Each year, BentSpoke mark their birthday by putting out Descent: an imperial stout that's spent time in oak. It's never quite the same beer, however, and in 2021 took a bit of a step to the left thanks to the impact of wild yeasts in some of the barrels in which the liquid was aged. It returned in June 22 for their eighth birthday, and again there were wild yeasts at play in the foeders that housed the beer for six months before blending and packaging.
In 2021, I found the wild yeasts to have added a vinous element to the beer. This time around, there's been a change-up again: the most distinctive characteristic – or at least the one that stands apart from all other Descents I've embarked upon – is a perfume on the nose that reminds me of Amaretto or even marzipan and which wends its way through the more obvious and expected flavours and aromas you encounter when diving into something of its ominous blackness. There's liquorice amid the roasted, leathery and bitter dark chocolate flavours too, in what's the quirkiest Descent yet. Which seems rather apposite, given how odd 2022 is turning out so far.
Published June 14, 2022 2022-06-14 00:00:00