not an Indian brewed beer: in fact this bottle from Waitrose is not even the famous Curry-house favourite brewed in Bedford, but brewed in Poland according to the small print. Quite a deep gold, with a creamy, neutral-to-fruity nose, the beer is soft and easy-going, with curry-friendly low carbonation and a rather bland finish that is neither sweet nor bitter. 5.0% ABV, 66cl, ?1.99, Asda, Waitrose, quite widely available.
Cobra, King Cobra (India)
This bottle is double-fermented, the first time in Poland, the second time at the legendary Rodenbach brewery in Belgium, but I have filed it under India as I guessed that is where most people would look for it, the Cobra brand being born in, and associated with, Bangalore. Brewed to 8% ABV and bottled live, King Cobra comes in a Champagne-style bottle and should be in supermarkets and independents, as well as Indian restaurants. It pours a brilliant gold with a high-rise white head. It has complex aromas of shiny red apples and a subtle, biscuity richness, with a touch of preserved lemon. On the palate it has terrific smoothness and opulence, with a definite hint of sweet/sour, lemony Lambic beer, but pristine flavours through the mid-palate where the alcoholic strength and scrumpy-like bite takes a hold. 8.0% ABV, 75cl, ?3.99, brewery website.
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