Tag Archive: Fruit



Tilquin : Oude Quetsche Tilquin a L’ancienne (Belgium: Fruit Lambic: 6.4% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy ruddy red to dried apricot. Small white bubbled rim for a head.

Nose: Black-cherry. Floral. Vanilla. Plums. Cherry blossoms. Dried apricot. Lightly tart apples. Horse blankets.

Body: Light mouthfeel. Brown bread. Tart apples. Moderate acidic character. Dried apricot. Strawberry. Sour plums. Dry Madeira. Light tayberry. Tannins. Lemon. Marzipan. Dry spice.

Finish: Tart apples. Dried apricot. Charred oak. Prunes. Lots of tannins. Dry sherry. Dried raisins. Plums. Acidic dryness. White wine. Raspberry. Strawberry.

Conclusion: I often find it odd how fruit lambics – while usually fruity as hell – often don’t taste massively of the fruit used to make them, instead emphasising what to seems to be a random other range of notes.

This, for example, is made with plums. It does have some plum notes, but more than that it gets interactions with the lambic to have it come across more as dry raisins and dry sherry like notes.

More normal is the base, with acidic apple and lemon notes working in a tart and moderately acidic base – not super mellow, not super sweet, dry or harsh. It feels very manageable, but still a distinctly tart lambic. It emphasises more a large amount of tannins, especially late on, giving a good amount of weight and grounded character to the body behind the freshness.

What is most unusual to encounter is the middle ground between the dark fruit and the fresh lambic – this is where the largest range of fruitiness comes out. They both merge to bring out very fresh raspberry to tayberry notes, some fresh strawberries and grounded dried apricot. This is what I tend to call the almost holographic flavours brought on by the mix of the base flavours and the acidity, and make up the front half of the beer; The initial impressions before the darker fruit of raisins and plums come in, which initially are in the latter half to the finish of the beer. Over time though the darker fruit rises, and come to take centre stage from sipping onwards as the flavours build up – closer to what you would expect from the chosen fruit.

I can see from this why plum isn’t the most commonly used fruit, not up there with cherry and raspberry, but it still does pretty darn well for itself. The base lambic is pretty darn good, and the plums take it to darker dry fruit notes in an unusual fashion – generally darker fruit I have seen used go in a sweeter direction. This feels closer to red wine sour influences, though you do get sweet almonds to marzipan late on to add a touch of sweetness to it.

This is almost a sherry lambic to my mind, with the dark fruit getting more notable the longer you spend with it. Definitely earns its spot as something different in the lambic league.

Background: This is the 2016/2017 batch of the beer – a lambic made with one and two year lambics, fresh plums and refermented in the bottle for three months. So, an unusual fruit choice which made me really want to try it. Grabbed from Independent Spirit, this was a big beer, so I put on some Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – heavy duty punk yo go with it.

Hanssens: Oudbeitje (Belgium: Fruit Lambic: 6% ABV)

Visual: Clear and still, with a gold to apricot skin colour.

Nose: Strawberry in a creamy fashion. Rose wine. Vanilla. White grapes. Acidic apple. Horse blankets and oats.

Body: Very tart. Oats. Mild strawberry. Dry cider. Acidic at the back of the throat. Slight nail polish imagery.

Finish: Strawberry. White wine. Lemon juice. Dry cider. Fresh apples. Slight vinegar. Tart raspberry. Slight nail polish air. Rose wine.

Conclusion: Ok, strawberries in a lambic – I was expecting this to be pretty unusual, so was excited going in. The excitement continued as I popped the cork out – there was lovely creamy strawberry aroma, matched with the tart rose wine character from the base lambic. It looked like this was going to be a brilliant balance of the lambic and the fruit.

What did surprise me at this early stage was how little colour the fruit seemed to add to the beer. It was possibly a little darker than the standard lambic, but not where near as bright or as colourful as the usual fruit lambics.

The initial flavours are promising – with slight strawberry into tart raspberry notes alongside a dry cider style lambic character. It is harsh at the back of the throat, but otherwise a good start.

