Wild Beer Co: Scarlet Fever (England: Amber Ale: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: A dark brown red, half inch of sud coffee hued froth.

Nose: Dry roasted peanuts. Tingling hops and earth. Toffee and light citrus.

Body: Good bitterness and slightly earthy. Pineapple. Slightly sharp. Quite dry and slightly nutty. Toffee.

Finish: Cocoa powder. Quite earthy and bitter. Grapefruit. Nuts. Carmel touches and lime. Spiced orange.

Conclusion: So, more beers from the wild beer company, and this one seems the most normal of the announced line up. It’s a quite hopped amber ale and doesn’t add any weird quirk to the mix.

For all its boast of citrus hops, what comes through mostly at the early sips is an earthy nature and dry roasted peanuts.  When combined they do give quiet a big and earthy bitterness that makes for a solid backbone.

The toffee and citrus boasted of are there though, but in the early going feel more notes in the background rather than the stars of the show. They do gain in prominence over the course of the beer though, becoming more mid body entities.  Like a lot of times temperature plays it’s part. Cold it is much more earthy, warmth lets the citrus get a bit more play. Similarly warmth lets the toffee sit better on the tongue, against the cooler styles of craft beers this one should be had at just  a tad below room temperature in my opinion

Where it sells it is the finish, here the citrus flavours last much longer than the bitter and heavier elements, which lets it take a bit of time to shine. All in all it is a solid beer with a good punch, and the finish does have that grapefruit flavour that delivers on the promise.  It doesn’t really excite, maybe a bit too heavy on the base and doesn’t give the flavours the room they need.

Still, all it is lacking is that bit of sparkle, it’s a decent beer but needs a hook.  Not such a wild beer really but nice. Hopefully the coming experiment with new yeast will give it what it needs.

Background: The second beer from the wild beer company. This one seems to be trying to keep to listing three cool things on the bottle but they are pushing it. “Red Ale+ Toffee Caramel + Citrus Hops” .Since the toffee caramel seems to be a flavour reference rather than actual brewing ingredient I would say this is meant to be one of their more normal beers. Not necessarily a bad thing, a brewery can’t live on out there experiments alone. As a fan of Bristol beer Factory and eclectic ales I’ve been keeping an eye on this new Brewery created from a few brewers that broke off from BBF. So far they have been doing ok, but I’m looking forward to their more odd ales to come.  It’s worth noting that they changed the yeast for this beer on the next batch, so this is either and out of date review, or a time capsule of a unique experience. Take your pick.