Beer Review: Syl – First Chop

Today’s beer is all kinds of great! It’s a new brewery first and foremost. It’s a completely new style for me. It’s gluten free so the old man can have them. And lastly it’s dirty cheap from the Lidl Scottish Beer Fest! This is Manchester based First Chop and this is a can of their Syl Black IPA. Named after the artist Syl Johnson, who wrote one of the brewers favourite soul albums, it’s is a style I had never seen before and as such was dead excited to give it a go!

Visually the beer pours a very aubergine colour both in the body and in the off white head. As is evident from the picture it’s also fairly well carbonated. So much so it’s blocking out my lovely glass! On the nose you get some very typical stout aromas with coffee heavy on the forefront from roasted malts but also light citrus notes on the back-end. The initial taste matches the nose with it being very stout like initially. Those roasted malts really coming through minus the creamier mouth feel. The bitter finish is certainly of the hoppy kind you get from IPAs making for a fascinating flavour.

A quick note on the can art: All the beers from First Chop go for a three letter naming system which does keep design more uniform. However, the colours on this one don’t make it stand out much and I could see it getting lost in a crowded supermarket shelf.

If a stout and an IPA had a child this would be it. What a genuinely fascinating type of beer that works very well. Importantly I have yet to see a gluten free stout so Dad was very happy that this beer gave him the ability to indulge in something he hasn’t been able to in years. First Chop are a purely gluten free brewery and after this cracking beer I’ll do my best to supply myself and the old man with some more.

Score: 8/10

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

Additional Information:

  • Hops: Columbus, Cluster and Bouclier
  • Malt: Maris Otter, Crystal
  • IBU: Not Available
  • ABV: 6.2%
  • Gluten Free: Yes!
  • Vegan: Yes!
  • Purchase Price: £1.29
  • Purchase Location: Lidl

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