Unfortunately over time a thicker, slightly unpleasant character emerges. The best way I can describe it is akin to breathing in the fumes of wood or nail polish. It’s thick, kind of gas fume like and far from pleasant. As time goes on even more this element gets heavier and heavier. This one element very much hurts the rest of the beer, and even made it feel like a chore to finish the last quarter of the beer.

So, a nice start, with promise, but by the end it was genuinely a bad experience. Maybe strawberries are not generally used in lambcis for a reason then. A pity as it showed such promise to begin with.

Background: Been looking for this one for a while – I hear about it in a 100 Belgian Beers To Try Before You Die, and it seemed interesting. A lambic made with the unusual choice of strawberries for the fruit choice. After many years of looking I finally found this in Manchester in the very well stocked Beermoth. Friendly staff as well, had a nice chat about lambics in there. I had hoped to go back to grab more beers, but time did not permit. Drunk while listening to Svalbard again – had just grabbed their Gone Tomorrow album off bandcamp.

Omnipollo: Buxton: Original Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie (England: Fruit Beer: 6% ABV)

Visual: Hazy lemon juice look with a thin white head.

Nose: Freshly squeezed lemon and traditional lemonade. Meringue. Milk touch. Apples. Squeezed lime.

Body: Tart lemon juice and lemon curd. Apple pie. Sugar dusting. Very fresh. Thick texture under the sharp front. Cream. Lime cordial. Tart grapes.

Finish: Lemon juice and pancakes. Squeezed lime. Peach and vanilla. Cream. Toffee ice cream syrup.

Conclusion: This is fresh, very fresh – lemony as all get out – yet despite that it is not overly acidic, nor sour as you would often expect with that fresh kind of lemon flavour. It is actually sweet, while still keeping that freshness and surprisingly creamy under the sharper front.

Not that lemon is the only note here – there is plenty of tart lime elements, and even a few sweeter fruit notes such as peach and apple. However, lemon definitely dominates, with lime as a close second. Anything else is way down the intensity list.

It is decent -fresh faced and pretty easy to drink. Not quite lemon meringue for me, nor quite ice cream – but there are enough calls to it that I can see why they picked the name. It is creamy, and as mentioned, very much lemon.

It isn’t the most complex thing though – shoot, barring the thick mouthfeel I would understand mistaking this thing for fruit juice. Alcoholic fruit juice admittedly – they don’t 100% hide that alcohol, but still fruit juice.

So, aye, super complex it ain’t. One for examining it ain’t. For something easy going, easy drinking and refreshing – sure! It is sweet, creamy and fresh – hits a lot of the instant satisfaction buttons there. So an immediately satisfying, tasty and fun beer – but with no depth under the surface. Good for a warm day, good for when you want to enjoy a beer but not get too deep into it.

Background: Ok, this is actually a beer that was conditioned with lemon juice. Huh, did not realise that – the bottle ingredients only list barley, wheat, oats and lactose – so I was surprised to find it listed as a fruit beer. Guess it explains how they nailed the lemon flavour so well. Anyway, I grabbed one of the ice cream series (easily recognisable by the walking poo on the bottle) tail end last year – so when I saw this one back in Independent Spirit it had to give it a go. Both Omnipollo and Buxton are rock solid breweries in my eyes, so a good background to this one. This was drunk while listening to Ritualz CDR. A haunting weird set of electronica I have not broken out for a while.

Cloudwater: Against The Grain: Make Apple Pie Great Again (England: Fruit: 6.3% ABV)

Visual: Very cloudy caramel brown to cloudy apple juice. Very large off white head.

Nose: Cinnamon and apples .. ok, basically apple pie with fresh apples and buttery pastry. Danish pastry.

Body: Apples and cinnamon. Ground ginger. Pastry. Peppery and some white pepper. Dried apricot.

Finish: Vanilla. Apples. Cinnamon. Lightly bready. Light bitterness. White pepper. Light cloves and sugar dusting.

Conclusion: Ok, I think I’ve mentioned before that apple seems to be a hard ingredient to use correctly in a beer. They tend to have too little effect, or end up artificially sweet, or such issues as that.

