Total Score: 8.1/10
Yes the brews I’m reviewing are getting more experimental and possibly more barrel-aged coming up to the big #1,000 (this review is #986 for those counting). So you will see a lot more stuff like this Bridge Road Mayday Hills Thursday, which is a Belgian Dark Ale brewed with native gin botanicals and fermented in foeder oak tanks with Brettanomyces yeast. Sounds remarkable for the many reasons just noted, with a reasonable 7.5% ABV heft to it as well I’m expecting a BIG [Bearing Immense Gusto] beer with an earthy/herbal/juniper slant. Last Mayday Hills brew (named simply “T”) has so far been my favourite Bridge Road beer of all time – it was noteworthy due to the flavour being quite white wine vinous and definitely leapt to mind when I bought this one. Here’s hoping for more of that good stuff.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Quite dark, almost opaque, cola brown body with a nice and creamy looking 1 centimetre khaki head that slowly drops back leaving faint wisps of lace on the side of the glass. This all looks rather impressive old chap [you can tell that when I revert to my proper English gentleman mode of speech]. 8/10.
S: The funk is strong with this one! Funkalicious… most funkalicious, owww! *that’s my Darth Bootsy impression wait-till-I-pull-out-my-bass-guitar voice* This is one of the most difficult aromas for me to describe as there is so much going on inside the glass – there’s a herbal/earthy/juniper dry slant as expected, but there’s the Brett and oak influence giving this brew some dusty/woody notes too. I think EARTHY (in capital letters) really jumps out the most. Hints of burnt caramel and brown sugar as well. A dash of smoke… I could go on. 9/10.
T: Again: Sooo much going on inside this glass: Earthy/herbal/juniper botanicals provide a big dry base, burnt caramel, brown sugar malt centre, Brett funk, woody notes, hint of smoke, hint of red wine character. Frankly it’s all getting a bit too complex – there’s so much steam-rolling over my palate that I’m playing catch up in my head “what was that? Juniper? WOOOSH! Earth… caram… no wait: long dry finish”. Yep, they brewed off more than I can chew here. Still tasty though. 8/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a thin carbonation, bit too thin all round. 7/10.
D: Don’t get me wrong though – this was a BIG flavoursome adventure (reminded me a bit of Bacchus King Of Denmark actually), but yeah, too much going on to make this a real delight. Keep the Maydays coming though! 8/10.
Food match: Herbal and earthy dishes, mushroom, truffles, that sort of thing.