Sunday, 20 December 2009
I brewed Winter Berry at Sharp’s a few days ago and a small mini keg of what Stuart Howe and I devised was sent to me the other day. He tells me to see it as a work in progress — the berries have not been added but here goes: on the nose an earthy version of cherry brandy, minus the sweetness. On the palate this earthy cherry brandy character continues, but it is also almost woody. It’s a paradox: sweet but not sweet; woody but not woody; berries appear (the Bramling Cross perhaps) and there is the dryness of grain on the finish; on the palate it also has blackberry without the sourness, a rusticity and a whisper of caramel in the background. The palate is bright and friendly — it’s not meant to be hoppy, with the hops meant to be something in the background, the bass player rather than the lead guitarist. I like it. A stronger version would be even more interesting.
When we tried the wort it was not as sweet as the usual wort you get — my teeth are canaries in the mine for sweetness. Next update will include what it tastes like with the berries added (they’re cosying up to the beer in the maturation tanks as I write).