So, in case you were wondering – yep! This makes apple pie (In a beer) great (Again? For the first time?). Anyway, I think what makes this work is the spice they add which does a lot of heavy lifting for the beer. The cinnamon and ginger notes are well used here, and of course are so closely mentally linked with apple pie that it really makes that core apple flavour seem much more significant than the intensity would otherwise manage. Also that spice grounding means that the apple and accompanying vanilla and pastry notes don’t come across sickly sweet. This all feels very well planned.

I feel like they looked at all the cinnamon and clove influenced Christmas beer and used what was learned from them as a base to work from to make this. It really has that vibe. But with apple pies. Then again, maybe they didn’t – I don’t know how they brewed it, that is just the impression got from the beer itself.

Now you could call this a one trick pony – but that would be somewhat unfair. For one it delivers its concept spot on, and that is what they are selling this beer as. So criticising it for doing its job feel slightly unfair, even if that was true. As a second point, it manages to still feel beer like under the apple pie styling, albeit in the aforementioned Christmas beer style. Finally the spice also brings in some more unusual elements with peppery character mixing well with the hop bitterness to give a bit more edge to that aspect.

Overall, good concept, good learning from beer history, good beer that makes apple pies great!

Background: Ok, this one I am fairly sure is a piss take of Donald Trump. Then again I have been wrong before, so I will just say Donald Trump is an incompetent man child shit who sucks up to fascists. Anyway, this is a beer made with apple puree, apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and muscovado sugar. Drunk while listening to Evil Scarecrow: Galactic Hunt – love the over the top fun and pop culture referencing metal of these lot. This beer was grabbed from Independent Spirit. Yes, again.

De Cam: Nectarine Lambiek (Belgium: Fruit Lambic: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy tropical fruit juice colour. Still. Slight white head.

Nose: Tart. Oats and muesli. Slight raisins to dry Madeira. Dry pineapple. Mashed fruit. Subtle orange.

Body: Tart orange and mandarin orange. Nectarines. Slight flour. Sharp pineapple. Sour fruit stone centers. Tart pineapple. Slight oats. Slight vanilla. Peach melba.

Finish: Tart orange. Nectarines. Stewed fruit notes. Tart. Lots of pineapple. Tart grapefruit. Dry at the end. Vanilla.

Conclusion: This is fruit dominated. Like, super fruit dominated. This surprised me. I have got used to the more unusual fruit lambics having pretty subtle influence from the fruit. I have figured that the reason Cherry, Raspberry, et al are the go to choice is because frankly they work. The other fruit lambics tend to be interesting, but tend to have more influence from the base lambic character. This – well, wow – this seems to match sour nectarines with tart mandarin orange, with lots of pineapple and grapefruit as it is mixed with the base.

With nectarine being a lighter coloured fruit I was, again, expecting this to mean that the base lambic would be more noticeable. This impression was reinforced by the first encounter with the aroma – the first notes that hit are dry and quite oaty; So I thought that the base was going to follow with that dry and rural character. The texture of the base beer is quite oat filled, but a mix of tart fruit quickly comes in to fill up that space nigh instantly. It results it a feeling akin to sucking fruit flesh off the sour fruit stone centres; Slightly harsh, very tart and very fresh and flavoursome.

It really is a sour fruit mash up – it doesn’t have the subtlety of the more famous lambics – instead it just tries shoving everything out at once. The closest you get to progression is that, while it is quite dry at the start, it ends up being remarkably juicy – with its only real subtlety being in the subtle vanilla sweetness picking it up.

This isn’t a classic lambic – but it does use the lambic base well as a delivery system for something tart and fruity, rather than using the base as an element in itself. A heck of a fresh experience.

Background: Saw this one at Independent Spirit a while back – and I was intrigued at its unusual choice of fruit for a lambic. However it is fairly expensive, so it was only recently I decided to take the plunge and pick it up. This, as you may have guess from the name is a lambic made with nectarines. It is fairly obvious, no? Anyway, broke this open after watching Logan at the cinema. Amazing movie – blows the lacklustre first two Wolverine movies away. Drunk while listening to Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance. Old school metal time!

brewdog-omipollo-flat-pack-fruit-bat

Brewdog: Omipollo: Flat Pack Fruit Bat (Scotland: Fruit IPA: 6% ABV)

Visual: Cherry-aid red. Moderate carbonation. Large reddened froth head.

