Sailors Grave have always been great storytellers, using the medium of beer and brewing to shine a light on producers and causes close to their hearts. With this pair they've inadvertently brought to mind a couple of my favourite storytellers too.
In the case of Leviathan Kolsch – complete with a leviathan of the depths seeing off a couple of unfortunate souls in a sort of dark Dr Seuss vision on its labels – it's a flashback to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' transcendental performance at Hanging Rock last month: Leviathan is one of the Ghosteen tracks to feature in the set. Here, it seems to be rather ironically attached to one of the simpler beer styles of the world, although the Orbost crew take this most approachable of beers and give it a bit of rustic roughing up. There's a fair whack of spiciness – they go with mountain wildflower and hay as descriptors – laced through the sweet cracker malts and lifted aromas of the Motueka hops, and a more potent bitterness than many softer versions.
As for Eternal Sunshine, it's a reminder to revisit the work of Charlie Kaufman, whose Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind followed Being John Malkovich and Adaptation (even if he lost me somewhat with Synecdoche, New York...). It's a suitable name for their first straight up hazy IPA – the fine Squid vs Whale series features oat cream IPAs – and, boy, haven't they nailed it?
Eternal Sunshine wastes no time plonking its flag firmly at the end of the hazy spectrum marked turbid and, once it’s tumbled out of the can, pull it to your nose and you're met by an aroma you could serve in scoops. Citra, Galaxy and Motueka hops create an experience akin to a mango, citrus and pineapple sorbet – one with a bloody high ratio of fruit to sugar syrup and ice. Don’t mistake thick for heavy though: there’s a vibrancy throughout and it finishes pretty clean too, not just in terms of unwanted stickiness but without any distracting grip or overt bitterness.
It's simply juicy, fleshy, sorbet fruitiness in beer form.
Published December 8, 2022 2022-12-08 00:00:00