There's good and bad when a brewer drops off ten new releases at a time. On the good side, it means ten new beers to sample; the bad arises when you've got heaps of other brewers sending you beers to sample, just one liver, and a business to run that demands you don't spend your life under the influence. So, apologies to Molly Rose for taking a while to get to the final few of their recent splurge.
Chardy Beer takes me back to a lockdown virtual event the brewery held with founder Nic Sandery's partner Callie Jemmeson of PachaMama wines, during which the 250ml can of her Chardonnay was so delicious it led to a bottle being opened post-event and a rather slow morning the following day. Here it's a blend of Nic's farmhouse ale and Callie's Yarra Valley chardonnay grapes, which pours with a lively, fizzing head that falls away to leave you with a texture of spritzy, gentle acidity. The fuller, ripe grape characters build with time, while there are aromas that remind me of green tea and lychee like on the nose, and flavours of sweet 'n' tangy lychee that follow.
The latest kveik-fermented hazy pale is Trettitre Min Vei and features the Laerdal strain of yeast (for the trainspotters) plus a hefty Galaxy dry hop. For me, the two elements come together to create an almost Sorachi Ace / Neo-Mexicanus hop variety like funky citrus-herbal vibe. Pale and hazy without being opaque, it's soft as I imagine a cloud would be if you could drink one, albeit a cloud whipped with citrus curd.
Embellished is back – still a Belgian style golden ale, but with a different recipe to last time. It pours a very bright golden with that viscosity familiar in such beers despite its relatively low ABV. Everything is delivered with delicate hands: the honey-tinged malts, the soft spices, the drying finish.
Which just leaves Nic's latest coffee citrus sour, Kainantu, which is named after the region of PNG from where the Proud Mary-roasted beans hail. Even though I've had a few of these from Molly Rose, I still expect them to pour dark when they're nothing of the sort… What there is, however, is a truly intriguing coming together of factors here: the aromas head deep into herb garden, floral territory, and there's hints of tobacco too. It's neither clearly citrus nor fruity coffee bean, but something altogether different. Coffee wends its way across the palate subtly but this isn’t your typical coffee-in-beer hit, instead something funkier, weirder and anise like, with the cleansing, quenching, refreshing, citrusy base sour swirling all around.
Published December 21, 2021 2021-12-21 00:00:00