Nose: Musty hops and bitterness. Tart raspberry. Greenery hint. Slightly bready. Vanilla milkshakes.

Body: Tart raspberry. Gripping hops. Raspberry yogurt. Vanilla milkshake. Thick mouthfeel. Some bitterness.

Finish: Brown bread. Fresh raspberry. Good hop character. Vanilla and vanilla yogurt. Quite heavy bitterness. Charring touch. Resin. Slight earthy hops and greenery.

Conclusion: Recently in a set of notes I talked about the joy in a deep, complex ale versus the fun of a simple beer done well. This is most definitely in that second category.

This is very much fruit orientated – fresh in the raspberry – and with a good gripping mouthfeel which I’m guessing comes from the lactose that was used in brewing it. Definitely uses that thick mouthfeel to push the smoothie angle well – very fruity to match that. It is a much creamier texture than you would expect from an IPA because of that. Still mouth freshening from the light tartness of the raspberry – but tends towards the sweeter side of the fruit usage.

The IPA, hop side, of things is more shown in the bitterness and feel than in any fancy hop flavours. It feels kind of musty, slightly sticking hops, resinous and slightly charred in the finish. From the aroma through to the back end it is just (“Just” he says) a solid hop character – nothing too bitter, but with a kind of bready character and influenced mouthfeel backing the smoother front and raspberries. The finish is where it finally starts to really kick with high bitterness now mixing with those charred notes and a touch of greenery.

So, despite the flavour, mouthfeel and freshness wise being very much about the tart smoothie concept, it still manages a resinous, very bitter (in the finish) IPA like character to back it up.

So, not complex, but delivers on what it promises and what it sets out to do. A great balance of fruit and beer. You definitely feel both and in good quantities. A good general drinking beer with a big character and lots of quality.

Background: As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beer – I am also quite a fan of Omnipollo, despite not trying much of theirs while I was in Sweden. This, bought directly from the Brewdog shop, is an attempt an an IPA raspberry smoothie. Whatever that would be. Apart from this it seems. It is made with wheat, oat, milk lactose, vanilla and raspberries and single hopped with mosaic. This was drunk while listening to some Zodiac Zoo – a band I got into due to one of their weird sounding tracks on the original guitar hero which sounded like a guitar hymn to Azathoth– the rest of their work didn’t quite live up to that, but it still strangely discordant rock.

de-molen-framboos-and-framblij

De Molen: Framboos and Framblij (Netherlands: Fruit Beer: 6.6% ABV)

Visual: Dark brown. Massive browned white loose bubbled head.

Nose: Cinnamon spiced raspberries. Strawberries. Raspberry Liqueur filled dark chocolate. Fresh and sweet. Light coriander.

Body: Earthy hop character. Peppery. Quite bitter. Very frothy feel and slightly wheaty. Raspberry yogurt. Malt chocolate. Vanilla.

Finish: Earthy notes. Wheaty and popcorn feel. Malt drinks. Hoppy bitterness. Pepper. Greenery.

Conclusion: Well, this is lively -the head keeps frothing on pour to a massive mound. No matter how gentle I tried to be, it always filled the glass. Maybe I should have used a glass with a bit more room, like the Tripel Karmeliet one.

I was expecting something more out of both the base ale and the raspberry infusion I have to admit – This feels like an solid, earthy, British style bitter that has then been subtly influenced by the raspberries to create a sweeter backing for that bitter style ale. It has a bit higher hop character and bitterness than that description would call to mind -but hopefully you should get the gist.

The raspberry is far more evident in the aroma – which leads you to expect a fruitier beer than the one you finally get. While the earthy, slightly greenery tinged hop character is much more what you actually get, laid over a malt chocolate drink bitter chocolate base. It actually feels like a hand pumped real ale in some ways – with that slightly bitty sediment touched texture – really grounded which the raspberry doesn’t challenge, but does enhance by the way of contrast.

