As a craft beer-obsessed Qui-Gon Jinn might put it, thiols are aroma-active sulphur compounds found in malt and hops that can create some very intense fruit flavours depending on how they are treated. Although I’m not sure they meant to teach young Anakin/me/you about thiols in such a way, Rocks Brewing have released two very different thiolised beers (including the use of Phantasm thiol powder) that demonstrate the flavoursome power of these hoppy midi-chlorians.
Passion Fashion Thiolized Passionfruit Sour pours not the purple of the tin, but the familiar, hazy and nectary hue of passionfruit pulp, maintaining a light white head that many a fruit fly would be happy to perish in after they’ve been lured in by unmissable aromas of the titular ingredient. And, my goodness, is she sour.
The fresh passionfruit juice (added during the ferment) is turned up to 11 alongside Phantasm and Mosaic and Cryo hops. The end product ends up tasting like a strong passionfruit cider brewed for the royal family of an utopic elven society. Make no mistake, this is the beer your grandpa warned you about when you started getting into craft beer. Rocks, if you’re reading this, please barrel age some for the elf king’s 10 carat diamond jubilee.
On the other end of the crafty (yet equally thiolised) scale is Dank Juice Vol. 1 (DDH Juiced West Coast IPA if you want its full name). Pouring the colour of hot caramel or an amber gem that you could imagine on a noughties mum's necklace, Dank Juice Vol. 1 has appropriately dank aromas of crystalised guava and fresh chopped… herbs.
The bark might be worse than the bite of this WCIPA, wherein the thiols seems to smooth out these sticky citrus and pine flavours like diving under a heavy wave and feeling it roll down your back. As with Passion Fashion, these sweet flavours linger on your tongue, gums and teeth like hempen toffee. The ABV is 7 percent but it still manages to go down easily, even with a double dry-hopped helping of an extensive hop list from NZ growers Freestyle (Nelson Sauvin, HPA Citra, Cryo Citra, Centennial and Saaz).
I wonder if Rocks have gone with an initially lighter-bodied Vol. 1 so as to really turn up the heat in future instalments. Either way, bring on Vol. 2.
Published November 22, 2023 2023-11-22 00:00:00