This is the third Summer Samba sour from Sunday Road, a series in which the Sydney brewers been putting out fruited sours that aren’t monotonous. Don’t get me wrong: simple sours have their place. But these beers manage to offer a little bit more.
With Summer Samba Mango Vanilla, the brewers have again used Philly Sour yeast – which produces acidity during fermentation – rather than souring the beer with lactobacillus in the kettle, and the acidity goes deep into the mouth. The flavour of mango spreads across the entire surface area of your tongue, with vanilla and lactose bringing depth rather than sweetness to the fruit flavour, working together to stop the sour mango from being one dimensional.
As someone who has to taste a lot of hazy IPAs for my job (no hate mail please), I don’t find myself wowed by too many. But Spectrum of Light elicited a two-syllable "day-um" from me, and had me going back again and again to try to get my head around it.
It’s not easy to make a hazy IPA with Mosaic and Citra that feels like something new, but SR have done it. Rather than using many different hop varieties, they’ve used several innovative hop formats – Lupomax and Incognito in the whirlpool, Spectrum in the dry hop – to plumb the depths of what Mosaic has to offer. There’s big nectarine vibes, smooth tropical notes, citrus peel bitterness… but it’s not necessarily about adding lots of different flavours, so much as focusing in on what’s there, like a lens causing beams of light to converge and make an intense white hot point of flavour. (They also threw in some Citra for good measure, because what beer isn’t better with a bit of Citra? Amirite?)
But this isn’t just a blunt force "NEEDS MORE HOPS" type beer. It also manages to be impressively thick and sweet without the use of lactose (Sunday Road does play in the oat cream space, but this beer isn’t that). And the inspired can design makes me think of a kaleidoscopic sunflower, which is quite pretty.
A quick look at punters’ reviews on Untappd confirms I’m not the only one who was impressed by this beer: “This can comfortably sit next to Mountain Culture and Garage Project”, “beauty”, “excellent”, “sensational”, “kings” and my favourite, “good medicine” (from a person who drank it while sick).
Published December 16, 2022 2022-12-16 00:00:00