Just because there was no GABS this May / June doesn't mean breweries haven't been putting out GABS beers. In the case of Wolf of the Willows, three of them, all of which are collabs with local producers too.
The newcomer is The S'Mores Man, a nitro amber ale with a marshmallow twist (and man on the label) featuring organic cacao from longstanding Wolf mates Essential Wholefoods. For much of the experience, you're very much in traditional amber territory, like their Woodsman - some toasty dryness, biscuity sweetness, a little treacle – but it all comes wrapped in a nougat-like blanket that in tandem with a nitro shot fattens and leave a little sticky residue but can’t totally mask the toasty bitterness lurking within.
The first Wolf X Wolf Tom Collins Sour remains very possibly my all-time favourite Wolf beer and the Patient Wolf collab returns with a little more verve this time around. Inspired by the classic gin cocktail, the kettle sour features the distiller's signature botanicals: juniper berries, coriander seeds and tonka beans. Leading with lively, sharp citrus / kaffir lime and herbaceous aromas with a carbonation enhanced by the acidity, the botanicals are more apparent as a soft perfume cloud in the mouth, before things wrap up with a quenching finish.
Completing the trio is Tiramibru, a nitro milk porter created Richmond coffee roasters Maker Coffee, blended with Rutherglen Muscat from Campbells Wines, and topped off with organic cacao, lactose and a shot of nitro. Soft as satin, with smooth, rich chocolate dominant and a creaminess throughout, the impact of the espresso and Muscat is subdued but there if you want to go looking for them. That said, you might not wish to bother when this is a beer in which you can just wallow.