If staying inside and drinking a mixture of mixed culture beers sounds like the perfect way to spend a few winter evenings, then Black Arts have you well covered with a quartet released for the season. First up from the Victorian brewers and blenders is a beer and wine hybrid, Pinot Gris Wild, which sees a golden wild ale that’s spent time ageing in muscat barrels blended with a house-fermented Pinot Gris. At 7.4 percent ABV, it's the biggest of the four and also the funkiest, providing quite distinct barnyard qualities and a sourness that starts out as pretty bracing. But as the palate adjusts that sourness recedes and makes way for fresh nectarine, white grape and a more floral or herbal touch that brings to mind jasmine tea.
Muscat Gold is something of a sibling to Pinot Gris Wild, with this golden wild ale having spent some 13 months in a muscat barrel before being deemed ready for enjoyment. While it doesn’t hit the same levels of funk as the previous beer, it does have an underlying and more subtle sourness that sits somewhere between under-ripe mango and freshly-squeezed lime juice, a sourness that's quite swiftly washed away by the beer's substantially oaky blend of vanilla and caramel.
Tennessee Gold also began life as a golden wild ale and is one of a pair of twins that's spent a little more than a year patiently hiding inside Jack Daniels barrels. Here you'll find similar caramel and vanilla notes to the previous beer but this time around the dial's been turned up to make those flavours a little louder (we all drink with our ears, right?). They're joined by layers of nectarine and honeydew melon. Meanwhile, the other member of the Tennessee two is comfortably the most warming of the quartet: Tennessee Red packs a heady mix of cherry, raisins and a malty, toffee sweetness. It's a combination that's akin to tucking into a rich cake that's heavy on the tart fruits and has been covered in a particularly sour, tart layer of icing. Be right back ... I've just got to see if such a cake exists...
Published June 9, 2022 2022-06-09 00:00:00