So, you get a much more bitter led beer than expected – fairly simple in the flavours delivered but solidly done. Without the raspberry this would be a fairly middle of the road bitter. With the raspberry, well it give it a bit of sweetness and subtle tartness that it really needs to give it some depth.

An ok ale, considering who comparatively rare it is I wouldn’t say it is worth taking your time to dig it out – it is very similar to a group of raspberry dark ales that I have run into on a real ale tap around town over the years and it doesn’t really add much above that. If you run into it that this is fair enough, but hardly stand out, or probably even the best of what you would find in the style.

Background: Apparently this is a fairly rare one, originally for Borefts Beer Festival 2016, there has since been some bottled, of which I grabbed one from Independent Spirit. This is a dark ale made with raspberries. Drunk while listening to some Anthrax, after finding out they will be touring again next year. De Molen have been pretty darn reliable at turning out decent beers, especially kind of unusual ones, so I though this should be decent. Apparently the name is some kind of pun, but one that doesn’t really translate well. Ah well.

Dugges Stillwater The Tropic Thunder
Dugges: Stillwater: The Tropic Thunder (Sweden: Sour Fruit Ale: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy yellow to lemon juice. Thin white dash of a head.

Nose: Peach to peach melba. Very fruity.

Body: Lightly tart. Peach. Apples. Slightly chalky. Mango, Gooseberry.

Finish: Apples and peach melba. Drying yet sweet. Mango juice. Gooseberry.

Conclusion: Man, it’s going to be hard to make this anything but a short set of notes. We are in tart alcoholic fruit juice territory again. So, first up – this is very fruity indeed. Predominantly with peach melba flavours, but with tarter apples and gooseberry at the edges, and some influence from the mango showing its head from time to time. While passion fruit is listed as being used in making this I didn’t really taste any present during my time with it.

The base is fairly light on the tartness, definitely there but just a refreshing character rather than anything harsh. Just a kind of mild gooseberry character, and a slight dryness from the acidity. It is also actually slightly chalky as well late on, so it manages to head out still feeling sweet from the fruit, but grounded quite dry in the texture.

So, those are the main elements – not the best sour I have had, and not too complex, but is is definitely the most peach melba styled though. On that I will also say the aroma for that is fantastic – if the entire beer was a big as the aroma, then, simple as it is in range, I would have no hesitation in recommending it. The rest of the beer, well it is solid, nothing too challenging, but it does feel like a drier backed alcohol fruit mix and not much more than that. Not bad in any way, definitely enjoyable with the slightly sharp fruit character – but nothing really stands out apart from the unusual fruit choice.

So, yeah, I made the notes manage to last this long but that is all I have to say. Peach melba fruit sour, slight chalk back. Ok, but not more than that.

Background: Another case where a new brewery to me caught my eye, at a sour beer with unusual fruit, and at sub 5% abv it seemed a interesting and easy one to slip into the tasting note list to have. Grabbed from Independent Spirit as is becoming slightly predictable these days. There is also a similar but lower abv version of this available called Tropic Folk – I was a tad confused – the description and fruit listed were identical, with only the abv changed. Then it was pointed out that in Sweden beers above a certain abv can only be sold in government shops, which despite my recent trip to Sweden I had forgotten. So I am presuming the lower abv one is so it can be sold in grocery stores in Sweden. Drunk while listening to Prodigy: Always outnumbered, Never outgunned. Not their best album, but one I haven’t listened to for a while.

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Dugges: Stillwater: The Tropic Thunder (Sweden: Sour Fruit Ale: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy yellow to lemon juice. Thin white dash of a head.

Nose: Peach to peach melba. Very fruity.

Body: Lightly tart. Peach. Apples. Slightly chalky. Mango, Gooseberry.

Finish: Apples and peach melba. Drying yet sweet. Mango juice. Gooseberry.

Conclusion: Man, it’s going to be hard to make this anything but a short set of notes. We are in tart alcoholic fruit juice territory again. So, first up – this is very fruity indeed. Predominantly with peach melba flavours, but with tarter apples and gooseberry at the edges, and some influence from the mango showing its head from time to time. While passion fruit is listed as being used in making this I didn’t really taste any present during my time with it.

