Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ilkley Speyside Siberia

The gentlest wash of iodine takes itself into the softly sour arms of rhubarb serenaded by a pleasingly high note of Brett and all is well as this aromatic triumvirate wishes everyone the very best before they vanish into the gloaming for a dirty weekend. Ilkley’s Speyside Siberia is 8.8%, which makes it all the more remarkable that this jigsaw of a complex beer has such a slinky, insistently pleasurable drinkability. It’s soft in its mouthfeel and sour in the way it rocks and reels through the senses, thrumming away on the palate with a lovely loose and elegant sense of its own beauty (think something kinky like dry champagne minus the bubbles spending its time romancing an eclectically inclined Belgian blonde and you might be somewhere close). Sour can be sometime dour in the way it can turn seconds on the palate into hours, but with this ramped up, well-wooded version of their rhubarb-infused saison that Ilkley made in combination with Imbibe Educator of the Year Melissa Cole the generous rush of flavour and brewing audacity makes me sad that only 700 bottles were made. I am now in Siberia for the rest of my life, with little hope of getting there.

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