joe19612 (2923) - camberley, Surrey, ENGLAND - NOV 21, 2013
Bottle. Pours a cloudy orange colour with a thin white head, aroma has malt and cardamom, taste is lightly sour with all the spices with a bitter dry finish. Jimthechap (2064) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 11, 2012
I’m always a little wary with drinks that use cloves and star anise. They can be brutally strong and completely overwhelm the senses, negating any other laudable flavours tat may be present. Maybe it is the association with stewed mulled wine that often serves to blast the head of anyone silly enough to drink it, may it is the connotation with curry spices. This is an interesting experiment, within a golden beer. Let’s see how it goes.
The body of the beer is light gold in colour with very little in the way of head and a very thin skim of white head. The aroma is predominantly of cloves and citrus oils, cardamom puts up its hand and maybe a suggestion of the anise. It doesn’t smell as if it has that mulled wine toxicity I alluded to (thank God). It does smell spicy and enticing.
At first taste it is silky and sweetish with tangerine flavours and then it changes in the mouth bringing forth those spices with restraint and measure. What I like is that it leaves a lovely golden glow on the tongue. Carbonation is a bit muted at first but gives a tingle which brings out the more savoury elements of the beer and tangy clove.The finish is a little short with just a suggestion of bitterness and that same citrus oil. I like that this beer has balanced and easier on the palate than a frontal assault of some loony with a crock pot, a bottle of oxidised red wine and a fist full of dried spices. But in saying that (and yes, I’m being bloody fussy) it could have had just a touch more loony.