Brick Lane's deep, dark and brooding Trilogy of Fear has returned for 2023 and, this time around, the beers hide a deadly secret. OK, it’s actually pretty cool rather than deadly, with the textural cans changing with the temperature. In keeping with the movie theme of the series, we feel it wrong to give away any endings, but there’s a lot to be said for creating beers that tell a story without the need to even crack a can open.
Once again, the series is a deep dive into some very unusual woods, but let’s start with the one that didn’t feature anything additional, Taken. The imperial stock ale (stock ales being a historical British style – strong, aged beers kept by brewers and often added to other beers to add certain characteristic) might pour a deep amber but it was made purely with pale malt made darker thanks to the fact it was boiled for 20 hours (under a moonless sky no less). That time and witchcraft led to a rich and syrupy beer with intense fruit notes of raisins and figs and a sherry finish.
Reckoning, meanwhile, certainly led to a whole lot of Googling: the choice of wood here is palo santo, a South American tree that translates to holy wood and has long been used in rituals. It certainly creates unusual characteristics too, tasting very similar to mint but a little bit juicier and quite perfumey. Additionally, there are layers of leather and tobacco, which makes Reckoning a little like spending time in a wealthy relative’s reading room.
Finally, it’s the most terrifying moment of them all: Last Train Home (well, at least it was during my university days in the bleak years before ride-sharing apps). It features oud, which rather than being a type of guitar like the internet initially led me to believe, is a fragrant wood that’s popular in perfume. Here, an intense musk is matched with cedar, various hardwoods and sweeter touches of vanilla.
- Imperial Stock Ale & Wood-Aged Imperial Stouts
- 10.8% & 11.0% & 11.0%