The base is fairly light on the tartness, definitely there but just a refreshing character rather than anything harsh. Just a kind of mild gooseberry character, and a slight dryness from the acidity. It is also actually slightly chalky as well late on, so it manages to head out still feeling sweet from the fruit, but grounded quite dry in the texture.

So, those are the main elements – not the best sour I have had, and not too complex, but is is definitely the most peach melba styled though. On that I will also say the aroma for that is fantastic – if the entire beer was a big as the aroma, then, simple as it is in range, I would have no hesitation in recommending it. The rest of the beer, well it is solid, nothing too challenging, but it does feel like a drier backed alcohol fruit mix and not much more than that. Not bad in any way, definitely enjoyable with the slightly sharp fruit character – but nothing really stands out apart from the unusual fruit choice.

So, yeah, I made the notes manage to last this long but that is all I have to say. Peach melba fruit sour, slight chalk back. Ok, but not more than that.

Background: Another case where a new brewery to me caught my eye, at a sour beer with unusual fruit, and at sub 5% abv it seemed a interesting and easy one to slip into the tasting note list to have. Grabbed from Independent Spirit as is becoming slightly predictable these days. There is also a similar but lower abv version of this available called Tropic Folk – I was a tad confused – the description and fruit listed were identical, with only the abv changed. Then it was pointed out that in Sweden beers above a certain abv can only be sold in government shops, which despite my recent trip to Sweden I had forgotten. So I am presuming the lower abv one is so it can be sold in grocery stores in Sweden. Drunk while listening to Prodigy: Always outnumbered, Never outgunned. Not their best album, but one I haven’t listened to for a while.

Cantillon Soleil De Minuit

Cantillon: Soleil De Minuit (Fruit Lambic: Belgium: 5% ABV)

Visual: Clear, still gold. Thin dust of a head. Hazy with bits evident in the body as you reach the end of the bottle.

Nose: Horse blankets. Ultra dry white wine and sour white grapes. Light gingerbread. Lightly musky. Honey.

Body: Very dry. Very light initially. Vanilla. Musky berries. Very smooth. Tart grapes. White wine. Champagne funky feel. Dried apricot. Nettles and prickling. Light honey. Mandarin orange. Passion fruit near the end.

Finish: Grapes. White wine. Oatmeal. Light charring. Light cloud-berry. Funky yeast feel. Vanilla. Lightly tart. Nettles. Dried apricot. Light vinegar. Orange juice.

Conclusion: Ok, this is absolutely nothing like what I expected. At all. I am used to super tart, dry, mouth puckering lambics coming from Cantillon. Also, with this having the unusual selection of cloudberry fruit to be aged on I was expecting that to be pushed hard.

Neither were true. Chilled down it tastes similar in style to their unblended lambic on the front, and full of subtleties. It definitely was white wine like, dry, very dry white wine like. Also the lambic character very much showed in the aroma with the horse blanket like character. By comparison the cloudberry was limited to the more funky edges of the beer around that white wine character.

Similarly there is nearly no acidity or harsh tartness – it is smooth as silk to drink, probably the easiest going Cantillon I have tried – my non Cantillon aware friend tried it and could easily enjoy it. It you are happy drinking good quality wine, then this is a similar experience.

That is not to say that this lacks subtlety, it has a very champagne like funky bready character (Admittedly this is going from my one true Champagne experience in Avery Bristol), the beer has a much more complex feel than it does taste.

Warming it really brings out the flavours though, it gives a lightly tart touch, and even a slight vinegar air right at the back of the throat, while still, generally, being smooth as heck. Much more cloudberry comes out, it never dominates, but it now has enough definition to distinctly complement the main wine like character. Soft apricot and an almost light vanilla sweetness then round it out, then delicious orange late on.

While chilled it is a far more easy to drink beer, at close to room temperature it gains much more to differentiate it from the unblended lambic it initially resembled. Then again, while I was not quite taken with Grand Cru, in general unblended lambic is hardly one to turn your nose up at. As is, chilled I was disappointed, especially considering the cost. It was good, but hardly above a standard lambic. As it warms it becomes another excellent quality fruit Cantillon, but with extra smoothness.

