Although equally delicious, one of this pair is about to receive more attention. I’m sure that for parents of twins, especially non-identical twins, the love is framed equally, but outside the family home things are less impartial, as is the case with this double IPA and barley wine.
Small Odds will likely carry itself with celebratory third birthday cheer, charming and wowing those it meets like the wrecking ball on its label. Citrus – grapefruit, a little mandarin and candied lime – lead with toffee, which retains a lean, direct quality alongside an almost woody bitterness which rises, then rises some more, with a tongue-coating dryness.
Which leaves the other sibling. Looking like a Fantastic Mr Fox extra waiting for a Four Tet x Floating Points B2B set in an East Ender after hours club, Mr Otter’s Barley Wine may well be one of this year’s best labels, but what’s it taste like guv'?
Pouring golden treacle that settles a ruby-tinged caramel jube-like in the glass, the English-style take on the style presents some light youthful hop characters that will meld with time into cohesive, malt decadence – Maris Otter’s malt gift to Mr Otter. In the meantime, these provide a bitter grip on Mr Otter’s sticky malt carpet, which also offers layers of toffee, booze spice, raisin, vanilla Jersey caramels and background chocolate truffle. Oh, and the near 12 percent ABV gives proceedings a nudge. Or, as Mr Otter might say: Big ABV, small format. Proper ping pong. Strong. #BIL
- Double IPA & Barleywine
- 8.0% & 11.8%