The first fruits of Aether’s barrel program are finally here, and they’re tasting ripe.
Aether founder Dave Ward is always thinking of what’s going on at a microscopic level in his beer – he speaks of “the little organisms that tend to do what they want a lot of the time” – and now he’s encouraging drinkers to start thinking about it too. The luxurious burnished bronze cans show a microscope growing out of an oak branch above the name of the new series - Oak & Organisms.
This first entrant is made in the Belgian Oud Bruin style, and has spent six months lazing in ex-wine barrels. It resembles maple syrup in colour: a mellow coppery-brown that lets you know straight away the malts shine in this beer. They bring biscuits sprinkled with brown sugar to the nose, and release a soft scent in the air like the next door neighbours are having cold brew coffee and dark chocolate. Tartness from the single strain of lactobacillus introduced to the beer is there up front, but tapers off as you drink, the acid happy to play second fiddle to the seductive, crooning malts.
What more proof do you need that patience and oak can achieve things that rushing never could?
- Oud Bruin