And, with that, Five Barrel fill out their butterfly series of IPAs with the third and fourth (and final) entry.
The third is Peacock English IPA, named for the peacock butterflies that find their way into English and Welsh gardens in spring. It’s not hard to see how this butterfly got its name: check out the colourful eyespots on the tips of the wings. But the undersides of the peacock butterfly’s wings are dark brown in contrast, and it’s this colour that captures the essence of this beer.
The aroma is distinctive but difficult to nail down; the East Kent Golding and Fuggle hops bring a flurry of earthy and spicy and herbal notes. Alongside the molasses character of the malts, there’s sarsaparilla, cinnamon, and perhaps even a little tobacco. The dryness of this beer in the mouth emphasises the spice further and allows in a touch of roast from the midnight wheat, while a dull bitterness hangs around like the resonating ring of a huge gong.
The Red Admiral NZ Hazy IPA is an entirely different experience. It pours an almost milky yellow (as opposed to the burnished gold of the Peacock) and floods the air with the smell of ripe nectarines. Just one sniff and you can imagine nectarine juice dripping down your chin and leaving embarrassing splotches on your shirt. The taste of stonefruit blends with passionfruit and fizzy pineapple juice, though any sweetness is balanced by a shallow bitterness and malt graininess.
It seems appropriate to take a moment at the end of this series to stop and really appreciate the art on the labels. Five Barrel commissioned American artist Lindsey Munson to paint the butterflies in her signature style, and they certainly chose well – Lindsey brought the concept to life in a spectacular way. This post by Lindsey shows the final four watercolour pictures in all their glory, as well as providing some information and photos of her process.
Published November 2, 2022 2022-11-02 00:00:00