Is it worth the price? For the flavour, no. There are other lambics from Cantillon at far cheaper price that are of equal quality. As an intriguing event, as an experience, well, ouch, that is almost up to you – how much do you value trying a rarity?

For me, at the price I will not return to it, however looking at it just as a beer, I will have to admit, when you let it warm … Yes it is excellent, it builds up gently, and you get a different experience over several glasses. Not top 50 in the world good, but just, just comes in as one of my favourites.

Background: Holy crap, I did not expect to find this one. Now, to head people off at the pass – yes this is a Belgian beer, from the legendary lambic makers Cantillon. So why did I get it during the Sweden holiday? Well, simple, this was brewed for Akkurat bar in Stockholm and as far as I am aware that is literally the only place you can legitimately buy it. I found this, the Oct 2015 release (Drunk Aug 2016), in the vintage beers section of their bottle list and immediately checked that it was in stock. It was. Oh yes. It is a lambic made with cloudberrys, and at the time of writing, one of Rate Beers top 50 highest rated beers. It is also very expensive. Though the price of it did end up causing a conversation with two Russian teachers who were sat next to me at the bar, which was pretty cool. They asked us our views on Brexit then laughed at two synchronised, yet unplanned, facepalms from my friend and me. I offered some to them to try, and they politely referred to it as “Interesting”. I think they were not a fan. However my friend, who is not usually a beer fan, found it quite enjoyable. I also like that this was laid out in a wooden boat shaped container while we were drinking, very snazzy. Before drinking this I had some water to clean out the tastebuds from the previous beer so I could give this my full attention.

Good Chemistry Morello Theory

Good Chemistry: Morello Theory (England: Fruit Beer: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Dark brown with dark red edges. Moderate brown bubbled head.

Nose: Black cherries. Malt chocolate. Toffee. Red grapes. Slightly tart, but mainly sweet. Cream.

Body: Malt drinks and malt chocolate. Black cherry yogurt. Cherry aid. Light tomato.

Finish: Red grapes. Cherries. Toffee and malt chocolate. Cherry tomatoes.

Conclusion: Ok, I swear there is something about morello cherries in beer that make me think of tomatoes. I don’t know why. Admittedly it is far, far lighter here than the La Luna Rossa I had a short while back, but it still does have those very light tomato notes for me. Other people don’t seem to get them, just me.

However, that said, considering it is such a light note I think we should get straight on with it and look at the rest of the beer. The aroma promises pretty much what the base gives – a malt led beer, all toffee and malt chocolate drinks. If it wasn’t for the extra ingredient this would be an unassuming malt sipper that you would find hanging around on the cask tap. However we do have that second string for the bow – the cherries!

The cherries are a backing note, but not far behind, just settling in behind the malt, slipstreaming it as is washes down your throat. It opens with a slight tart grape to black cherry style, yet in the body goes from sweet yogurt to sparkling cherry-aid in emphasis. A bit artificial feeling in that last note, but it is generally very nice and natural styled.

Oh, and tomato notes, but I don’t want to dwell on them, they just add a slight savoury air to the thing.

That seems to be what you get from the beer throughout, I started chilled and let it warm up and, yep, pretty much the same notes at all times. Slightly easier drinking chilled but that is about it.

I would generally like a bit more play from a 6% and up beer, but the comparative simple malt led front does create a very good environment for the cherry play to work well. It is a far gentle sippable beer. At a lower abv I would call it a very good session fruit to beer balanced mix. As is it is a bit strong abv for its best use, but is still a gentle soother. While not the most complex base beer, this is still very evidently a beer, not just a fruit drink.

So, overall , the abv doesn’t quite match the flavour for usage, but generally uses the fruit well.

Background: This was recommended to me by Real Ale Tony, so despite the mediocre experience with the last Good Chemistry beer I had tried, I decided to give this a go. Grabbed from Independent Spirit this is a malt heavy beer, brewed with 60kg of Morello cherries in the batch, and fermented with Belgian yeasts. I last encountered Morello cherries in La Luna Rossa Cuvee, a beer which didn’t quite sit well with me. Drunk while listening to the funky Jet Set Radio OST,a fun blast of joy.

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