In my first #12DaysofXmas post I hinted that a review of this next beer was to come, and it’s a very special beer: Camden Town Brewery’s Beer 2014. A bock lager aged in bourbon barrels with an ABV of 9.5% and sold in 750 ml bottles, it’s a beer to share – and I chose share mine with family on Christmas day.
My future brother-in-law and nephew were thankful for my generous spirit, and we were all equally impressed with the result. With a bold and imposing design on the label and each bottle sealed with wax (hand-dipped, incidentally), you get the feeling you are in for a treat and that turns out to be the case (we’ll forget the fact I nearly lost a finger trying to break the seal with a blunt pen-knife). It’s an incredibly rich beer with a massive hit of whiskey, hints of vanilla and a bitter finish, all of which make it an audaciously late entry for beer of the year.
At the time of writing boxing day isn’t yet over and I’ve already had some great beers including Adnams Ghost Ship and a 16/02 Red Ale Amarillo Citra Simcoe by Brew By Numbers. But with a burgeoning appreciation for saisons I decided to go for By The Horns Vive la Brett, a Saison-Brett aged in Burgundy Oak.
Swiftly rinsing the Bailey’s from my mouth prior to tasting, this is a complex beer. Fermented with brettanomyces yeast and aged in burgundy barrels, saisons are often described as “funky” and this beer is exactly that. It’s tart without being overly sour, and seems alive with flowers and citrus fruits. There’s also wine from the barrel-aging and it’s tangy, light, fresh and smooth all at the same time and a real wake up call for the taste buds, especially after a Baileys. And best of all, whenever I think of Brett I always think of this. Enjoy.